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Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE Review & Road Test (2010) Part 2

Sat, 18 Sep 2010

The Land Rover Discovery 4 HSE has an interior that's up there with the Range Rover

The 2010 Land Rover Discovery is a most confusing car. It’s also a properly brilliant car. And that is what’s so confusing. Because I can’t see why anyone with even a modicum of common sense would spend £30k more than this very well equipped Discovery 4 costs to have a Range Rover.

The Discovery 4 gets the hugely appealing 3.0 litre TDV6 from Jaguar. Admittedly it’s the same cooking version Land Rover has also shoved in the Range Rover Sport, but  it works so well and it fits the Disco to perfection. It is quiet, refined and can – if you try really hard – return 30mpg. It also feels every bit as quick as its big brother’s diesel V8.

The interior is now Range Rover-tastic. High quality hides abound and the feel is as premium as its big brother. You get the same stunning ‘I’m in Charge’ driving position, and you also get a third row of seats that real people can use, not just amputees and the under fives.

And it’s not just all show and more oomph in a straight line. The Discovery 4 is just as capable on road as the Range Rover and is actually bordering on fun when the mood takes hold. And it can still do all the stuff off-road that was always its USP (some would say once its only SP) with absolute alacrity thanks to the Terrain Response.

The same Terrain Response the Rangie gets. True, we didn’t do mud and slip-slide this week as everywhere was bone dry, but we did rocks and water and the usual farm stuff and you still just point and go wherever you want in the Discovery 4. You just now do it like a Range Rover instead of a titivated Defender.

So just like the Freelander 2 is really a baby Range Rover (at least in HSE trim) the Discovery 4 is… I don’t know. Is it a cheaper Range Rover? Undoubtedly, but only in price. Certainly not in ability or quality, but perhaps in perception. That the Discovery 4 has become something of an anomaly in Land Rover’s range is down to their commendable desire to make all their cars the best they can be. Even if it means the vicar is just as appealing as the Duke.

Which makes it a stonking buy. At least for the next couple of years until Land Rover bring out their all new range and sort out the hierarchy with a fresh start. Until then you can have Range Rover in all but name with the Discovery 4, and with a £30k saving. Who on earth could resist that?

Well, I could. But for all the wrong reasons. The same reasons that I had a 911 instead of a Boxster. The same logic that makes me shop in Waitrose instead of Aldi. Which may seem to be explained by a desire to have the best. But it’s worse than that. It’s a desire to have what is perceived to be the best.

Which would stop me from buying the Discovery 4. It’d feel like settling for second best, even though it isn’t. But I think I may have come up with a solution. A solution that would let me have the Discovery 4, enjoy every bit of its Range Rover-esqueness and not worry that I’d settled for second best.

I’d tell everyone it’s the wife’s.

Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE full specification, data and price

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By Cars UK