The Discovery's rugged off-road credentials are undisputed and our road test was just that - an on-road with a few rough tracks and a mountain road thrown in for good measure.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The Discovery's rugged off-road credentials are undisputed and our road test was just that - an on-road review with a few rough tracks and a mountain road thrown in for good measure. During our time with the Discovery we only touched the surface of its off-road prowess.
The ride is good with minimal body roll - the ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement) system which is a unique feature of the Discovery uses computer controlled hydraulic actuators to reduce body roll ensuring a more comfortable ride. However, on the open road a degree of thought and restraint must be applied when negotiating tighter bends and corners because as good as the ACE system is, too much speed can be regrettable and the Discovery as with any 4x4 is not as forgiving as a car nor does it have the same handling characteristics.
The steering is reassuringly well-weighted and the Discovery is surprisingly nimble and responsive to drive. ETC (Electronic Traction Control) maintains grip in all conditions operating up to speeds of 62 mph and HDC (Hill Descent Control) when engaged in low range gears utilises the braking system to control speed on steep hills and descents or whilst towing heavy loads. For 2004 all models are equipped with ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes), EBD (Electronic Brake-Force Distribution) and disc brakes all round.
The Discovery's off-road competence does compromise its road manners but if you want it to tow your horsebox or caravan it will perform admirably as the SLS (Self-Levelling Suspension) automatically keeps the vehicle level whether laden or unladen. A manual override can be operated which is particularly useful when attaching a trailer or to give extra clearance. It is also clever enough to rise automatically if the rear of the vehicle is impeded by an obstacle.
For extreme off-road conditions the separate ladder-frame chassis enables the Discovery to resist stress from twisting and bending. The improved bumper profile reduces vulnerability to damage caused by large obstacles whilst off-road and the Watts linkage prevents lateral movement of the rear-axle without inhibiting axle articulation. A low-range transfer gearbox allows the selection of crawl speeds and maximum power. Whilst the manual centre differential lock along with the ETC offers smoother vehicle control in more extreme conditions.
Land Rover Discovery Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Land Rover Discovery TD5 ES 7 Seat|
|Body Type||5-Door Four Wheel Drive|
|Colour||Adriatic Blue Micatallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||17.1 seconds|
|Top Speed||98 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||31.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||No Data|
|Warranty||Every new Land Rover vehicle carries a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty (see the Passport to Service, available at your Land Rover Retailer, for details).|
|Price (when tested on the 02/08/04)||£ 34,590.00 |
(Includes Automatic Transmission Option £1,495.00)