Discovery 4 SDV6 HSE
by a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-
diesel, Land Rovers
4 SDV6 has more power, improved
fuel economy, better kit and reduced
LATEST DISCO'S V6 runs with parallel sequential turbocharging
in use most of the time is a larger primary turbo with a smaller secondary turbocharger
that kicks in whenever acceleration or more power is called for.
The main benefit of this system is that turbo lag is reduced and immediate
torque response sharpened, with 442lb ft of 'grunt' available from 2,000rpm.
CO2 emissions have gone down, from 244 to 230g/km and power up, from 241bhp
The major tech upgrade for the 2012 year model is the new eight-speed automatic
transmission, first used in the latest Range Rover V8 turbodiesel. Now fitted
in the Discovery, it provides closer gear ratios with a higher overdrive ratio
which in turn boosts economy and contributes to the lower CO2 emissions. Equally
beneficial, the eight ratios ensure near-seamless gearshifts. Adding
to the transmission's polish is software that monitors the driver's input then
optimises the shifts to match the driver's style.
fitted is a Drive Select rotary gear selector with Park, Drive, Neutral, Reverse
and Sport modes along with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters as used on
Jaguar and Range Rover models.
Fuel economy has also
improved from 30.4
to 32.1mpg. Okay, its
only up by a couple of
miles per gallon but then
every little helps!
More importantly, my test
Disco very nearly
matched the new figure,
The Disco's All Terrain Response is no longer operated by a rotary dial but
now uses close-to-hand switchgear for quickly selecting the correct mode for
road, ice/snow, off-road, sand and serious off-road as well as low ratio and
hill descent control.
Two additional functions have been added: hill start assist and gradient acceleration
control. An electronic parking brake is also standard-fit and the HSE version
comes with adjustable ride height air suspension.
Fuel economy has also improved from 30.4 to 32.1mpg. Okay, it's only
up by a couple of miles per gallon but then every little helps! More importantly,
my test Disco the range-topping 3.0 SDV6 HSE model very nearly
matched the new figure, recording 31.2mpg impressive for a heavyweight
2.7-tonne seven-seat 4x4 with permanent all-wheel drive.
Unfortunately, despite the lower CO2 emissions, the first year's road tax is
still £790 and £445 for subsequent years; and company car users will continue
to pay the maximum 35% Benefit-in-Kind tax.
Of course these tax costs will be no deterrent to customers able and willing
to spend between £37,995 to £51,195. And there's no shortage of them
despite the economic climate, the rising cost of fuel and the high taxation
costs, 2011 sales of 4x4s and SUVs increased by 6%.
Visually, changes to the 2012 Discovery are minimal: tweaks to the front grille,
new alloy wheels, changes to the touchscreen graphics and upgrades to the premium
quality SatNav and music systems.
All the big changes are to the engine and transmission and in line with the
Disco's ongoing evolution. It remains a tough, heavy duty off-roader with permanent
4WD, easily identified by the roof's rear 'step-up' that provides more headroom
for the second and third row passengers.
the boxy, seven-seat Disco remains a no-nonsense and roomy 4X4, it has moved
significantly upmarket. Proof is to be found in the cabin where I was hard pressed
to spot the differences in specification or quality between this latest Discovery
and the latest Range Rover.
Youll be hard pressed
to spot the differences
in specification or quality
between this latest
Discovery and the latest
the HSE model Disco
boasts high-grade leather
upholstery, a crafted,
leather-topped fascia and
all the luxury kit you
would find in a premium
Especially so on the top HSE model Disco which boasts high-grade leather upholstery,
a crafted, leather-topped fascia and all the luxury kit you would expect to
find in a premium brand saloon.
But has going upmarket been the undoing of the Disco? Originally positioned
between the utilitarian Land Rover and the luxury Range Rover models, the first
Disco was designed to be a serious off-roader with a bit more interior comfort
and driving refinement than the uncompromisingly functional Land Rover.
As such it was a country-user's workhorse, one that could be washed out and
with the option of seven seats a feature first brought to the market
by Mitsubishi's five-door Shogun.
In spite of the luxury trimmings and classy interior, today's Disco remains
the optimum off-roader, easily pulling 3,500kg; it also performs brilliantly
on and off road and offers seating for up to seven (or load space of up to 2,558
While no longer an affordable 4x4 workhorse and with high road and company car
taxes, the latest technical changes improve the driving refinement and reduce
running costs (but not taxes). It also has a comfortable exec-spec interior
and is imposing to drive. As a heavyweight, go anywhere 4x4, there's no better
and the latest improvements keep it ahead of the field. David
Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 HSE | £51,195
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-60mph: 8.8 seconds | Overall test MPG: 31.2mpg
Power: 251bhp | Torque: 442lb ft | CO2 230g/km