2017 Land Rover Discovery: Monthly Update for January 2018
by Rex Tokeshi-Torres, Vehicle Testing Technician
Where Did We Drive It?
Normal is the new normal. After lengthy road trip adventures in its first couple of months, our 2017 Land Rover Discovery settled into regular commuting duties in January. Not that normal is a bad thing. Now we get to see how it handles the cyclic, everyday routine of our editorial team.
The second or third month of ownership is typically when a new car's glitz and glamour starts to wear off and owners start nitpicking things. We're no different, and we began to notice little annoyances and quirks with our Discovery last month. A gremlin also reared its ugly head. Was it just a minor glitch? We intended to find out.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The holidays are over and day-to-day normality has resumed, but we managed to log more than 1,300 miles in January. Most of those miles can be attributed to long commutes, and we averaged 15.3 mpg for the month. This didn't surprise us since city commuting often nets the worst mpg results. But because of this, our average lifetime mpg continues to drop. In December, it was 17.3 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 16.9
EPA mpg rating: 18 combined (16 city/21 highway)
Best fill mpg: 21.3
Best range: 449.9 miles
Current odometer: 9,011 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The stereo volume on our Land Rover Discovery is far too adjustable for any reasonable human being. The lowest volume is, as you'd assume, zero. The highest volume setting, however, is 60. Yes, 60. From complete silence to maximum volume takes more than 20 full rotations of the Disco's tiny volume knob. In other words, it takes forever. My first thought was using the workaround of the volume controls on the steering wheel, but those take just as long. Simplifying this to a 10- or 20-adjustment system would make so much more sense." — Travis Langness, staff writer
"During a five-day stretch in the Discovery, the rearview camera failed at least three times. Mid-backup maneuver, the screen just quit. No camera, no outline text, nothing. Twice it cut out for a few seconds while I waited, then it came back. A third time, it cut out completely and wouldn't reappear until I shifted from Reverse to Drive then back to Reverse again. Apparently, I'm not the only person on the team who has experienced this, so we've put it on the list and we'll have the dealer take a look when we bring it in for service." — Travis Langness
"Fifty percent of the time when I use the automatic-folding rear seats in the Disco, they don't work. I press or pull a button, and nothing happens. This has occurred while the vehicle is running, while it's in accessory mode, and while everything is off. The other 50 percent of the time, I forget which direction is up or down when pressing the buttons. I'd prefer manual seats, thanks."
— Travis Langness
"Our Discovery's special laminated windshield layer (or 'solar attenuating glass windshield' or 'infrared reflective windshield,' as listed on the vehicle sticker) caused interference with my Metro ExpressLanes FasTrak transponder. I noticed that I didn't hear the beep when driving underneath the sensors, so I experimented by first moving the transponder around the cabin to see if it would make a difference at another location. It didn't. My final test was to open the sunroof and hold the transponder out — and it worked!
"This led me to further my investigation into Land Rover's owner info online and I found this handy tidbit: 'Electronic devices, such as toll road payment tags or Radio Frequency (RF) ID tags, can be attached at the indicated locations. The locations are on the inside of the windshield. If the tags are located at any other part of a solar attenuating windshield, the electronic scanners may not recognize them.'
"It shows you the optimal location for affixing devices but it's a small area. Here's the link.
I did a little more digging and found that it will cause issues with other devices as well." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"With all this windshield talk, I wondered how much it would cost to replace it. So I called our local Land Rover service department. The windshield alone costs $1,199.55. That doesn't include tax or cost of installation. Good to know. And knowing is half the battle (cue the G.I. Joe theme song)." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"Man, I thought it was bad when our CR-V's door was stymied by ordinary, everyday grass. But it's even more egregious when it's a Disco, which is presumably burlier and more off-road-y. There's a reason why Land Rover designed the door this way. It allows for a shorter step-in distance and keeps the sill clean so you don't soil your pants/dress.
"That's great, but I still want to be able to load a passenger when it's parked next to a curb." — Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer