By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – In our view the most impressive thing about the Land Rover Discovery was under the hood.
Our Discovery R Dynamic S had a 3.0-liter straight six that made 355 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
This combination got 18 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined. It still had the heft of a Land Rover, but this new edition was sleeker.
Yes, it had the clamshell hood, but there were new LED headlights with daytime running lights with sweeping front and rear turn signals.
At the rear, the New Discovery featured new LED lights, which were joined across the back by a new black panel.
It was an easy and comfortable drive. The front seats had captain’s armrest. Of course, they were heated and cooled. Turning on the Discovery R was like starting up a computer. We had to set or reset it features like those heated seats. That can be a nuisance if you’ve got a lot of errands to run.
There were two moonroofs. One was over the front seats., while the other was over the third row, which all Discoveries have. The second as well as the third-row seats were power or electrified as Land Rover termed it. So was the liftgate.
The redesigned center console housed a 48 percent larger 11.4-inch, full HD touchscreen, which had a fast and intuitive interface.
There was a new-look four-spoke steering wheel with hidden-until-lit switches and metal gearshift paddles with a tactile electronic gear selector.
On the 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display, the New Discovery provides high-definition 3D mapping, leaving the central touchscreen free to control other applications. The high-resolution digital instruments can be configured to show a pair of conventional dials, full-screen 3D navigation guidance or a combination of the two, allowing drivers to customize the view to suit their preference. Since we knew where we were we did not need to use it.
Connectivity was provided by a dual-sim technology, with two LTE modems enabling the system to conduct multiple functions at the same time – such as streaming media and downloading Software-Over-The-Air updates.
Land Rover SOTA technology allows owners to update as many as forty-four individual electronic modules, without the inconvenience of visiting a retailer.
Our test vehicle could tow up to 8,300 lbs. Our only problem was we didn’t have the 2021 Land Rover Discovery R Dynamic long enough to tow anything or download any updates.
Still, we were impressed with it and the $73,255 sticker seemed reasonable for what you get.