Land Rover Discovery Review & Prices

The updated Land Rover Discovery is hugely practical, feels very posh inside and is amazing off-road, but it’s not quite as good to drive as some German alternatives

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RRP £56,785 - £78,020 Avg. Carwow saving £3,450 off RRP
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Reviewed by Darren Cassey after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Comfortable and quiet
  • Room for seven adults
  • Brilliant off-road

What's not so good

  • Styling isn't to all tastes
  • Some rivals are better on-road
  • Small boot with seven seats in place

Find out more about the Land Rover Discovery

Is the Land Rover Discovery a good car?

If you’re after a big, posh off-roader with seven seats and bucket-loads of off-road ability, you should definitely take a look at the Land Rover Discovery.

With the rugged, off-road-focused Defender and the swanky city-friendly Evoque sitting beside it, the Discovery feels a bit like a blend of the two – but not in an annoying, compromising way. It’s a bit like when Ikea collaborated with Lego – each great in their own right, combining to make something cool and practical.

An update in 2021 brought new technology, new engines and improvements to the way it drives to prove it’s a desirable thing in its own right, though.

Unlike the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE, the Land Rover Discovery doesn’t try to hide the SUV genre’s rugged 4x4 heritage. Instead, its boxy body, black plastic trims and silver skid-plates make it look sturdy and tough – albeit in a subtle, understated way. If a gravel driveway is as adventurous as your driving gets, something that’ll really turn heads on the school run is the futuristic Lexus RX, though.

Unlike the exterior, which hasn’t changed much since 2017, the Land Rover Discovery’s interior was updated in 2021 to make it much more competitive with other premium SUVs. The main difference is on the technology front, with Land Rover’s latest infotainment system being both quicker to respond and more feature-packed than the old unit.

It’s not just looks and tech that will appeal, though. The Land Rover Discovery’s roomier interior also means it’s better at carrying lots of passengers than an Audi Q7. There’s space for six-footers to stretch out in the front five seats and there’s just about enough space left over for adults in the very back – which isn’t always the case in seven-seat SUVs. You’ll have to flip the rearmost seats down if you need to carry anything larger than a weekly shop in the boot, though.

If it’s some seriously bulky luggage you’ll be carrying, you can flip all but the front seats down to open up a huge van-like load bay. When it comes to helping out with impromptu house moves, the Discovery is hard to beat.

The Land Rover Discovery is a premium family car with more go-anywhere ability than almost any other large SUV

It’s not just roomy, either, being one of the more comfortable big off-roaders out there. The suspension irons out bumps nicely around town and helps make the Discovery very quiet to travel in on motorways.

The flip-side to the Land Rover Discovery’s supple suspension is that it still doesn’t feel as agile as the Audi Q7 or BMW X5 – but don’t let that put you off. It’s easy enough to drive and doesn’t lean a great deal in tight corners so your passengers won’t have any reason to feel car sick.

There are two diesel engines to choose from, called D250 and D300. Both return about 35mpg, which is decent for an SUV of this size, but the D300 is a bit more powerful so it’s easier to get up to speed.

This is also the engine you need if you plan to do any serious off-roading – something the Land Rover Discovery excels at. It’ll cross terrain that’ll leave the German alternatives stranded without breaking a sweat, and comes with loads of tech to help make trips beyond the Tarmac feel like a walk in the park.

There’s no hybrid offered with the Discovery – the only other engine option is the P360 six-cylinder petrol. It has a strong turn of pace and makes a nice noise, but its hefty thirst for fuel means you’d be better off with one of the diesels.

It’s not just fancy off-roading that the Discovery’s good at – its raised seating position and big windows make it reasonably easy to drive in town, too. You also get a decent amount of standard safety kit to help prevent accidents.

So, if it’s a safe, stylish and sure-footed SUV you’re looking for, the Land Rover Discovery is worthy of a place on your shortlist. You can get a great price by checking out the latest Land Rover Discovery deals through carwow. There’s also an extensive stock of used Discoverys, as well as other used Land Rovers from our network of trusted dealers. And when the time comes to sell your car, carwow can help with that, too.

How much is the Land Rover Discovery?

The Land Rover Discovery has a RRP range of £56,785 to £78,020. However, with Carwow you can save on average £3,450. Prices start at £59,898 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £713. The price of a used Land Rover Discovery on Carwow starts at £22,844.

Our most popular versions of the Land Rover Discovery are:

Model version Carwow price from
3.0 D350 Dynamic SE 5dr Auto £65,408 Compare offers

Amongst its premium seven-seat SUV competition, the Land Rover Discovery is keenly priced, coming in comfortably below the Mercedes GLE and Audi Q7. In fact, the only comparable SUV that really competes on price is its own cousin, the Defender. Unlike that car, though, the Discovery doesn’t have a hairy-chested, high-performance, V8-engined model sitting at the top of the range.

The S trim level kicks off the Discovery line-up with some choice kit, such as 20-inch alloy wheels, leather seats and that much-improved infotainment system. SE models get slightly bigger wheels, some aluminium trim and a fantastic Meridian sound system.

HSE gets bigger alloys again, plus a leather steering wheel, extra adjustability in the driver’s seat and heated rear seats. The top-spec Metropolitan version adds fog lights, four-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, an extended leather upgrade and a head-up display.

Performance and drive comfort

The Land Rover Discovery is extremely comfortable, but some alternatives handle corners better

In town

Like a first class seat on a plane, Land Rover built the Discovery to be as comfortable as possible – something you’ll notice the minute you set off.

Air suspension is fitted to all models to make it nice and comfortable, although you’ll find it can fidget a little over big bumps at low speeds (especially with larger alloy wheel options fitted).

In town, the Discovery is better than many big 4x4s. Its raised suspension gives you a brilliant view out of the front and there isn’t much of a blind spot where the windscreen meets the front doors. Trying to see out the back isn’t as simple but Land Rover throws in front and rear parking sensors as well as a clever 360-degree camera system to help in tight spots.

On the motorway

Another benefit of that air suspension is that the Discovery simply wafts along at higher speeds with none of the roughness you’ll notice when going more slowly. Wind and road noise are kept at a minimum too, making the Discovery a peaceful car to rack up miles in.

Adaptive cruise control comes as standard across the range, further taking the strain out of long distance driving. You also get lane keep assist to stop you veering out of lane on all models.

On a twisty road

The Discovery is up to 450kg lighter than the old Discovery 4, and for a big heavy car it handles pretty well, helped by steering that doesn’t feel as vague as you might expect from a big family car that’s capable off road. For 2021, the suspension was tweaked a little to sharpen up the handling, so it doesn’t wallow about in the bends as much.

Despite that, the Land Rover still isn’t as sharp as a BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne or even an Audi Q7, but unless you’re going after lap records in your SUV it’ll be absolutely fine.

Space and practicality

Practicality is a huge plus point for the Land Rover Discovery, but you have to get the top-spec trim for an electrically folding third row

Sitting in the Discovery’s driving seat is a bit like reclining in a throne. It towers over most other cars, so you get a brilliant view of the road ahead and even basic models get 14-way adjustable seats that mean you’ll get comfortable no matter what shape and size you are.

Trade up to an SE car and you get 18-way electric adjustment, while HSE models get a massive 20 ways to electrically adjust the front seats, with heating and cooling for the front seats and heating for rear passengers.

The Discovery’s interior storage is very impressive. The front door bins can swallow a 1.5-litre bottle of water each and you get two big gloveboxes stacked on top of each other. Two cup holders sit between the front seats, but they can slide out of the way to reveal another deep cubby.

The space under the front-centre armrest is even deeper, but the best bit is the hidden cubby behind the climate controls that’s ideal for hiding your valuables. The door bins for the middle row of seats are also big, all but S models get a rear armrest with two cupholders, and you get two aeroplane-style pockets on the back of each front seat.

Space in the back seats

The middle row of seats are also pretty spacious, and they’re now more comfortable as Land Rover has changed the design. Knee and head room are good and the small hump in the boot floor, plus the car’s hefty width, means your passengers can sit three abreast without feeling too crushed.

Even the rearmost row of seats can carry adults – not often the case in a seven-seater SUV. Even with the middle seats rolled back on their runners as far as they’ll go, there’s room for an adult of under six feet to have just enough knee room, while headroom is decent even if they sit up straight. Opt for top-spec Metropolitan cars and this third-row is electrically adjustable. Fancy.

All Discovery models come with five ISOFIX points – one in the front, two in the middle row and a pair in the back. Fitting a child seat to the middle row is easy. The back doors open wide and the Discovery’s height means you don’t have to bend your back when you’re locating the base to the fixing points, which are easy to see under pull-up flaps. Once it’s located, the seat slides in easily enough on top.

Boot space

The Land Rover Discovery’s load bay is pretty practical. All models come with an electrically operated tailgate that, in HSE models, can also be opened by waving your foot under the rear bumper.

Standard across the range is a powered inner tailgate, which drops over the back bumper when you open the boot, giving you somewhere to sit when taking your wellies off. It also means there’s no load lip to lift heavy luggage over.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that the electrical Intelligent Seat Fold system is only fitted as standard to Metropolitan models. It allows you to fold individual middle and back row seats remotely using an app on your smartphone, which is a useful trick.

Even with all seven seats up, the Discovery has a 258-litre load area – roughly the size of a VW Up city car’s boot, which should be enough for a few bags of shopping. Fold down the rear row of seats and the total capacity rises to a huge 1,137 litres – plenty for a family of five’s luggage for a fortnight. Drop all the rear seats down and the total capacity rises to an almost never-ending 2,406 litres, which will be very handy if you have a house move or incurable addiction to Swedish flat-pack furniture.

For context, an Audi Q7 can pack 865 litres in five-seat mode or 2,050 litres with the middle row folded flat. It’s 630 litres and 2,055 in the Mercedes GLE, so the Land Rover’s the clear winner here.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Land Rover’s interiors are now up there with the best in the business, but the infotainment isn’t as easy to use as BMW’s

The Land Rover Discovery offers an interior that gets fairly close to the plushness found in a luxurious Range Rover, with even the lowest trims feeling well-appointed.

There are quality materials to be found throughout and some smart, modern-looking infotainment screens. There’s also a cool new 360-degree, 3D surround camera for parking and tight manoeuvres that shows you loads of different angles from outside the car.

Unlike the older version of this Discovery, which disappointingly didn’t get sat nav as standard, every model now gets Land Rover’s latest infotainment system across the board.

It’s a greatly improved piece of kit, not only because of its slick-looking 11.4-inch curved display and neat integration in the dash. It’s also much more responsive than before, with crisper graphics and the ability to receive over-the-air updates that are done without you needing to visit a dealer, so the system could be quicker or get extra features without you having to do anything.

You can also connect two smartphones at once via Bluetooth and the car has its own eSIM for various data services. The whole system is simpler to navigate than before, although BMW’s system which also offers a rotary click wheel to control things is easier to use on the move.

The standard stereo is perfectly reasonable, but the upgraded Meridian sound system is one of the best in the business. If you like your tunes this is a worthwhile option on lower trims, though it comes as standard on HSE and Metropolitan models.

MPG, emissions and tax

Although diesel is becoming increasingly unpopular, it makes up two-thirds of your options in the Discovery. This makes sense though, because they offer better low-down torque, making them ideal for off-roading and towing as well as being more economical sitting lazily at motorway speeds for long distances.

Both are mild hybrids, meaning fuel economy is a fraction better than you’ll see in older models. They return about 35mpg and CO2 emissions of about 214g/km in official tests, making the more powerful D300 more appealing despite the price premium of about £3,000.

The Discovery is a big, heavy car, and that extra performance will make it feel less sluggish when getting up to motorway speeds or accelerating out of a junction. It’s also the best version if you want to take your Land Rover on the muddy stuff.

The P360 petrol might make sense if you don’t do the miles or off-roading to make a diesel appealing, particularly if you spend most of your time around town, where its smooth and quiet nature make it more relaxing to drive. However, the diesel’s torque suits the Discovery better, and you’re unlikely to get much above 20mpg.

Whichever engine you choose, prepare for your first year of road tax to be high. Both diesels are in one of the highest tax bands, and the petrol is one higher still. On top of this, you’ll pay extra in years two to six because all Discovery models cost above £40,000.

Safety and security

Safety is a strong point – the Discovery scored five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP under 2017’s regime and all models come with automatic emergency braking and a full suite of driver assist features.

Tests have become a bit more strict since then, but the extensive driver assistance kit found on the latest models should be reassuring that the high mark still applies. Even in the standard Discovery, you get eight airbags, a 3D surround camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and Land Rover’s clever Terrain Response system, which adapts the car’s settings to the surface you’re driving on.

Reliability and problems

If reliability is important, you’ll probably want to pass on the Land Rover Discovery. The British brand doesn’t have a great reputation for things going wrong, and the Discovery regularly ranks poorly among other premium SUVs.

For example, a common issue with the diesel-engined models is the particulate filter cleaning itself more often than you would expect. This can cause contamination of the oil, requiring more regular servicing. An annoying extra expense.

Buy or lease the Land Rover Discovery at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £56,785 - £78,020 Avg. Carwow saving £3,450 off RRP
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Compare new offers Compare used deals
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