2017 Land Rover Discovery

2017 Land Rover Discovery Diesel Review

Style, comfort and off-road prowess. The Discovery is a top pick for a luxury three-row crossover.
4.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

For almost three decades, the Land Rover Discovery has been one of the best SUVs available for providing all-terrain excellence. The Discovery name might not be all that familiar to you, though, as Land Rover started calling the Discovery the LR3 (and later LR4) in America back in 2005. But now the "Disco" has returned.

This 2017 Land Rover Discovery has undergone a complete redesign, receiving needed improvements in design and technology while maintaining its core strengths. Most noticeably, the new Discovery has a svelte new look that stands in contrast to the old LR4's deliberately boxy shape. The same holds true for the interior. Here you'll find a more refined style, better cabin materials and improved technology features. Land Rover also says the Discovery is about 1,000 pounds lighter than the outgoing LR4, which helps improve fuel economy and on-road handling.

Certainly, the Discovery will be very appealing if you're shopping for a luxurious SUV and not much else. But the Discovery separates itself from the pack by maintaining its off-roading heritage. It's just as good as, if not slightly better than, the already impressive LR4 when driving through the muck or over rocky terrain.

While the Discovery's individual scores suggest an admirable overall rating, its unique position as a go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle gives it a well-deserved boost. This is one SUV that has strong potential to be everything to everyone.



what's new

The all-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery replaces the LR4 with a new look, more features and better on-road manners.

we recommend

The midlevel HSE trim strikes an optimal balance of feature content to price. It's also eligible for plenty of options to bring it close to the top Lux model. We recommend the more responsive standard gasoline engine since the diesel option offers few advantages.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery is a midsize luxury SUV that replaces the outgoing LR4. It is offered in three main trim levels: SE, HSE and HSE Lux. Land Rover will also offer a limited-production First Edition version.

The standard engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine (340 horsepower, 332 pound-feet of torque) while a turbocharged diesel V6 (254 hp and 443 lb-ft) is optional on HSE and HSE Lux models. An eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive are standard on all versions.

The base SE trim is only available with the gasoline engine and comes standard as a two-row, five-passenger SUV. A third row of seats is optional, increasing passenger capacity to seven. Standard feature highlights include 19-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power front seats, and 40/20/40-split sliding, reclining and folding rear seats. On the Technology front, the Disco has Bluetooth, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen, Land Rover's InControl infotainment and telematics systems, and a 10-speaker audio system with USB input.

The HSE trim is eligible for the diesel engine option and adds features such as 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, foglights, front parking sensors, a powered inner tailgate, upgraded taillights, a power-sliding front sunroof, tri-zone climate control, wood interior trim, additional interior storage features, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions, compatibility with the InControl remote smartphone app, a 10-inch touchscreen, the InControl Pro infotainment system with navigation, USB ports for the second-row seats and an upgraded Meridian audio system with satellite and HD radio.

Going with the HSE Lux gets you an air suspension, a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing, power-folding third-row seats, configurable ambient interior lighting, premium leather upholstery, additional leather trim, upgraded power front seats, heated front and second-row seats, power-sliding and -reclining second-row seats, a heated steering wheel and a 14-speaker Meridian premium surround-sound system.

Many features on higher-trimmed Discovery models are available on supporting trims at additional cost. Other options for HSE and HSE Lux models include the Vision Assist package (adaptive headlights, LED running lights, automatic high beams, a surround-view camera system and auto-dimming exterior mirrors); the Drive package (blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a drowsy driver warning system, a speed limiter and a traffic sign reader); and the Drive Pro package (includes the Drive package plus adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and lane departure intervention).

Pretty much all of the above comes standard on the First Edition.

Other Discovery add-ons include 21- or 22-inch wheels, roof rails, a heated windshield, an automated parallel/perpendicular parking system, a trailer hitch with electrical connections, an advanced towing system with reverse trailer steering, a head-up display, a waterproof activity key bracelet, massaging front seats and a cooler box in the front center console.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Lux SUV (supercharged 3.0L V6 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling3.5 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Driving position4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.5 / 5.0
Cargo space4.5 / 5.0

Technology

3.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.5 / 5.0
Smartphone integration4.0 / 5.0
Driver aids3.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
It's quite an achievement to have a vehicle that is as good on pavement as it is over punishing terrain. Whether you intend to use it for the daily commute or scaling a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, the Discovery does either without compromise.

acceleration

edmunds rating
Land Rover claims a zero-to-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds, which is average for the class. Our experience backs this up as the Discovery got up to highway speeds with ease. The diesel is slower and doesn't respond as quickly to your gas pedal inputs.

braking

edmunds rating
Brake pedal feel is appropriate for this class of vehicle. In everyday driving, there's nothing noteworthy, and that's a good thing. For emergency braking, there's a fair amount of nosedive, but the Disco tracks straight.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering effort and precision are good for a vehicle this big. On the highway, very little input is needed from the driver to keep it cruising within its lane. Off-road, there's a noticeable lack of kickback.

handling

edmunds rating
The Discovery feels top-heavy and tippy, which may discourage more aggressive cornering. When called upon, however, the vehicle is well mannered for a tall, off-road-capable SUV.

drivability

edmunds rating
You can drive the Discovery just as you would any other SUV, despite its off-road orientation. The turning circle is a bit wide, which means more multiple-point turns than you'd have to make in the typical crossover.

comfort

edmunds rating
One of our few gripes with the Discovery is that the seat padding is overly firm. Otherwise, it does luxury right, and there is very little to sacrifice in exchange for its off-road ability.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The front seats have unusually thick side bolsters. They keep you well anchored but could be intrusive for bigger passengers. The seat padding is on the firm side, and we experienced some fatigue after a few hours.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Even though the Discovery rides fairly high, jostling is kept to a minimum when driving over uneven surfaces. It transmits more road imperfections into the cabin compared to typical crossover SUVs, but we doubt most passengers will be able to tell the difference. It's a comfortable-riding SUV.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Road noise is present but never intrusive. Wind noise is almost absent, even at highway speeds. Even in the driving rain, the cabin remains luxuriously silent, allowing for quiet conversations and letting the premium audio system shine.

climate control

edmunds rating
The automatic climate control works well enough that you only have to set it once and then forget it. For normal operation, it's also pleasantly quiet.

interior

edmunds rating
Land Rover touts the Discovery's interior as a split-level design with premium materials up top and durability below. It's a smart move considering it's a luxury SUV with unusual all-terrain skills. It's not as refined or pretty as some rivals, but we don't think it should be.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The primary controls are well placed and readable. In no time, operation is second nature without even having to glance at them. The off-road controls are less intuitive since they use pictograms instead of labels.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
With the air suspension, the ride height drops by 1.6 inches when parked to allow for easier entry and exit. In this mode, it's as easy to access as any midsize SUV. Access to the third row is hampered by a narrow passage and slow-powered second-row movement.

driving position

edmunds rating
The HSE Lux trim's 16-way power adjustments ensure a comfortable driving position for a variety of body types. You're a bit more upright than you'd be in some other car-based SUVs, but it's appropriate for a vehicle like this.

roominess

edmunds rating
There's an abundance of space in the first two rows, enhanced by the airy feeling from the tall windows, stadium seating and huge panoramic sunroofs. The third-row seats have enough headroom for taller adults, but the low-mounted cushions ultimately make them better for smaller passengers.

visibility

edmunds rating
Thanks to the elevated ride height and tall windows, outward front and side visibility is better than the average SUV's. The rearward view is still somewhat obscured by the thick roof pillars, but the standard rearview camera and available surround-view camera system help out considerably.

quality

edmunds rating
In HSE Lux trim, the interior has premium leather upholstery. There's a good balance of refinement and sturdiness in every surface and control. Some other luxury SUVs have nicer cabins, but the Discovery's materials are appropriate for its capabilities.

utility

edmunds rating
There's no shortage of space or storage with the Discovery, and utility is further enhanced with smart tech and clever design.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
There are more than enough pockets, trays and bins for your personal items. The dual gloveboxes are an added bonus, and HSE trim and above get a small bin hidden behind the climate controls.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Cargo space behind the third row is restrictive, but generous if stowed. The maximum volume is one of the biggest in the class and the powered Intelligent Seat Fold system makes passenger-to-cargo changes easy. The power inner tailgate and flat floor make loading effortless.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Child-seat anchors are easily accessed behind well-labeled flaps in the outboard second-row seats. The amount of fore/aft travel should accommodate rear-facing infant seats.

technology

edmunds rating
The Discovery gets high marks for tech as it relates to all-terrain systems and remote smartphone control, but it still lags a bit behind other luxury SUVs when it comes to infotainment.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
Land Rover's InControl infotainment system doesn't benefit from a knob controller, opting instead for a touchscreen that requires more attention to operate. Menus are conveniently split into four groups and become intuitive after some time.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Besides the usual Bluetooth connections, the Discovery capitalizes on smartphone integration with remote control and monitoring over numerous systems. Most notably, the Intelligent Seat Fold system allows you to configure the cargo from afar.

driver aids

edmunds rating
Most of the advanced safety features are effective without being overly sensitive. The lane keeping assist is the exception as it seems to fight you rather than gently nudge you in line.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.