Feb 3, 2017
Inside the 2017 Land Rover Discovery 5
If you’re a fan of luxury SUVs, then you are in the right place.
The yet-to-be-released Land Rover Discovery 5 is a practical seven-seater. It’s built for function, but oozes a sophisticated style that rivals any luxury vehicle.
Land Rover focused heavily on consumer satisfaction this year, with upgraded technology, safety features and a whole host of modern amenities.
The 2017 release is a complete redesign from previous Discovery models, and it has a lot to offer with the major changes.
For 2017, Land Rover gave the exterior a whole new redesign. The body has been upgraded to an aluminum frame that has shaved the weight by more than 1000 lbs. and been promised to deliver better efficiency (final EPA ratings have not yet been calculated).
The wading depth has been expanded to 33.4 inches, and the axle clearance is up to 8.6. The wheelbase is 115 inches, slightly increasing stability, further expanded by the now 66.6-inch wheel track.
Seven seats are standard, and adaptable configuration has added overall cargo space. You can enjoy 36.94 inches of headroom, and a spacious 44 inches of legroom.
With a full passenger load, you’ll still have 45 cubic feet of cargo space to store a multitude of items. Folding down the rear seats will give you an additional 37.7 cubic feet of cargo space, giving you a total of 82.7 cubic feet. That’s larger than previous models, and among the largest in the industry.
The Discovery comes in four different trims, with two different engine options. The standard engine is a 3.0L supercharged V6 that gets 340 horsepower and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. An efficient engine is also available that utilizes a 3.0L, V4 turbo diesel. Both builds use an 8-speed automatic transmission and come with the full range of optional driving assistance packages.
The base model has an MSRP of $49,990. It’s a bit expensive, but definitely worth it if you’re looking for more extravagance in your vehicle.
Land Rovers are known for their luxury, and the 2017 Discovery lives up to that reputation.
An upgrade to onboard technology has an improved 8-inch touch screen that can control everything in the car, from navigation to entertainment. It seamlessly integrates with an augmented reality smartphone app that gives you more options and information while driving or parked, and it includes the full owner’s manual and instructions on car features.
Comfort and convenience are pushed to a new level. The first thing worth noting is the Activity Key. Designed like a fitness watch, you can wear it on your wrist and it gives you full access to the vehicle. It is completely waterproof and designed for an active lifestyle.
If you’re more of a music person, the meridian audio system uses a 10-speaker combination to pump amazing sound to every seat in the car.
Every seat gets their own dedicated charging port, and four unique zones of climate control minimizes complaints. If that weren’t enough, heated and cooled seats are available for the front and middle row.
The Discovery is still built around performance. On the road, a lighter, revamped suspension uses adaptive technology for a smooth and quiet ride. It also enhances control in adverse driving conditions. The safety aids that are fast becoming standard are available, including lane keep assistance, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, heads-up display, parking assistance and a surround camera system.
Off the road, a number of new and improved driving assistance features enable the Discovery to tackle even tougher terrain. All Terrain Progress Control lets you set steady speeds from 1 to 19 mph when you need a safe crawl. Wade Sensing enables the vehicle to handle depths just shy of a full meter, and the sensors let you know how close you are to hitting that mark. The improved Terrain Response system automatically adjusts torque, power and transmission responses to driving conditions when you select a different mode.
Looking at other vehicles on the market, the top competition for the Discovery comes from the Infiniti QX50 and the Audi Q5.
All of them are in the same price bracket, with the QX50 starting $2,000 lower than the Discovery and the Q5 starting $2,000 higher. Each has a unique take on full luxury SUVs.
The Infiniti and Audi both put a stronger emphasis on handling and driver joy, and the Audi’s increased engine variety makes it a standout choice for someone who wants to feel the thrill of sport-driving while owning an SUV. The Audi also features a more upscale interior, granting a fancier experience to everyone in the vehicle. The Infiniti is essentially a slightly less expensive, less equipped counterpart to the Audi.
The Discovery makes its appeal by having the most passenger and cargo room, and it outscores the rest in off-road performance. It caters more to ruggedness, and the panoramic views are better. Knowing their niche, Land Rover sacrificed on-road thrills for off-road adventure.
As for pricing, there is no clear winner as the small difference in price points are dictated by having more standard features for a higher MSRP.
While the final numbers are not yet available, the 2017 model has made some clear improvements to boost efficiency. While the lighter body is sure to improve mileage, a few other technology improvements add potential.
Intelligent starting and stopping technology is available, and it reduces fuel waste by minimizing engine output wherever possible. The new engine is also reported to run better all around. On top of that, the available air suspension adapts the vehicle height to get the best possible aerodynamics on the road.
There is no doubt that the diesel engine will be the more efficient option. It’s already being marketed as such. Predicting just how efficient it will end up being is impossible at this point, but it’s reasonable to expect at least 40 mpg on the highway.
- Most affordable luxury SUV of its class that seats seven.
- Impressive off-road performance.
- Expanded efficiency from multiple aspects of the redesign.
- Additional luxury options for a smoother ride, better entertainment and storage.
- Improved aesthetic body design.
- Less responsiveness in the engine.
- Not as fun to drive on paved roads and highways.
- Improved transmission still lags behind top competitors.
- Additional features ramp up the price quickly, regardless of MSRP.
Overall, the new 2017 Discovery 5 is an improvement over previous options. It still falls short of becoming the perfect vehicle, but if you want an all-around affordable luxury SUV, it’s certainly a smart pick.
If you need a little extra space or if you ever take it out of the city and into the wilderness, then it’s easily a top choice. If this is a vehicle you would like to take for a test drive, keep your eyes open. It’s slated to hit dealers later this year.