Tasked with making sure Land Rover remained competitive in the hotly contested SUV segment, engineers and designers went to work on the new Discovery model. They took a vehicle with the best combination of off-road and on-road capabilities and made it even better. Land Rover announced the new Discovery at the Paris auto show in 2017, which leads us to the review of the 2018 model. Little has changed since its introduction.
If the price tag on the top selling luxury Range Rover doesn’t fit into your budget, perhaps the 2018 Land Rover Discovery is a more affordable option. The redesigned Discovery, which was called the LR3 and LR4 in the U.S. from 2009 to 2017, takes its nameplate back and adds more technology, luxury features, an aluminum frame and the choice between fuel efficient gasoline or diesel engines.
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery is a premium full-size SUV, which fits between the top selling luxury Range Rover and the compact Discovery Sport, features a host of tech features, semi-automatic driving modes and an all-terrain suspension that can drive on various road surfaces.
I tested the 2018 Discovery HSE Luxury for a week, which is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel engine that generates 254 horsepower. It’s paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that is quick, smooth, and handles like a charm. It comes with a standard electronic air suspension that makes city and highway roads feel like its driving on a cloud.
Handling and steering was precise on wet and dry road surfaces. The turbocharged pickup made navigating crowded traffic a breeze.
The new 2018 Land Rover Discovery HSE has a aluminum body structure that reduces weight by 1,000 pounds. It’s not only light on its feet, but its roomier and larger than the previous model.
The Discovery is 5.5 inches longer and 1.6 inches lower than the outgoing LR4 it replaces. The 115.1-inch wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer to improve interior room. The Discovery is 87.4 inches wide and 72.7 inches tall.
The off-road capability of the Discovery is managed by a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing that adjusts its height and response to different terrains.
The average fuel economy for the diesel, according to the EPA, is 21 mpg city and 26 highway. For one week, I drove it around Washington, D.C. and Maryland without stopping at a gas station.
For 2018, Land Rover now offers gasoline and diesel engines for all three Discovery trim levels, which was previously available only on the midrange HSE and top-of-line HSE luxury models.
Some of the new features include 4G Wi-Fi, an available interactive instrument and infotainment touch display screen, and head-up instrument display.
The HSE Luxury seats seven and includes soft leather, accented wood trim and soft surfaces throughout. The second and third row seats can be automatically controlled flat into the floor. The seats and other features can also be remotely controlled with the Land Rover InControl smart phone app.
The base 3.0-liter gasoline engine generates 340 horsepower and starts at $52,300 MSRP. Prices can range up to $66,500 for the HSE luxury trim level. Price as tested was $67,490 with $995 for destination charge.