2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury: Off-Road Icon Gets a Makeover [Review]

Land Rover Discovery HSE Lux LSD
[photo: Arv Voss]
The latest iteration of the Land Rover Discovery (2017) represents the launch of the model’s fifth generation and displays a smoother, more futuristic design form. It moves away from the earlier boxy design forms of the old LR3 and LR4 images to a combination of new styling cues that some admirers may even consider sexy.


Engineered and manufactured in the UK, the new Land Rover Discovery models have been designed from the inside out with added versatility and usable interior space for up to seven adult passengers. The new Disco lineup incorporates the latest in technology and convenience features and is based on an advanced all-aluminum platform architecture.

The Land Rover Discovery will be available in two seating configurations – 5-passenger, and 7-passenger, and power will come from either a diesel or gasoline engine.

Even though the all-new Discovery looks very different, it is still instantly recognizable as a Land Rover Discovery. The distinctive stepped roofline, which has identified each of the four previous generations of Discovery is still in evidence, providing an elegant solution to a practical interior occupant spacing need.

Its streamlined design makes the Discovery the most aerodynamic yet, with a drag coefficient from 0.35 contributing to improved efficiency and NVH reductions.

Breaking from the last four generations of Discovery styling, the all-new model features a new one-piece tailgate that allows for a more athletic rear design that would not have been possible with the previous split arrangement. The rounded profile of the new tailgate’s integrates seamlessly with the body sides, providing a number of practical benefits. The larger opening makes for easier loading and unloading than before, and the larger tailgate provides enhanced shelter from the elements when raised. The rear spoiler – perfected in the wind tunnel – which has been integrated into the tailgate, plays a significant role in minimizing dirt accumulation on the rear glass, for better rear visibility without impacting aerodynamic performance.

There are three standard trim ranges: SE; HSE and HSE Luxury. My test 2017 Land Rover Discovery was in HSE Luxury trim with the gasoline engine. The base sticker price was set at $63,950., while the final tally came to $82,300. After factoring in the options, which included: the Drive Pro Package; Dynamic Package; Capability Plus Package; 16-way Memory seats with Windsor leather; Vision Assist Package; full size spare wheel; Ebony Headliner; Load space partition net; Rover Tow Package; 21-inch 5-split-spoke alloy wheels; 360-degree Parking Aid; Front center console cooler compartment; Head-Up Display; Roof Rack; Load space cover; Autonomous Emergency Braking; Activity Key; Black Contrast Roof; Activity Key; Park Assist; Rear-Seat Entertainment; Silver metallic exterior paint; and Inland Transportation.


Connectivity and infotainment are paramount in this newest Land Rover Discovery. The central infotainment and climate control panels are highly refined, intersected by a strong vertical pillar that’s both clean and user friendly. In the rear, The interaction of design and engineering is showcased by the new optional Land Rover Intelligent Seat Fold function, which allows the powered re configuration of the second and third row seats, utilizing switches just inside the tailgate, on the C-pillar, via the infotainment touchscreen, or even remotely using a smartphone.

The traditional stepped roof is synonymous with previous generations of Discovery, allowing for increased headroom in the third row seats, while a choice of panoramic roof options is designed to establish a feeling of spaciousness and light inside. The fixed panoramic design in the rear includes two separate sections – the largest glass area ever for a Land Rover roof – while forward there’s an opening section that accommodates both tilt-and-slide functions. Twin independently electrically controlled sunblinds provide shade and privacy when desired for both front and rear occupants.

While the tailgate design has changed to a one-piece opening, the asymmetric mounting of the license plate in it is a visual link to Discovery models of the past. Once the one-piece tailgate has opened, an innovative new optional 11-inch Powered Inner Tailgate delivers the enhanced versatility Land Rover is noted for. When so equipped, this design solution includes an additional fold-down panel inside the rear load space that fits snugly against the tailgate when shut. It can be used to retain luggage when the tailgate is opened, or folded down to provide event seating and easy access to the large rear load area.

The available Land Rover InControl Touch Pro infotainment system provides greater connectivity than ever before including access to a range of apps through its updated 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen display. , InControl® Touch Pro also manages the satellite navigation, heating and vehicle controls along with all other entertainment functions.

For advanced connectivity, InControl® Touch Pro Services includes InControl WiFi™ connectivity for up to eight devices. InControl Apps also allows owners to use selected apps from their smartphone on the 10.2-inch touchscreen. Bluetooth is standard throughout the range. In addition, InControl Touch Pro also provides updated satellite navigation functions, including door-to-door routing.


In the US, the all-new Discovery is available with a powerful 3.0-liter, 254 horsepower turbocharged V-6 diesel engine, which is badged Td6, and is shared with both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The single-turbo engine features low-pressure exhaust recirculation, a two-stage oil pump and revised fuel-injector nozzle for improved responses, refinement and efficient operation. The 254 horse engine provides healthier performance than before and traveling 0-60 mph takes only 7.7 seconds The diesel’s torque rating is a significant 443 lb. ft. available from just 1,750 rpm, the new Td6 diesel delivers relaxed cruising characteristics and stellar capability over a variety of terrains.

The alternate gasoline engine is a 3.0-liter Si6 Supercharged V6 engine with auto stop/start that delivers 340 horsepower at 6,500 rpm while developing 332 pound feet of torque in a range from 3,500 to 5,000 rpm. The gas engine’s 0-60 mph time is 6.9 seconds.

Both engine variants are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which has been engineered by the powertrain experts at Land Rover to combine smooth shifts with sharp responses and optimized fuel efficiency.

All Discovery models deliver enhanced capability both on and off-road, and there is also available advanced towing technology.

For the ultimate in all-terrain capability the fifth generation Discovery is available with a two-speed transfer box, providing selectable high and low range gears for optimum on-road and off-road performance. The intelligent system provides a standard 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels, but uses a range of sensors to distribute torque between the wheels depending upon the conditions.

Thanks to LR’s air suspension and sophisticated 4WD system, these tires can take the Disco over the gnarliest terrain. [photo: Arv Voss]
For those who don’t want or need low range, there’s a Torsen differential and single-speed transfer box. The innovative All-Terrain Progress Control technology is optionally available and allows the driver to set a crawl speed ranging from 1.2mph (2km/h ) up to 19mph (30km/h) allowing the driver to use the cruise control functions to adjust the speed when the system is in operation, and an icon in the instrument cluster shows the existing setting and mode.

Terrain Response and four-corner air suspension are both invaluable features for off-roading, and piloting the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury on-road is akin to driving a luxury sport sedan, with instant acceleration response, on center steering feel and confidence-building stability. The ride quality is just firm enough without entering the intrusive range.

TFLCAR’s TAKE: This latest Discovery has essentially moved into territory formerly occupied by its larger sibling Range Rover models, in a size that may be more appealing to many potential consumers. There are tons of other features on this impressive SUV, but not enough space to cover them all. It is not inexpensive, but it certainly seems worth its salt.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury

  • Base Price: $63,950, price as Tested: $82,300
  • Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter Si6 Supercharged V6 with auto stop/start
  • Horsepower (bhp): 340 @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque (ft./ lbs.): 332 @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
  • Transmission: ZF (8HP45) 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters
  • Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Permanent four wheel drive with standard locking center differential and Terrain Response® – optional locking rear differential.
  • Suspension: Electronic Air Suspension
  • Front Suspension- SLA suspension with twin lower links, air or coil springs, passive dampers and passive ARB
  • Rear Suspension – Integral link suspension with air or coil springs, passive dampers and passive ARB
  • Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, HDC, ETC, HAS, DSC and RSC
  • Tires: Pirelli Scorpion 275/45 R21 A/S mounted on alloy wheels
  • Wheelbase: 115.08 inches with Air suspension / 115.04 with coil suspension
  • Length Overall: 195.67 inches
  • Width: 87.40 inches-with mirrors
  • Height: 73.46 inches
  • Approach Angle: 29.5 degrees
  • Ramp Breakover Angle: 25.5 degrees
  • Departure Angle: 28.0 degrees
  • Ground Clearance (axle):11.18 inches – front/rear
  • Wading Depth: 35.4 inches
  • Curb Weight: 4,751 lbs.
  • Turning Circle: 40.4 ft.
  • Fuel Capacity: 23.5 gallons
  • EPA Mileage Estimates: 16 mpg city / 21 mpg highway
  • 0 – 60 mph: 6.9 seconds / Top speed=133 mph