All-round independent suspension riding on variable-height air springs results in precise road manners and supple confidence off-road. The braking system features large disc brakes all-round to provide maximum stopping power, with the TDV6 boasting 317 and 325 mm discs on the front and rear respectively and the V8 337 and 350 mm. The Discovery 3 has a comprehensive array of slip control systems including dynamic stability control, electronic traction control and the award-winning hill descent control to cope with any situation on- or off-road.
Harnessing the performance of the Discovery 3 to cope with a variety of conditions is made simple with the sophistication offered by the new Terrain Response system, which makes its production debut in the Discovery 3, following its preview in the Range Stormer concept vehicle.
Using only a single chunky control, the driver simply dials in the appropriate surface confronting the vehicle, choosing from a general programme for normal driving, a special programme for slippery conditions (dubbed ‘grass/gravel/snow’), and three covering off-road surfaces – mud/ruts, sand and rock crawl. Terrain Response automatically tunes the vehicle’s systems including engine and gearbox response, electronic slip control systems sensitivity and even ride height to optimise driveability and comfort as well as maximising traction.
The interior features the iconic spaciousness typical of the Discovery nameplate. The driver enjoys Land Rover's traditional 'command' seating position, while all the rear passengers get stadium seating – progressively higher than the seats in front – offering a clearer view. The optional third row of seats serve up great comfort, and are big enough to accommodate 95th percentile adults. This cleverly designed seating, fit for seven adults, further improves the Discovery 3's outstanding versatility, including fold-flat rear seats in both second and third rows, to give huge load-carrying ability.
Careful choice of materials for the internal trim enhances the airy practicality of the Discovery 3 and the travelling experience is improved by the latest in-car ‘infotainment’ system options that include state-of-the-art on- and off-road navigation and a harman/kardon ‘Logic 7’ digital surround sound hi-fi system, with control being through a widescreen LCD display with voice recognition.
Land Rover’s managing director, Matthew Taylor, says of the Discovery 3: ‘It’s a true Land Rover, benefiting from a clarity of purpose and conviction that’s evident from its clean design, versatility and outstanding dynamic characteristics. Like all of the new Land Rovers, it’s great to drive on-road as well as being best-in-class off-road. The Discovery 3 will reinforce Land Rover’s command of a market sector that it created with the original Discovery. It’s a bold and distinctive design that’s coupled with innovative features and a range of powerful engines to provide an unforgettable driving experience whether on- or off-road.’Published 30 May 2004