If you want a hardcore off roader and family car all-in-one, few vehicles can match the Land Rover Discover. The Discovery for more than ten years has been a number one choice for families who want the safety and reassurance of an all-wheel-drive big car. Over the years, the car has been revised to fit in with modern lives, and the Discovery now has more technology and a better design than ever before. This year, Land Rover has released the LR4 HSE. This version of the Discovery an all-new V6 supercharged petrol engine with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Power is good, at 340 bhp and 332 lb /ft, and Land Promises that the LR4 HSE will offer drives a balanced drive.
So, what’s it like?
It’s a lot like any other Land Rover Discovery in truth. The engine, however, is something new to Discovery drivers and it’s really rather sweet, with lots of grunt low in the rev range, a sharp throttle response, and plenty of top end pull. The engine works best between 2000 and 5000 rpm and keep the engine boiling between here and the LR4 HSE flies. The supercharged V6 replaces the ageing V8. During regular driving, the engine is quieter and more refined and it feels just as fast when you put your foot down. It’s also more efficient.
The only outward differences to the older LR4 HSE are a revised front end – the fog light housings are now squared off and the grill has a new trim piece. At the back, the tail lights have a glossy black surround and there are new alloys, too. Unless you’re a dire-hard Discovery fan, though, you are unlikely to notice the revised exterior. That’s not a bad thing, really, because the LR4 still looks fresh and up to date.
Strangely, Land Rover have still not updated the LR4. The interior is now looking a little dated (the steering wheel is a prime example), and it’s not a patch on a Range Rover… a better interior finish would be welcome. According to Farnell Land Rover, the Land Rover Discovery will get a new interior in the next version. The LR4 now has air suspension as standard. This gives the Discovery a very subtle ride that never becomes unsettled. Whether you are on snow, tarmac, gravel, or scaling a cliff edge, the Discovery feels great. When bends come up, the Discovery is planted and agile. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget you’re in such a big car, such is the effectiveness of air suspension.
The new LR4 HSE might not be a huge update, but the new V6 supercharged engine and subtle exterior updates are enough to breath fresh life into the Discovery and attract new sales. It would have been nice to see a refreshed interior, but the Discovery is still the best car in its class for ruggedness – the interior will almost certainly fair well against bumps, knocks, and fidgeting children.