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Land Rover Discovery — long-term review

Life with a Land Rover Discovery: a test of faith?

Specification:
Land Rover Discovery Td6 HSE Luxury
Engine:
2993cc, V6 turbodiesel, 4WD, 258bhp, 442lb ft
Claimed MPG:
39.2mpg, 189g/km CO2
Performance:
0–62mph in 7.7secs, 130mph
Weight:
2230kg
Price:
£66,595 OTR/ £77,970 as tested

Predictable, I know. The Disco has been pressed into use as a ski wagon. It won’t surprise you a jot to learn that, on the whole, it was masterful at this. Equipped with Pirelli Scorpion tyres, it handled sheet ice with confidence; in five-seat mode, the massive 698-litre boot gulped down kit. And that chunky bonnet ploughed a steadfast and secure path on the 700- mile drive down to the mountains.

This is all good – this is what it ought to do, and it did it. But then we get to the frustrations. The kids want to watch the rear screens. There’s no built-in DVD player, so I bought an HDMI cable and plugged in an iPad. That worked. On the way down. On the way home we plugged it in and the whole infotainment system froze. We did the standard Disco dance: turn-off-lock-unlock-restart. It worked. But when we plugged in a USB lead up front, it stopped working. Another Disco dance in another French aire. And so on.

Unfortunately, this seems to be life with the Discovery. Superficially it’s brilliant. The remote app is good. I can’t see why I’d ever need to raise and lower the seats without being there, but being able to heat the car while it’s locked is really useful when it’s a few hundred yards away and -10ºC. And then it throws in a rough gearchange and instead of shrugging it off, you panic the whole gearbox is about to drop out the bottom and you’re going to be stranded at the side of an autoroute. So far, nothing terminal, but it’s not nice when you don’t have faith in your car’s reliability.

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