Land Rover Discovery
By Bill McCarthy
THIRTY years of producing a model is something of a landmark, so it should come as no surprise that Land Rover’s special edition Discovery is called, you’ve guessed it, the Landmark.
The vehicle has notched up 300 awards since its 1989 introduction and goes from strength to strength.
It’s reputation and capability is legendary, whether posing at the school gates, towing the horsebox to the gymkhana or navigating fast flowing rivers and mud tracks in the the Amazon.
And it looks like a landmark, a huge premium vehicle with a commanding road presence.
It does look good, based on the SE model but with the addition of Dynamic Exterior Pack which includes unique Landmark badging, bumper design, and black mesh grille and vents plus black nameplate lettering on the bonnet and tailgate.
There are also two fixed, front and rear panoramic roofs, with sliding cover, front fog lights privacy glass and 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels and an upgraded sound system.
Key features include a seven-seat setup, where the rearmost pair fold into the boot floor, clever storage options and its even pet friendly with with special provision to make your canine pal comfortable.
At the touch of a button the rear suspension can be lowered to allow the dog to jump on board via the powered interior tailgate and settle into a prepared comfortable area.
A visual road presence, but still first among equals in terms of off-road capability as all-wheel drive technology advances at a pace. It also costs a wedge to buy, with this model a cool £57,350 price tag, although with a PCP deal it can be available for around £499 per month.
It has proven over the years that it can almost go anywhere and technology includes All Terrain Progress Control, which enables drivers to set and maintain a steady speed in tricky conditions. It is available alongside Terrain Response 2, offering a number of driving modes and class-leading wading depth of 900mm. Add to this a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes and you have a top notch off roader.
JLR is on the road to electrification, but in the meantime, that has taken a back seat for this model with a choice of two two-litre diesel engine set-ups available in 240bhp SD4 and 306bhp SD6 power units.
The 240bhp ingenium unit in this case offers plenty of pulling power and better economy than the higher spec engine, but loses out with performance. Having said that, it pulls the two tonne-plus beast to 60mph in an impressive 8.3 seconds via a slick eight speed gearbox, with a top speed of 121mph.
On the road, the car is a pleasant place to be with the refined engine, barely audible and extensive soundproofing cutting out exterior noise from road and wind. It is expecially relaxed when cruising on the motorway.
The inside is packed with premium kit, high quality soft touch finish, leather seats, heated this and electrically operated that, plus acres of room.
This version offers a choice of Ebony or Acorn grained leather with satin brushed centre console and unique aluminium mesh finisher, plus the 380W Meridian Sound System. This is operated via the state-of-the-art 10 inch Touchscreen (InControl Touch Pro) which incorporates navigation, TV, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and connnectivity via Wi-Fi Hotspot, various apps and smart phone connectivity.
Large glass areas allow plenty of light into the cabin as does the double panoramic roof while head and leg room is plentfiful for all, as you would expect in a vehicle this size.
Boot space with the rearmost seats stowed away is impressive and neat touches are the powered interior and exterior tailgate for ease of loading.Stowage space ranges from 258 litres to a maximum of 2,406.
In vehicle name and model terms, the Discovery name is now in vintage territory, but in desirablity terms, remains as fresh as ever, if you can afford it.
Land Rover Discovery SD4 Landmark 240ps
Mechanical: 240bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 121mph
0-62mph: 8.3. seconds
Combined mpg: 30-33
Insurance group: 18
CO2 emissions: 197g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles