SUVs

A year of luxury all-roading awaits our new Discovery

Welcoming the latest addition to our long-term fleet, a 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

While we put every car we review through its paces before we assign it a numeric review score here at Roadshow, the best way to see just how well a car works is to live with it, to really live with it for a good long time. Not just a week, not just a month, but for a full year. And while we were impressed with the all-new Land Rover Discovery when we recently reviewed it, we couldn't help thinking this thing deserved some more comprehensive treatment. And so, we're happy to welcome it to the family as the latest member of our long-term fleet.

The Discovery, you see, is an SUV with a very diverse set of capabilities. On the surface, it looks like a gigantic family hauler, a tall -- really tall -- three-row SUV for bringing the kids to school or dogs to the campground or, really, a lot of just about anything and anybody to anywhere. And indeed it's great at that, hauling people and cargo with style and incredible comfort, offering one of the most polished rides you'll find in any car this side of a Bentley.

Remarkably, though, that's just half the coin. The Discovery is, as it always has been, a remarkable performer when the road ends. While most of these utility vehicles will never see anything more dramatic than a snow-covered gravel road, the Terrain Response 2 4WD system underpinning the Discovery is incredibly capable, scampering up or down steep inclines on dirt or rocks and even fording rivers without hesitation.

It's this split personality that we're really looking forward to exploring. We selected the HSE Luxury trim, with Land Rover's ubiquitous 3.0-liter Supercharged six. That delivers 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque through a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Just about everything about this car is smooth. Already the Discovery has proven to be an incredibly welcome sight sitting in the airport parking lot after a long, painful transatlantic flight, its combination of ride quality and driver assistance making it the ideal shuttle for those last miles home. But soon I'll be heading out into the wilds with the thing, and I'm really, really looking forward to getting it as muddy as possible.

It should be a good year, so stay tuned for regular updates on just how well our new Disco does.