2018 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6
Class: Premium Midsize Crossover
Miles driven: 310
Fuel used: 15.1 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 20.7 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 21/26/23 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $67,490 (not including $995 destination charge)
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||A-|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Options on test vehicle: Seven Seat Luxury Climate Comfort Package ($2225), Capability Plus Package ($1275), Drive Pro Package ($2400), Vision Assist Package ($1020), heated windshield ($285), 21-inch “Split Spoke Style” alloy wheels ($1225), head-up display ($970), Loire Blue Metallic paint ($710), Rover Tow Package ($665), Activity Key ($410), black roof rails ($410), Advanced Tow Assist ($410), ebony headliner ($360), 360-degree surround-view parking aid ($285), cargo cover ($155), cabin air ionization ($105)
Price as tested: $81,395
The great: Beautifully finished cabin, generous passenger space
The good: Smooth, quiet diesel powertrain
The not so good: Pricing gets extra-steep as optional equipment is added
If you’re reaching for a steep summit, a Land Rover Discovery can get you there.
Consider the diesel-powered 2018 Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 sampled by Consumer Guide. It ascended all the way from a base-camp price of $68,485 (with destination) to a point above the tree line of cost, a “loaded” $81,395, packing four option groups and a dozen individual add-ons for the trek.
Oh, and should you need to climb an actual rugged path, yeah, a Discovery will do that too, no worries. . . .
A year removed from a total redesign and a redeployment of the Discovery name, the premium-midsize SUV returns for ’18 with some equipment additions and refinements, all of which were included on CG’s test truck. New features include 4G Wi-Fi and an available interactive instrument cluster with a thin-film-transistor (TFT) display screen. The “InControl Touch Pro” infotainment touchscreen previously standard on upper-trim models is now standard throughout. The optional head-up instrument display shows up larger and with more features.
Like just about any Land Rover/Range Rover product you can name, the Discovery is a seamless blend of civilized luxury and badlands utility. That’s especially true in the HSE Luxury. Passengers occupy seats covered in supple Windsor leather. Impressive wood accents and ample soft-touch surfaces complete the ensemble. Rolling along on the open road with the windows up, quiet reigns. When the pampered adventurers leave the beaten path they can rely on a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing, the brand’s adjustable Terrain Response system, and height-adjustable air suspension.
A 340-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 8-speed automatic transmission is the standard powerteam, but CG continues to be impressed with the optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that drove the test vehicle. The torque-laden 254-horsepower mill is quiet—especially for a diesel—but eager, and delivers good cruising and passing ability. With two-thirds of test miles in city driving conditions, the tested truck averaged 20.6 mpg, which is just shy of the EPA city-mileage estimate of 21 mpg. It wasn’t up to the 23 mpg the editors got a from a turbodiesel Discovery in 2017, but that came with a higher percentage of highway driving—and hit the government combined-mileage projection right on the nose.
On-road ride can be pillowy soft. Steering is easy yet not too vague, which makes for pleasant everyday driving. With its aluminum-intensive unitized body structure, the Discovery is about 1000 pounds lighter than the smaller but “truckier” LR4 that it replaced, so it is not as ponderous as being a 3-row SUV might suggest that it is.
Front-row passengers enjoy ample room, and the second row can seat three adults. The third row is less accommodating, and headroom isn’t as generous as it is in the front and middle rows. Seat-folding options are managed via power buttons, though operation can be slow, and there’s a specific order to achieve desired configurations. Only nine cubic feet of cargo can be carried with all three rows of seats up, but capacity grows exponentially with the seats in rows two and three folded. The test truck came with the power “spectator seat” that folds down when the tailgate opens. CGers see good and bad in this device in terms of cargo loading: It either conveniently makes it possible to slide items into the cargo bay while further back from the vehicle, or it requires a long, uncomfortable reach to pull things out.
Compared to the infotainment systems in many of Land Rover’s European luxury-brand contemporaries, InControl Touch Pro is a paragon of intuitive simplicity. Also, the new TFT display for driving controls standard in the HSE Luxury provides better legibility for the vehicle-information display than its predecessor did.
With all this it’s hard to believe that there could be much more available for the current top of the Discovery product line, but there is. For better off-road performance there is a package with a locking center differential, enhanced Terrain Response system with a “Rock Crawl” mode, and All-Terrain Progress Control. Automatic high beams, massaging front seats, adaptive cruise control, and quite a bit more is out there to be added, too. The next thing you know, you’re $81,000 above sea level.
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