The current-generation Land Rover Discovery has been around for a little over four years now, so it’s time for a meaningful refresh. And that’s what we have here with this 2021 model: Some exterior tweaks, new powertrains (at least to this car) and new technology to bring Land Rover’s adventure lifestyle SUV into the 2020s. It may look pretty similar to the old one, but there are plenty of subtle tweaks to the formula worth mentioning.
First up is the styling. Granted, only the keen-eyed among you will spot the differences at a glance. New LED headlights realign the Disco with its siblings both higher up and lower down the product range. The 2021 Land Rover Discovery also gets refreshed front and rear bumpers. The most significant aesthetic change, however, is the addition of an R-Dynamic trim. Opting for that model adds more sporty flavor by way of gloss black accents, as well as two-tone leather, contrast stitching and special badging.
Gone are the old powertrains
One major shift in the 2021 Land Rover Discovery pertains to its engine options. Gone are the old 3.0-liter V6 gas and diesel engines. In their place, you get the Ingenium gasoline engines that are now ubiquitous across Jaguar Land Rover’s entire lineup. The entry-level powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. At the higher end, there’s Land Rover’s new 3.0-liter mild hybrid inline-six, managing 355 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque.
As before, the 2021 Land Rover Discovery maintains its excellent towing capacity for a family SUV, if you spec the more powerful engine. 8,200 pounds is still perfectly feasible, and Advanced Tow Assist is still available.
Two changes define the 2021 Land Rover Discovery once you step inside, both of which are on the center stack. Front and center is the 11.4-inch “Pivi Pro” unit — a welcome update over the company’s old infotainment system. This one promises better connectivity and over-the-air update capability. On top of that, it’s supposed to be more responsive, while retaining support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As before, you can still get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a head-up display on some models.
Land Rover also ditched the old joystick to control the 9-speed automatic, after summarily dropping the rotary dial that debuted with the current-generation discovery. Now, Land Rover says this new gear selector provides “instinctive control” over the powertrain. Once they’re on the move, drivers can work their way up and down the transmission using the metal shift paddles. Outside those changes, the 2021 Land Rover Discovery is broadly the same as before. It can still seat up to seven passengers, and rear-seat passengers in both rows can get USB ports to charge their devices.
2021 Land Rover Discovery pricing
Bearing in mind the tweaks, you would expect the 2021 Land Rover Discovery to command a higher price tag than its predecessor. And you’d be right: the 2.0-liter S model starts at $53,900. That’s $1,700 more than the old base SE. The 2.0L S R-Dynamic adds $2,500 to that price tag, kicking it up to $56,400.
If you want to get into the more potent 3.0-liter inline-six models, that’s going to pitch the price over $60,000. The S R-Dynamic comes in at $61,900. Finally, the top-spec HSE R-Dynamic costs $68,900, which is also $1,700 over the previous version. The 2021 Land Rover Discovery will hit dealers by the end of the year, though you will have to buy a 2020 or older model if you want that turbodiesel over the new mild hybrid gas engine.
Check out our last take on a Land Rover Discovery in the video below: