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Land Rover Discovery - the name of the game


AS A child I became a big fan of Crocodile Dundee, Steve Erwin and more recently, Bear Grylls. Their go-anywhere, explore, conquer and discover attitude resonated with me. These explorers and nature lovers went to ‘forbidden’ places and discovered new roads.

That’s why, naturally, when I found myself testing the newly revised Land Rover Discovery, my inner explorer’s ears perked up like an antelope in the wild. I needed to discover the road less travelled. The road many shy away from. The Discovery was the perfect guide. Fitted with a three-litre turbocharged and intercooled V6 diesel engine and a slick shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, this brute doesn’t understand the meaning of can’t.

With a large 4 829mm length and 2 200mm width, it’s a dominating force, but while it might look stylish and luxurious in the flesh don’t underestimate the vehicle’s off-road demeanour. With off-road clearance up to 240mm and an approach angle of 36.2 degrees, the Disco knows how to handle itself in the great outdoors.

Admittedly, there’s more tech inside this SUV than on Batman’s belt. The combination of creature comforts like a cooled centre stowage box and navigation, along with five digital cameras provide a 360-degree glance of your vehicle, making it just a little easier to navigate.

Seated in a commanding driving position, the Disco was a worthy companion on the dust roads and the suspension and traction worked in unison, making the SUV glide over even the most rugged of roads.

Nice little touches include Gradient Acceleration Control and my personal favourite, the newly introduced Wade Sensor, which lets you know when levels near the 700mm maximum wading depth are being reached.

Rugged and luxurious Land Rover is only competent off-road but thrives on the open road. Nestled in comfort and wrapped in premium cocoon, there’s little to fault the Discovery on when it comes to the inside cabin. The reworked dials and revised centre console usher in a sense of modernity.

Highway cruising, the three-litre SDV6 diesel can reach a top speed of 180km/h and will get to 100km/h in roughly 9.3 seconds. With impressive power figures of 183kW/600Nm this torquey machine will use around 8.8 litres/100km.

More extraordinary, however, is the 3 500kg towing capacity. We did tow a trailer carrying three motorcycles and the Discovery made light work of the added weight, barely flinching as we embarked on our journey.

Overall, the new breed of Discos are phenomenal. They exude style and comfort and contrary to many beliefs, they do have off-road credentials. They make good daily drives that enjoy a spot of dirt on the weekend. It was tough to see my tour companion go back.

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