Land Rover Discovery review

In a nutshell, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery is rugged, capable, and much more like last year’s Discovery Sport model in terms of handling and fuel economy. Improvements have been made on several fronts, not the least of which in how the Discovery now handles itself on around town.

The Land Rover Discovery was formerly known in the US as the LR4. Whatever the reason for the change from the world-known Discovery name to the ambiguous letter-letter-number thing, Rover has realized its mistake and made a much better SUV to go with the return to its globally-recognized moniker.

Throughout the modern era, the Land Rover name has been ubiquitous with off-pavement capability and robust “gettin there” possibilities. Where the US had “Jeep”, the British empire had “Rover.” Seen continually in safari magazines, on film, and in documentary series, the Land Rover Discovery became a staple of adventure and rugged capability. Alongside the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Discovery was co-owner of offroad adventure around the world. The Wrangler, meanwhile, stayed largely within US borders where it would become the most iconized and accessorized consumer vehicle on the planet.

As time progressed, most of vehicles in the Discovery’s class began to show upgrades to their interiors to match the new expectations of sport utility buyers. Rugged capability is still expected today, but in a softer, more family-friendly (and family-toting) way. These days you’re less likely to see the roof-mounted luggage baskets, snorkels, and huge “roo bars” (deer guards) across the grille. Instead there’s three rows of comfortable seating, climate control for everybody, wireless headphones, rear seat television sets, and attention to detail like sensibly positioned smartphone sockets.