Is the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Just a Glorified Mall Cruiser? [Video]

The Land Rover Discovery should have the brand's legendary off-road DNA, but has Land Rover spoiled its identity?

Land Rover has long held a reputation for off-road prowess.

The Discovery, in particular, has sat in the lineup as one a lower budget alternative to the Range Rover. However, its first generations were based on its chassis and drivetrain, so it still had baked in off-road ability. Our TFL rescue rig demonstrates that ability as it crests Gold Mine Hill without even breaking a sweat. But then you’d expect that, with a body-on-frame construction, locking differentials and 4.6-liter Rover V8 engine. That 14-year-old machine has a bit of grunt, as it shares its engine with the P38 Range Rover.

2018 Land Rover Discovery vs 2004 Land Rover Discovery
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery has certainly moved on in the technology department in the past 15 years. [Photo: TFLcar]

Technology overload?

But what about the 2018 Land Rover Discovery? After two generations with an alphanumeric designation in the US market (LR3 and LR4), Land Rover decided to bring back the Discovery name on this new model. They’ve also given it a torquey diesel engine, in the form of a 3.0-liter unit with 443 lb-ft of torque. The modern Land Rover Discovery also has the company’s latest version of Terrain Response. Its a wholly electronic system, where the driver can engage different driving modes with a simple dial. Then, its computers work out the best throttle, suspension, differential and transmission settings for any given surface.

Apart from that, it also has air suspension that lifts the 2018 Land Rover Discovery up to 11.1 inches of obstacle-hurdling ground clearance. Not bad, but what are the cons of leaving your off-roading experience in the hands of so much computer-controlled equipment? “Reliability” is a word some throw around, and that’s a valid concern. However, all that equipment does mean this Land Rover costs over $80,000. Do you really want to take something that expensive – with 20-inch wheels no less – off road?

In the video above, Nathan and Mike go over much of the technology in the 2018 Land Rover Discovery. With power folding seats throughout the car, supple leather, touchscreen displays, digital instruments, and computer-controlled suspension and terrain management, is the Land Rover Discovery just a glorified mall crawler? Or can it actually handle the rough stuff? Check out the video above to see their arguments. Then, check out the video below to see just what how the 2018 Land Rover Discovery handles itself off-road!

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