2018 Land Rover Discovery Review
2018 Land Rover Discovery Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Travis Langness has worked in the automotive industry since 2011. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career.
- Smooth driving manners on the road
- Above-average capabilities off-road
- Interior is luxurious with excellent materials
- Clever features in terms of utility and technology
- Touchscreen interface can be slow and difficult to operate
- Diesel engine option has little advantage over standard gas engine
For 2018, the Land Rover Discovery comes standard with frontal collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking. Additionally, the Td6 diesel engine is now available on all three trim levels. On the inside, the base SE trim level gets some upgraded equipment, including a 10-inch touchscreen, and a new, larger head-up display has been added to the HSE and HSE Luxury models.
Reintroduced last year as a redesigned and renamed LR4, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery has an appealing combination of luxury and off-road capability. Few vehicles on the road can match this specific blend, and even fewer do it as well as the Discovery does. It surrounds passengers in a premium cabin, turns other motorists' heads with its sleek styling, and makes molehills out of mountains thanks to its capable four-wheel-drive system.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Land Rover Discovery SE 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$269/mo for Discovery SE
Avg. Large SUV
For a vehicle that is as large as the Discovery, it steers and handles remarkably well, has prodigious thrust, and boasts very respectable maximum tow ratings north of 8,000 pounds. It's quiet and comfortable, and it has a commanding presence on the road yet is nimble enough to navigate busy city streets.
It isn't one attribute or virtue that makes the 2018 Land Rover Discovery stand out from the crowd — rather it's a combination of all its likable features wrapped up in one attractive and modern package.
What's it like to live with?
To learn more about the Land Rover Discovery of this generation, read about our experiences from a full year of living with a 2017 Land Rover Discovery First Edition. We cover everything from seat comfort to real-world fuel economy. Not surprisingly, we were fans of the Disco's off-road abilities, but the infotainment system was a constant source of frustration.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.6 / 10
Redesigned just a year ago, the Land Rover Discovery is showing no signs of slowing down. The 2018 model gets additional upgrades, including forward collision mitigation on all models, expanded availability of the Td6 diesel engine, and a series of tech upgrades for the HSE and HSE Luxury trim levels.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury (supercharged 3.0L V6 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD).
|Overall||7.6 / 10|
The Discovery is composed and pleasant to drive. The V6 engine makes a respectable amount of power, but the economy-minded calibration in D mode dulls the edge unless you use S mode. Off-road clearance and articulation aren't nearly as good as in the outgoing LR4, but it still acquits itself well.
The supercharged 3.0-liter engine delivers sufficient oomph for merging, passing or climbing hills, but those in a hurry should use S mode instead of D because it sharpens pedal response. In either mode, acceleration to 60 mph takes 7.1 seconds, a mediocre result for a luxury SUV.
Around town, the pedal feels reassuringly firm and linear. But the Discovery's 5,500-pound bulk starts to show in emergency brake use; our simulated-panic stop from 60 mph took 126 feet. That's a bit longer than average, but the Disco did remain utterly stable and composed.
The steering has a precise feel, and the amount of returnability — how quickly it comes back to center if you let go after turning — is amazing. Its positive sense of straight ahead makes it effortless on the open road, even in the face of crosswinds or severely canted roads.
The Disco doesn't lean nearly as much as you'd expect when driving around turns. It changes direction willingly, and it remains composed through long corners. It's a really nice vehicle to drive up winding mountain roads on the way to the cabin or the ski lodge.
The smooth-shifting transmission feels generally willing and able. But the gas pedal spring feels powerful; you can't necessarily squeeze gently on the pedal and roll onto the gas, you've got to be a bit more deliberate. Rotate the shifter from D to S mode, and everything gets much more responsive.
It's better than expected off-road because, even in Auto mode with one wheel off the ground, the traction control system keeps the Discovery going forward without unnecessary wheelspin. But articulation and clearance are worse than in the previous LR4, and its lower door edges are ultra-low.
It'd be easy to spend a full day on an extended road trip in the Discovery, and that's just what we did. The seats are supportive, the ride is comfortable on a variety of surfaces, the cabin is quiet, and the air conditioning easily copes with elevated summer desert temperatures.
The firm yet nicely shaped seats proved to be comfortable over long distances. Readily adjustable lumbar is a welcome touch, and the center armrests can be set to whatever angle you want. Has tri-level heated seats, and cooling is available.
The Discovery strikes a very good balance, neither too soft nor too hard, when driven in the default Auto mode. Its independent suspension makes it agreeable on washboard dirt roads, too.
Noise & vibration8.5
The cabin is pleasantly quiet, and those doors do seal tightly. The Disco's sleek shape helps keep wind noise to a minimum.
The powerful system cools the cabin effectively, and the controls are very easy to understand and use. The heated and cooled seat controls are nicely integrated into the temp setting switches, too. Middle-row passengers have easy access to controls and vents of their own. It's hard to find fault.
It's easy to get in and out of the Discovery — provided you can open the long doors far enough. Once inside, you'll find a commanding driving position with good outward visibility. Some of the controls are odd, though, and the otherwise roomy cabin can feel narrow at the elbow and shoulder.
Ease of use6.5
The Discovery is generally OK, but the rotary shifter is odd and the off-road terrain dial icons are hard to decipher. The window switches sit on the top edge of the doors. The audio system operation is 100 percent touchscreen, except for a volume knob on the passenger side.
Getting in/getting out7.0
The air suspension lets the Disco lower when parked, and overlapping doors make for a narrow sill that stays mud- and slush-free in inclement conditions. But the doors are very long, and they can be hard to open fully when you're parked in tight spaces.
The commanding seating position is highly adjustable, and the steering wheel and gauges are placed just about perfectly. The telescopic steering wheel pulls back a fair amount, but our resident tall guy wouldn't complain if it came back another half inch.
The Discovery lots of head- and legroom, but the door feels a little close at the elbow and shoulder, and the high center console lid forces your elbow close to your side. Rear legroom is OK most of the time, but a tall driver could change the experience.
It is really easy to see out, even over the hood. A rearview camera offers many angles, but the selection controls are fiddly. Biggest problem: those bulky rear headrests, especially the center one in the middle seat. It does fold but not elegantly.
This Discovery feels very well put-together inside and out. The materials are gorgeous, and the design is effective at hiding seams and joints, making it all feel carved, not assembled. We have no complaints.
The Discovery looks less boxy than the LR4, but that doesn't mean it has lost a significant degree of utility. There's ample cargo space; the available automated seat-folding system is terrific; it easily accommodates child seats; and it has the chops to be a decent tow vehicle.
It has two glove compartments, a decent-size console box that can cool drinks, big front door pockets, a cubby for a phone, and a hidden cubby where the CD player lives. The rear-seat door pockets are tiny, but each front seatback makes up for that with two pockets.
You can remotely fold the rear seats from a few different locations. The resulting load floor is flat and expansive. The rear liftover is agreeably low for a luxury SUV, too. The fold-down inside tailgate can be used to fence in loose cargo or as a place to sit and change shoes — or diapers.
Child safety seat accommodation8.5
There's excellent access to the well-marked LATCH/Isofix anchors in the middle row, and the top tether anchors are equally easy to find and use. Note: The optional headrest-mounted entertainment screens are bulky and might complicate the installation of rear-facing infant seats.
We're always a little unsure of European automaker tow ratings, but the stated 8,201-pound capacity is excellent. The Discovery's air suspension system can compensate for tongue weight, and the backup camera has multiple angles. A trailer backup assistance system is also available.
For a brand-new car, we expected better. We can understand non-standard driver aids on a luxury car, where everything seems to be optional. But the weak performance from the infotainment system — the slow boot-up cycle and the wonky touchscreen interface — is below average for the class.
Audio & navigation4.0
During our initial test of the Discovery, we had some serious issues with the boot-up of the audio system. In subsequent testing, we've found the Disco's touchscreen and boot-up to be more reliable but still slow. Audio quality is good when the system is working, but the bugs aren't gone yet.
Our test car had adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist. They were unobtrusive and didn't issue false alarms. Most of these features, however, are optional. You'd expect them to be standard on a vehicle like this.
Which Discovery does Edmunds recommend?
The Land Rover Discovery has a relatively simple lineup of three trim levels, and we recommend the midlevel HSE. It's got an impressive amount of standard equipment, plus it gives you access to most of the top Luxury model's available equipment, some of which is unavailable on the base SE.
2018 Land Rover Discovery models
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery is a midsize luxury SUV available in three trim levels: SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. A supercharged 3.0-liter V6 (340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque) is standard, and a turbocharged diesel V6 (254 hp and 443 lb-ft) is optional. Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
The base SE trim 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 liftgate, power-folding mirrors, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, a fixed 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 a rearview camera, forward collision mitigation with emergency braking, a 10-inch touchscreen (Land Rover's InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with navigation), compatibility with the InControl remote smartphone app, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 10-speaker audio system with USB input.
The HSE trim adds features such as 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, 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, a digital driver display, USB ports for the second-row seats, and an upgraded Meridian audio system with satellite and HD radio.
Going with the HSE Luxury gets you the third row of seats, which increases capacity to seven. It also includes 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 with winged headrests, 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, which adds adaptive headlights, LED running lights, automatic high beams, a surround-view camera system and auto-dimming exterior mirrors. The Drive package brings 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 features from the Drive package plus adaptive cruise control, reverse traffic detection and lane departure intervention.
Other Discovery add-ons include 21- or 22-inch wheels, roof rails, a heated windshield, an automated 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, four-zone climate control, massaging front seats, and a cooler box in the front center console.
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
2 out of 5 stars
Get used to driving a loaner
Johnny Walker, 03/05/2019
2018 Land Rover Discovery HSE Td6 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
We've owned Land Rover products for nearly 20 years, and 5 years ago we left for Toyota (we purchased a 4runner and a Lexus SUV) because the frustrations of owning a Land Rover were interrupting our life (the service manager and Land Rover and I used to joke, that I should park the cars at the dealership, because they spent more time in the shop than in my garage). After, NEVER having … any issues with Toyota or Lexus for 4-years, we made the decision to go back to Land Rover and give the company the benefit of the doubt and purchased a 2018 Discovery (new from dealer) and 2018 Range Rover Sport (new from dealer) and both in cash. So, after racking up 7,000 miles and 5 months, the Discovery has been in the shop 18 days, major brake issues (sticking), software issues, and AEB issues. The Range Rover Sport is having the brake issues and software issues and has enjoyed about 8 days in the shop. We have serious mixed emotions, the Land Rover products are awesome in the snow, off-road and as daily haulers. But, once again I am sitting on two vehicles that have lost a significant amount of their value and I'm back and forth to the service facility. The Dealership has been super responsive and helpful while the work on a DFT (Dealer Facilitated Trade) for the Discovery (but no promises). Moral of our story will be to drive these for another 3 years, and trade them in for Ford, Toyota (Lexus) or Jeep. The moral of the story for you is simple, don't buy a Land Rover product, this is our recommendation after driving them on/off for 20-years.
1 out of 5 stars
Don't ever buy a Land Rover
Carl Morgan, 12/19/2018
2018 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
We bought a brand new 2018 car from Land Rover. Within 30 days it was in the shop for repair. Over the next 90 days it was sent back for repair 5 more times. They told us it was a factory defect, and then over the next 3 months we were given a old, used, late model Land Rover while they came up with some "options" for us. All while we continued to make monthly payments on a $92,000 car. … They finally got back to us and informed us that we could accept a lesser vehicle then we had purchased. Upon hearing this news, we simply asked to get out of the deal. They then said we would have to pay nearly $5,000 to get out of the deal. This seems insane to me so I contacted the corporate office and they told us "that's their policy". I am now paying $5000 to get out of this nightmare. From top to bottom Land Rover is a disgusting corporation, with terrible vehicles, and even worse customer service. I simply plead with anyone considering a Land Rover, that they hear my warning. DON'T BUY A LAND ROVER! Nn
1 out of 5 stars
Never Buy a Land Rover Discovery
Nikki Meyers, 08/22/2018
2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A)
Picked my Disco up last August...it was flat bedded back to the dealership within hours! It is in the dealership right now...it is the SIXTH time, and they usually have my car for 7-10 days every time. Only has 5000 miles on it and have had non-stop issues, many that you have featured on here. The infotainment system has been "update" 7 times and is STILL very much broken. Cameras, … sensors, apps, nav, bluetooth, gets stuck off then gets stuck on even when the car is turned completely off and I am out of it...you name it...it's broken. It was in for nearly 2 weeks, and within a week I had to have it picked back up. Right now they are trying to fix: Hood cable is too long and could be a "very bad situation" (their words), the infamous infotainment system disaster, no less then 3 warning lights on, windshield washer fluid spilling everywhere and always showing it empty (even though it has not ever been used), and this big one: Twice while driving down the road (not while at a light, etc..) the car randomly shuts off and goes into an idle mode! The service guy today told me that he doesn't know why no one ever called me because it could have been very unsafe and he was sure that it scared me (it did!), and that this "should"take care of it. Apparently it was something with the ECM and their was a needed update to the engine control unit that is the Powertrain for the vehicle! Hand to God that's what he said! Iv'e been trying to give this car back for months...such a ridiculous situation and company. never again. Keep in mind this is only about half of the problems I have had
1 out of 5 stars
Do not buy a Discovery.
2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Td6 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
Bought this car due to the VW buyback--we had a Touareg TDI, and wanted another diesel vehicle. The Discovery ticked all the boxes: seemingly solid build quality, diesel efficiency, great handling, and plenty of storage space. Its price was less than that of a comparably equipped BMW X5/Mercedes. We also considered a Q7, but there is no diesel option. We have put on just over 2K … miles in the month we have had it--fuel economy with 50/50 city/highway is spot on at 25.1mpg. Can't wait to take it on a road trip and see what it can do. It is a great riding vehicle, we have taken it off road a few times at our farm and it handled great--looking forward to the snow to see how it does. Again, this is the most expensive vehicle we have ever purchased, but getting our $ back from VW was a major factor in deciding to purchase it. Complaints: the rear driver's side door was not assembled very well-the arm rest is not flush, but the dealer will fix it. There was also a rattle in the exhaust shield, but that was easily fixed. Thus far, no leaks or other issues. The car is very quiet, and handles well for a vehicle of its size/weight. I would recommend this car. ****Update**** We now have nearly 9000 miles on the vehicle. Here are the highlights: the vehicle needs snow tires for winter driving in Wisconsin--the OEM tires are horrible in snow and ice. The 4WD system is great, and the winter driving mode are incredible, but the tires could be improved. -We had an issue with the DEF sensor in the extreme cold (ewe had a week of -10F)--it was remedied after several days at the dealership. -Our family appreciated the heated 2nd row seats and heated windshield, washer fluid nozzles, rear camera and headlight washers. -Great on a road trip--got 31mpg @ 73mph on the interstate. Plenty of room. -The vehicle gobbles up DEF. Have extra on hand, but don't overfill the tank, as it confuses the sensor, which could lead to an engine shutdown. -The navigation system suck-no voice commands-sadly, it is much easier to use Google maps on the iPhone. -The sound is great from the upgraded Meridian entertainment system. The interface through the Land Rover App sucks--it drops connection to the phone, causing the streaming to stop. -I wish it had apple car play. -The bluetooth phone system works great--very little background noise-very clear voice transmission. -There is a voluntary fix for the suspension. I have to schedule time to take the vehicle in for 45 min installation of a new part. Haven't done so yet. -Got the vehicle stuck in both mud and snow on our farm--but was able to get it unstuck using some the fancy 4wd settings. Pretty cool. It's a good car, that could be great with a few tech updates and better cold weather tires. ********Update August 2019******* ~29000 miles The car continues to have issues--glitches here and there, in the shop for a tailgate that was out of alignment, DEF heater/pump issues, interior panels coming loose, the back-up camera and entertainment system work intermittently. Never could get the hands free tailgate to work consistently. Additional electronic gremlins. Took forever to get a replacement windshield after it was destroyed by an errant golf ball while on the way to meet a client. Still gets great fuel economy, questionable reliability, and the dealership service staff were very inconsistent. Worried about future issues, costly maintenance, and low resale value, we traded it in for a 2019 VW Atlas. Now we don't have to worry about anything--other than crappy fuel economy.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 Land Rover Discovery, so we've included reviews for other years of the Discovery since its last redesign.
2018 Discovery Highlights
|Combined MPG||18 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$269/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||four wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the Discovery models:
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Applies the brakes to stop the vehicle if a risk of a front collision is detected and the driver does not react to warning signals.
- Lane Keep Assist
- Applies steering input to keep you in your lane if you begin to drift out of it.
- Driver Condition Monitor
- Suggests the driver take a break if steering inputs indicate fatigue.