The Land Rover Discovery comes in four different trims for 2017 and with a choice of two different powertrains. A 3.0L supercharged V6 is the base engine, providing 340 horsepower and giving the Land Rover Discovery a respectable 0-60 time of a claimed 6.9 seconds. The optional engine is a 3.0L Turbodiesel making 254 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. While acceleration is slightly slower for the diesel, the extra torque provides a more relaxed powerband, while fuel economy is also improved. Besides, with a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds, the diesel version can't exactly be called slow. On all Discoveries, power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Base SE trim is available only with the gasoline engine and includes most of the amenities one would expect on a $50,000 vehicle, and then some. Standout features on the SE include 19-inch wheels, a panoramic glass roof, automatic headlights, power folding and heated mirrors, rain sensing wipers, a parking assistance system, a 10 speaker stereo and an 8-inch touch screen for the interior.
HSE models get 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof and keyless entry. Inside, HSE trimmed Discoveries come with an upgraded 380 watt Meridian sound system, a bigger 10-inch screen, a navigation system and 12-way adjustable seats.
The Luxury trim features unique 20-inch wheels, chrome door handles 16-way power adjustable Windsor leather front seats, heated front and rear seats (all seven of them!) a powered third row of seating, an 825 watt 14-speaker sound system, tri-zone climate control and additional ambient lighting. Interestingly, the Luxury trim includes some extra off-roading goodies as well, such as a twin-speed transfer box with a high and low range for off-roading, and an electronic air suspension system which can raise and lower the vehicle.
For 2017, there is a Discovery First Edition trim, which includes just about everything from the Luxury trim along with bigger wheels, a surround Camera system, an active key and body colored door handles.
Why wait until a midcycle refresh to address a car's less desirable parts? With new powertrains and new tech on offer, the 2021 Discovery makes a more compelling case for itself with its blend of luxury and capability.
One visual change for the 2021 model year is the addition of the midlevel R-Dynamic trim. This getup, which is likely going to be Land Rover's volume trim, zhushes up the Disco's body with some gloss black accents alongside black 20-inch alloy wheels and an available two-tone interior. My tester looks pretty sweet with those dark bits contrasting well against the Lantau Bronze paint ($700). There are some other mild tweaks to all Discovery variants, too, like a lower rear badge and more attractive headlights and taillights, and as from many automakers, expensive options abound. These 21-inch wheels are an extra $2,000, while upgraded LED headlights with auto high-beams and a signature running light add $650. The black contrast roof will set you back another grand, too.
The interior doesn't change too much, with some light nips and tucks here and there. There's a new shift toggle, which feels pretty nice in its action. The 18-way heated electric front seats ($1,850) are pretty cushy, and the second row is now more comfortable thanks to some thicker seat padding. There's plenty of room in the middle row, as well. The rear seats, however, remain pretty cramped for adults, and when they're not stowed, there's only about 9 cubic feet of cargo volume, which isn't much at all. Keep the way-backs tucked away, though, and you get a solid 45 cubic feet of stuff storage -- enough for between six and 10 bags of mulch, depending on whether you need to use the rearview mirror.
The Good ~ Peppy mild-hybrid powertrain ~ Vastly improved infotainment ~ More capable than most SUVs
The Bad ~ Ponderous on the highway ~ Limited cargo space with third row up
The Bottom Line The 2021 Land Rover Discovery does a good job of straddling the line between luxury and off-road capability.
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