10 January, 2014
The Discovery 4 took its narrowest victory ever in last year’s Australia’s Best Cars program, so with some new challengers arriving in 2013, the scene was set for another tough fight in the All- Terrain Wagon category. Despite the new competition though, the Discovery took home an Australia’s Best Cars trophy for a record ninth time in 2013. Even more impressive, was the fact that the Discovery won by a larger points margin than in 2012.
The most important trait in a vehicle in this category is serious off-road ability, and with its adjustable air suspension and proven Terrain Response® drive mode system, the Discovery was superior. With the suspension raised, the big Disco had better clearances and wheel articulation over rough ground than its competitors. When this was combined with a range of dedicated terrain-specific driving modes, it made driving up the steep, gravelly and wet uphill track at the test circuit in Anglesea seem as effortless as falling backwards.
The Discovery’s twin sequential turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel is virtually as smooth as a petrol engine, and it’s not until its 520Nm of torque comes in that you’re reminded that this is indeed a very muscular yet surprisingly quiet achiever. Power from the turbocharged diesel is 155kW.
Behind the engine sits a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, which was introduced on the Discovery early in 2013. That’s linked to a set of paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. All this is connected to the Discovery’s proven Terrain Response system, which as usual, was more than up to the task of traversing the roughest ground. Rounding out the Disco’s off-roading credentials is its full-time four wheel drive system that benefits from a central electronic differential and separate low range transfer case.
Safety is another strong area, with the Discovery receiving a best-in-class score, partly due to curtain airbags which extend all the way to the third row of seats. The Discovery's overall build and finish quality was again best in class, continuing the company's long-held tradition of bringing the interior of a luxury car to one of the most capable off-roaders on the market.
It convincingly received best-in-class, 10-out-of-10 scores in the areas of interior comfort and ride, and the two off-road scoring areas of engine, gearing and traction, and clearances and articulation. The Disco received maximum scores for both these areas.
Again, the Discovery 4 TDV6 was simply unbeatable as Australia’s Best All Terrain four wheel drive thanks to its excellent safety credentials, a comprehensive list of standard features and class-leading levels of comfort combined with astonishingly good on-road handling.
Within the four model Discovery 4 line-up, the TDV6 is entry level model. Nonetheless, Land Rover has not scrimped on standard equipment, including all-important safety items such as curtain airbag protection that extends to protect occupants in its standard third row of seats (that fold completely away into the floor when not needed).
By Australia’s Best Cars’ awards definition, ‘all-terrain’ means just that and here Discovery 4 walks the talk thanks to an accomplished Terrain Response system with programs to meet nearly any challenge. You can choose from General Driving, Grass Gravel Snow, Mud Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl modes; settings that alter responses such as suspension travel, traction control and throttle mapping to allow the ‘Disco’ to go practically anywhere. Height-adjustable air suspension and hill descent control system add to the ‘Disco’s’ impressive off-road capability.
The Discovery 4 continues to offer unbeatable versatility, capability and refinement. Alongside the fresh exterior design, the premium interior, improved dynamics and the more powerful and more fuel efficient 3.0-litre TDV6 powertrain, it also offers state of the art user-friendly features such as a Surround Camera system, Gradient Release Control, Trailer Stability Assist and Tow Assist, Automatic High Beam Assist and keyless entry.
The Discovery 4 has recommended retail price from $68,900 (plus on road costs).
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