2014 Discovery - King Of The Road
2014 Discovery - King Of The Road
January 27, 2014
There is no getting away from it - the Land Rover Discovery HSE is big. When it arrived I had a walk around it and had to stop for a rest. In the supermarket car park, surrounded by a gaggle of small hatchbacks, it put me in mind of a mighty ocean liner being nudged into port by tugs. It is a handsome Hagrid amongst Hogwart’s first year intake. It is, as Benny Hill once said - BIG.
Amazingly, that impression disappears once on the road. The Discovery is terrific to drive. It is nimble and quick and belies its size. The steering is commendably light - but not too light - and the lucky driver, from his lofty perch, has a commanding view of the road ahead. Only once in several hundred miles of motoring did I have a tight squeeze and that might just have been my own fault. Fortunately sensors and a reversing camera came to my aid. In reality though, how often does size matter?
The Discovery is well known as one of the world’s most stylish, capable and versatile SUVs. As can be seen from the images, the 2014 incarnation receives a new look and new badging plus the addition of new fuel stretching technology, improved audio systems and a new range of driver assistance, comfort and safety features to broaden its appeal even further.
This latest version has been given a new ‘face’ and numerous detail exterior changes. It now has a new front grille, new front bumper, new headlamp design, new daytime running lights with a distinctive LED signature, all of which further enhance the Discovery’s appearance. For the first time, the name ‘Discovery’ replaces ‘Land Rover’ on the bonnet and the number 4 has been removed from the tailgate leaving just the word ‘Discovery.’
The latest version continues to be available with the class-leading 256PS 3.0 SDV6 engine, but now the CO2 emissions are reduced from 230g/km to 213g/km, and fuel consumption improved to 35.3mpg. All models are equipped with the very efficient eight-speed ZF automatic transmission plus there’s the further option of Stop/Start technology which can be switched off should the circumstances dictate. An extra plus point is the proper spare wheel with all the necessary tools, neatly stowed away.
Available driver aids also include Blind Spot Monitoring, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection, T-junction Cameras and Wade Sensing (a technology unique to Land Rover). Wade Sensing™ uses sensors in the door mirrors to provide the driver with information when driving through water, which is particularly beneficial when visibility is poor and at night. A visual display and warning chimes alert the driver as the water level rises around the vehicle. Our poor beleaguered Somerset residents could do with something like this just now.
For music fans the Discovery has a Meridian premium audio system. The standard system features 8 speakers and 380 Watts of power, whilst the Meridian Surround System (on the HSE model featured) produces an impressive 825 Watts output and features 17 speakers. Machine Head by Deep Purple has never sounded so good.
The 3.0L V6, although a diesel, has ample power and acceleration. The obligatory 62mph dash is dispatched in a brisk 8.8 seconds. With its versatile seven-seat leather interior the cabin is a great place to be for all the family as the miles disappear effortlessly beneath the wheels.
Each of the three rows of seats has its own glass roof and plenty of storage. There’s small but handy stowage boxes alongside the rear seats for things like discarded action-man limbs and the like. Kids absolutely love it and parents can rest assured they are in one of the safest vehicles on the road. On a long run to Worcestershire I called across to Mrs DriveWrite - who was luxuriating in her heated, multi-adjustable seat - to find out what her opinion was and she pronounced it the best drive we‘ve had to date. It‘s certainly now in my top three most desired cars.
Off-road, should the need arise, it goes without saying that the Discovery has few, if any, peers. If the going gets really tough it is simply a matter of pressing a button to configure the vehicle to match the terrain. In short, the 2014 Land Rover Discovery is quite a car. Not cheap from around £39k to £54k, depending, but you really do get your money’s worth. It’s the car that does everything and does it all very well. Impressive.
Discovery courtesy of Land Rover