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Go In Snow - 2017 Land Rover Discovery Td6 The Go-anywhere Disco Diesel - Review By Larry Nutson

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2017 Land Rover Discovery Td6
The Go-anywhere Disco Diesel

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

The timing of my test drive in the all-new 2017 Discovery coincided perfectly with a weekend road trip. I had previously driven this updated entry from Land Rover, albeit very briefly, and was looking forward to getting to know it better.

I was heading north from my Chicago home to Door Country Wisconsin and the tiny village of Ephraim. Door Country sits on a peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan and is often referred to as “The Cape Cod of the Midwest.”

Ephraim, with a population today of 288, is abuzz in the warm summer months. Founded in 1852 by Norwegian Moravians the now popular resort town likes tradition and was hosting a vintage car festival that included a hill climb and a concours.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The very British Land Rover would be at home among many other Brits, names like MG, Austin Healey, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and the like, as they scaled the winding roads through the village up the Niagara Escarpment to the bluffs overlooking Peninsula State Park.

The Td6 at the tail end of this Land Rover’s moniker indicates its diesel power. Diesel power is a new offering in this British marque’s lineup for the U.S., although they’ve had diesels in Europe for about 30 years.

The Land Rover Td6 is all about lots of torque for strong pulling power combined with low fuel consumption. The turbocharged V6 diesel is rated at 254HP and develops 443 lb-ft. of torque, much more than the gasoline V6. Mated to an eight-speed automatic and with Land Rover’s full-time four-wheel-drive there is plenty of pulling power for any on-road or off-road driving condition.

Although I was driving solo and would not be doing any off-roading, I would be able to test-out the Discovery’s highway fuel efficiency.

The EPA test-cycle ratings are 23 mpg combined, with 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. I was pleased with my 26 to 27 mpg average while driving spiritedly on the long highway drive up and back on 70 mph interstates. On some lower speed road sections with a 55 mph speed limit the Discovery’s fuel economy easily jumped up to 32-33 mpg.

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The Discovery seats five or seven, depending on trim, and replaces the LR4 in the Land Rover’s product line-up.  The overall exterior design is very much evolved from the LR4, now being more rounded and aerodynamic. Weight is reduced by up to 1000 pounds with the Discovery’s new aluminum unibody construction. The one-piece tailgate, with hands free gesture control, has an innovative new optional 11-inch Powered Inner Tailgate.

Discovery is offered in SE, HSE and HSE Luxury trims, with an optional Black Design Packages available on each of these. SE models feature 19-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, four-mode Terrain Response system and two-zone automatic climate control. Optional air suspension is also available.

The HSE trim adds satellite navigation, 20-inch alloy wheels and LED headlamps. Top of the range HSE Luxury features include Windsor Leather upholstery, 20-inch alloy wheels, air suspension, a panoramic sunroof and power third row seats.

Prices start at $49,990 and run up to $65,950, the base price for the Namib Orange HSE Luxury Td6 I drove. The diesel engine option is priced just $2,000 above the standard 340-HP turbocharged V6 on the HSE and HSE Luxury and is well worth the money for the added fuel savings.

My media-loan vehicle was really loaded with options and topped out at $80,150.

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SE models have full time four-wheel drive, a single-speed transfer case and adjustable Terrain Response. The HSE and HSE Luxury models come with a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing and locking center differential. The Discovery is well equipped for off-road adventures. It has up to 11.1 inches of ground clearance and can wade through about 35 inches of water. An adjustable air suspension is optional, as is a two-speed transfer case with a low range for off-roading.

I mentioned I had previously briefly driven the Discovery. That was at the Spring Rally produced by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. At this event, in addition to street and track driving, we do some off-roading with a number of different vehicles. This past Spring the new Discovery was one of them. Coached through the rugged trails by Land Rover’s own Off-Road Experience team, the Discovery demonstrated its off-road prowess without compromise.

For on road driving, driver-assistance safety technology available on the Discovery incudes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot assist, 360-degree parking assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and driver-condition monitor.

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PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The 16-way power-adjustable memory front seats make for great comfort and the power tilt/telescoping steering wheel give you the perfect driving position. Configuring the rear seats is easy with the Intelligent Seat Fold function. It allows you to configure the second- and third-row seats with controls on the infotainment screen, the liftgate, the rear doors or remotely through a smartphone app. Rear cargo volume is 43.5 cu. ft. behind the second-row seats. If more space is needed, folding the second row seats provides up to 88.3 cu. ft. of carrying capacity. With all seven seats in place, the available loadspace is still a useful 9.1 cu. ft.

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More information and specifications can be found at

Overall I found the Discovery very comfortable and pleasant to drive, whether it be around town or on long highway road trips. The interior cabin is quiet with no disturbing wind or tire noise. Its tall ride height and narrow width produce a bit of body roll around curves. However, you never feel uncomfortable or not in control. The Discovery delivers a smooth, comfortable ride and yet has outstanding off-road capability.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

The Most Independent Land Rover Vehicle Research Information Anywhere!

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