Best car

Land Rover Discovery 4

Only a Land Rover Discovery can take you and all your family from city to mountain top with such effortless charm and limitless comfort

Land Rover Discovery 3.0 TDV6

This model from £54,500
 

Most of us think we know the Land Rover Discovery’s strengths long before we actually drive one. We know about the unrivalled off-road ability in the class; we may also know its 3500kg towing limit, the highest a car is allowed to have by law. We probably also know about its spacious interior and the standard seven-seat layout. And all this is true. What you won’t understand about a Discovery until you actually drive and live with one for a while, is the almost unbelievable sense of comfort that comes as standard with every one of them.

The Discovery 4 is actually quite an old car, and the Discovery 3 upon which it is based dates all the way back to 2004. Nor is it particularly difficult to criticise: it’s heavy, quite thirsty, and even by full-sized SUV standards, not exactly the most agile kid on the block.

But its legions of fans forgive all of that not just because they like what it does, but also because they love the way it does it.

It comes with a driving position so high and imperious that it makes small SUVs feel like faceless saloons. The layout of the cabin combines chunky functionality with effortless style in a way no real rival can even approach, let alone challenge. And it rides like a limousine, steamrollering most lumps and bumps in the road into non-existence. Above all, it feels like an item of the highest quality; a class act whose interior ambience alone makes it feel like its unquestionably high list price is entirely justified.

Then consider the other stuff – like the fact that nothing will tow more, or take you to places even further off the beaten track – and you will have some sense of this car’s incredible and enduring appeal. Soon Land Rover will replace it, and its engineers know better than anyone just what a hideously hard act it will be to follow.

Performance

  • Engine: 2993cc, 256bhp
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Top speed: 112mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 9.3sec

Costs

  • Claimed economy: 36.7mpg
  • VED: Group K
  • Insurance Group: 41 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

Practicality
5 / 5
Affordability
2 / 5
Safety
5 / 5
Fun
4 / 5