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First drive: Land Rover Discovery Landmark. Image by Land Rover.

First drive: Land Rover Discovery Landmark
Land Rover celebrates 30 years of the Discovery with a (wait for it!) Landmark special edition.

 



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Land Rover Discovery Landmark

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Land Rover's big Discovery has, rather incredibly, been ploughing its particular 4x4-cum-plush-SUV furrow for 30 years now. The fifth-gen car might well be a radical style departure from its four blocky predecessors, but this celebratory 2019MY Landmark edition pays homage to those preceding cars' lineage. That it's also a superb seven-seat luxury SUV in its own right is merely a most welcome bonus.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark
Pricing: Discovery range from 47,745; SD6 Landmark from 59,995
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel
Transmission: all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic
Body style: five-door seven-seat SUV
CO2 emissions: 202g/km (VED Band 191-225: 1,280 first 12 months, then 465 per annum years two-six of ownership, then 145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 36.7mpg
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Power: 306hp at 3,750rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 1,500-1,750rpm
Boot space: 258 litres (all seven seats in place), 1,137 litres (third row folded down), 2,406 litres (all rear-most five seats folded down)

What's this?

A Land Rover Discovery Landmark, a special new model based on the SE spec (from 57,360 with the same SD6 engine) and touting some extra features. The 'Landmark' in question is 30 years of the Discovery, which - to our mild surprise - ticked over in 2019. Seriously, kids, where the dickens does the time go?! Ahem. However. The Landmark is basically familiar visual fare in terms of Discovery 5 models, so no mentioning its big backside in profile (to accommodate three rows of seats arranged in a 2-3-2 formation) nor the twin 'heritage' yet completely unnecessary design features of a two-tiered roof and that offset rear number plate (OCD sufferers, look away now...).

Instead, for your 2,635 premium over an SE, you can focus on the Dynamic Exterior Pack, which brings in a sportier front bumper design, plus a lot of Narvik Black details. These can be found in the form of the mesh radiator grille and its surround, on the front-wing vents, for the 'Land Rover' nameplate script on the bonnet and tailgate, and also the roof. It gains a set of 20-inch alloys in Gloss Black (natch), front foglights and a set of signature 'Hi-Line' taillights, while fixed front and rear panoramic glass panels up top allow light to flood the cabin - in which Landmark buyers have a choice of Ebony or Acorn grained leather upholstery, while they'll enjoy a Satin Brushed centre-console and an aluminium mesh-design trim finish running round the Discovery's beltline, as well as an uprated 380-watt Meridian Sound System too. Of course, the distinctive nature of the Landmark is somewhat lost if you render it in one of two black paint options, either the no-cost Narvik solid itself (the only other free-of-charge option is white) or metallic Santorini Black for 850, as per our test vehicle. Nevertheless, unique Landmark badging does enough to keep it feeling special and it's a handsome enough machine in a class replete with such things.

How does it drive?

To drive, the Discovery 5 is startlingly urbane, if you're used to the previous generations of this formerly boxy Brit. Its aluminium-intensive chassis architecture and monocoque underpinnings means this thing has shifted up to a whopping 480kg of bulk from its frame compared to its direct antecedent Disco 4, although it's still hardly what you'd call a featherweight at 2,354kg with a driver onboard.

Which means it doesn't feel anything like as urgent or as capable in the corners as its more rakish Range Rover Velar relation with the same engine... but then, the Discovery doesn't need to be. What the Disco needs to be is supremely comfortable, and it manages that with aplomb thanks to its standard-fit air suspension. With top-level standards of noise suppression and the smooth, torque-rich delivery of the only six-cylinder engine you can still get in a Disco 5 (the other choices in the Discovery range amount to a pair of 2.0-litre four-pot motors, badged SD4 as a 240hp turbodiesel or Si4 as a 300hp petrol - don't discount these, as they're excellent units, but the brawny SD6 seems like the best fit for the Landie's mass and the Si4 isn't available with the Landmark spec anyway), this thing is a delight to cruise around in. Light steering and good visibility out also help matters no end, as does a super-slick ZF eight-speeder that's the very definition of 'unobtrusive'.

Conversely, the Discovery is not totally without merit in the corners, handling in a far sharper and more confidence-inspiring fashion than any of its predecessors, but there's more lean than you'd encounter in contemporary products from sportier manufacturers with their predilection for 48-volt powered anti-roll systems, while the balance of the chassis is safe and secure, rather than involving in any way. Also, even though this Landmark SD6 punches out 700Nm, it doesn't feel like it's accelerating with much alacrity if you open the throttle fully and let it rev out. This six-cylinder mill should be commended, though, for sounding great, all rich and bassy, and being willing to go beyond the point of peak power (3,750rpm) without becoming all wheezy and recalcitrant.

On a very quick note, the Landmark has all the attributes of any other Discovery 5 with this SD6 engine, which means All-Terrain Progress Control and Terrain Response 2 off-roading kit, a wading depth of 900mm and the ability to haul 3,500kg of braked trailer if you need it to. So while we never took the Landmark off-road, we have very, very little doubt it will be even more capable in the rough stuff than it is on tarmac, while the country set should still love it for its desirable premium status and load-lugging strength.

Verdict

The SD6 Landmark is a Land Rover Discovery 5 with its most powerful engine option and some useful extra options for a modest premium over an SE, so - as long as you're not mortally offended by the offset rear number plate and an interior which isn't as plush as that found in its Range Rover-branded siblings - what you have here is one of the classiest, well-equipped, luxuriously appointed and most ably off-road-talented SUVs, seven seats or otherwise, that you can get this side of 100,000. It's a seriously good and thoroughly likeable all-rounder.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 16 Dec 2019









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2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.

2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.2019 Land Rover Discovery SD6 Landmark. Image by Land Rover.








 

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