Added 4th November, 2016
By Jonathan Crouch
The world takes on a different appearance from behind the wheel of a Land Rover Discovery. At the helm, you know you're in a car that can take on just about anything, be that a seven-up trip to the Alps or a relaxing ride home on a wet and slippery winter's night. But it's only when you put it through its paces in properly extreme terrain that the genius in its design becomes fully apparent. How can a car capable of such extremes on the rough stuff be so utterly easy to use on the school run? Only Land Rover knows.
Of course, German branded SUV rivals are sportier, but then the Solihull brand has the Range Rover Sport to take them on - for those who can afford it. Those who can't and want to buy British need a Discovery that can stay in the same dynamic ballpark as an M-Class, a Q7 or an X5 at the same time as continuing to obliterate cars of this kind off road. A Discovery that isn't vastly more expensive to run. And one that can feature all the high-tech gadgetry the Germans offer. This last 2014 to 2016-era version of the Discovery 4 was very much that car.
There's a clever, classless feel about it that nothing else from this period can quite replicate. Other rival SUVs claim to be tough but at the wheel, you're always a little hesitant to see them prove that. A Discovery's different, with a sheer depth of capability that's constantly tempting you into finding reasons to test it - to enjoy what it can do. Potholed tracks no longer need to tackled at a snail's pace, the softest roadside verges become viable turning opportunities and any muddy bank cries out to be driven down and up again, just for the heck of it. In contrast, some other sportier large SUVs can feel, well, rather silly. But then, this is a different way to go in this segment. A uniquely capable car of its kind and a British success story that we should be proud of.