Luxury and off-roading don’t often go together, but 2020 Land Rover Discovery is the ideal vehicle to combine these two automotive types. It’s a true SUV that can go anywhere, but it can also be used to transport your family around town or to complete any errands on your weekend to-do-list. The spacious cabin can accommodate up to seven people. It also has a choice of two V-6 engines. One is a powerful diesel engine, the other is a supercharged gasoline-powered turbo-diesel engine that’s quiet but powerful. For those times when it gets tough, an optional air suspension can be added to provide additional ground clearance. If you don’t plan on carrying a full-load of passengers, cargo space is sufficient. Land Rover will sell you a roof-top cargo container that will look great on the Discovery’s ruggedly-designed body.
What’s new for 2020?
2020 Discovery includes the Landmark trim. This trim sits between the base SE model and the mid-range HSE model. The Landmark model is exclusive to the supercharged V-6 motor and beautiful 21-inch wheels. The base SE also includes blind-spot monitoring and auto-dimming, power-folding exterior mirrors that heat and memory adjust. Both Apple CarPlay (previously optional) and Android Auto are now standard features across the entire lineup. The color palette now includes Eiger Grey, Portofino Blue and Portofino Blue.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
The diesel V-6 engine unlocks the Discovery’s highest fuel economy. This adds $2000 on top of the SE, HSE and HSE Luxury base prices. The supercharged gasoline-powered V-6 has a greater towing capacity and faster acceleration. We don’t think it’s worth it. The HSE is a luxury feature we would pay for, with 20-inch wheels, front fog lamps, keyless access, front and rear fog lights, keyless entry, and a panoramic sunroof. There’s also a Meridian audio system that plays 380 watts and 12 way power-adjustable seats. The 7 Seat Package is also worth considering, as it includes an electronically controlled air suspension. It also features a pop-up third-row and a two speed transfer case with high- and low ranges.
Performance, Transmission and Engine
The Si6 emblem models are powered by a 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter engine. Td6 models have a 254-hp diesel, 3.0-liter V-6. Although neither engine is vibration-free and super-refined in performance, they are both mated to an eight-speed automatic that’s controlled by a rotary shift knob. All Discovery models include full-time all-wheel driving as standard. The gasoline-powered model took 6.3 seconds to reach 60 MPH in our testing; the diesel took 8.0 seconds. Land Rover’s mission to be an SUV that is adventure-ready caters to people who want it to do more than just park in a mall parking lot. However, this comes at the cost of driving dexterity. Although the handling of the Discovery isn’t quite as complex as that of its predecessor, it feels awkward and heavy when changing directions. You don’t forget you’re driving a large SUV with the Disco. The ride quality is excellent, especially with the optional air suspension. Even rough bumps can be dealt with easily. However, steering feel is poor, particularly on-center where there is a large dead area that makes it difficult to steer properly when driving on the highway.
Capacity for Towing and Payload
The Disco’s gasoline V-6 engine is better than the diesel’s 7716 for towing heavy loads. It can tow a maximum of 8201 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The diesel engine is the most efficient of the Discovery’s available engines. This is based on both EPA estimates and our real-world testing. Fuel efficiency of the gasoline engine is lower than similar powered competitors. The Disco is only rated lower than an old Lexus GX460 equipped with a V-8 engine. In our testing, the Discovery Si6 was able to match its 21-mpg EPA estimate. Those looking for maximum fuel economy and range on the highway should consider the diesel Td6, who delivered an impressive 28 mpg along our test route.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The interior materials of the Discovery are luxurious. Our Td6 HSE Luxurious test vehicle featured a two-tone theme. It features ivory leather for the door panels and dash accents and dark-brown leather for the lower armrests and lower doors. The dashtop is made of black soft-touch plastic. Open-pore wood trim has piano-black details on the dash. The interior is filled with luxury features, and comfort increases as you go up the price ladder. The heated leather seats have an optional massage function that can be used to provide support and cushioning for the driver and front passenger. Second-row seats offer more flexibility and are less generously padded, but they also allow for fore-and aft and recline adjustments. There would be far less adventure if there wasn’t enough space for gear transport. The spacious cabin of the Disco was very accommodating, with space for 29 carry-on bags. If you load the Discovery with explorers, the maximum capacity of the Discovery is just two.
Connectivity and Infotainment
All Discovery models are equipped with Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment systems. The 10.2-inch touchscreen screen is enhanced by advanced features like an onboard Wi Fi hotspot powered via a 4G LTE data link and real-time traffic, weather and other updates. A rear-seat entertainment system and up to nine USB ports are available in the cabin. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.