2017 Land Rover Discovery: Monthly Update for July 2018
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Land Rover Discovery has proven to be quite popular, but you wouldn't know it by examining July's weak-sauce accumulation of just 946 miles in isolation. The bigger picture is much brighter. Our trusty Disco has amassed a healthy 18,500 miles in the 9.5 months we've had it. July notwithstanding, it stands an excellent chance of clearing our target of 20,000 miles in 12 months at least a month ahead of schedule.
Curiously, summer travel may have got in the way. Numerous business trips and a few vacations put staffers on airplanes instead of in test vehicles, and that led to the Land Rover sitting idle for more than a week. Also, everyone has driven it a time or two by now, so it's not getting snapped up as quickly as it once did. Much of the mileage it acquired came courtesy of Brent Romans, an editor who works remotely more than 200 miles away from the mothership.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Brent's there-and-back commute is mostly highway driving, but he mixes in numerous in-town miles while running errands and taking the kids to school. Standard family stuff. His overall driving mix is usually a pretty good approximation of EPA combined. This time, however, he took the family on a July Fourth road trip to see relatives, which led to a much greater percentage of highway miles than usual.
Some of his time in the Discovery bridged over into June, but the July fill-ups amounted to 18.5 mpg over 658 miles. In normal circumstances, we'd say this compares favorably to the Discovery's 18-mpg EPA combined rating, but the extra highway miles made us hope we'd see something closer to its 21-mpg EPA highway rating.
Other staffers drove it closer to home, with a higher percentage of city miles. July's final tank of 288 miles came in at 16.4 mpg. Taken together, July's 946 miles of driving averaged 17.8 mpg, which is a bit better than the Discovery's overall lifetime average to date. That average stood at 17.1 mpg when the month began, but July's meager mileage didn't exert enough upward influence to move the needle. The month ended at the same 17.1 mpg at which it started. The EPA combined rating of 18 mpg is not that far away, but it's hard to imagine getting there in the time we have left.
Average lifetime mpg: 17.1
EPA mpg rating: 18 combined (16 city/21 highway)
Best fill mpg: 21.3
Best range: 449.9 miles
Current odometer: 18,487 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
Nothing this month.
"I wouldn't mind having a bit more power in our Discovery. Acceleration is merely adequate in most situations. This is reflected in our 0-60 mph acceleration test, which took the Disco 7.1 seconds. We've gotten better numbers from other three-row luxury SUVs such as the Acura MDX (6.8 seconds) and the Audi Q7 (5.9)." — Brent Romans, senior automotive editor
"I'm still sensing a harmonic drone at highway speeds. That's too bad. It's annoying. Along with the somewhat clompy ride of the big wheels, I just don't find our Discovery to be all that relaxing on long drives." — Brent Romans
"I've found the Disco's center console bin to be useful for holding my wallet and keys. The divided upper tray is just the right size. You could probably put a phone here instead. For more space, lift up the tray to store items underneath. I usually keep my phone in one of the cupholders, though. When you close the bin's armrest lid, there's still a small gap underneath that allows you to thread USB cords through without smashing them." — Brent Romans
"No issues with loading luggage for my Fourth of July family road trip. It was a modest amount of stuff, so the Discovery handled it easily. The more I use the power tailgate cargo-keeper feature, the more I like it." — Brent Romans
"I like how Land Rover added this extra tailgate inside the cargo area. It's a nod to previous Discovery models that had a split tailgate since a lot of owners used the lower part as a bench. I also like how if you're parked uphill, your stuff won't come rolling out. I do wish there was an option/setting you could specify that would have the lower section deploy with the opening of the tailgate. When I had my hands full of big bulky items, I had to put them down, push the button on the inside, then slide the cargo in." — Mark Takahashi
Technology & Audio
"One of the biggest drawbacks for the Discovery is the infotainment system. The glitches persist, with numerous issues. I've given up on using a wired USB connection to my iPhone. It simply stops working most times. Instead, I just use the streaming Bluetooth source. For longer trips, that's a problem because I can't use the USB ports to charge the phone because the system will then default to USB as the media source.
"I also can't use the on-screen menus to select a track or playlist. At least Siri works pretty well for that. Then there is the response. It takes a few seconds for the system to process a touchscreen input. The entire system is also slow to start up. The rearview camera takes forever to boot up and by the time it does, I've probably already backed out of my parking spot." — Mark Takahashi
"One of the reasons people are drawn to SUVs is because they have a higher stance and give a more commanding view of the road. If that's you, you'll like the Discovery. This is a proper SUV, not a hatchback that a marketing team is trying to convince you about otherwise." — Brent Romans