Land Rover Discovery Mk5 debuts in Paris

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Land Rover Discovery Mk5 debuts in Paris

Land Rover has unveiled its new Discovery on the eve of its public debut at the Paris Motor Show.

The full-size seven-seat SUV, the fifth generation of the model, will go on sale in Spring 2017, at prices starting from £43,495.

Evolving from the Discovery Vision Concept shown at the New York Auto Show in 2014, the new car is a radical departure from previous models with a much bolder, curvier look.

The trademark stepped roof line remains, however, aiding headroom for passengers in the third row of seats and making possible a ‘stadium’ layout with each row placed higher than the one in front.

Land Rover designers claim that unlike many rivals who offer ‘5+2’ seats, all three rows in the Discovery will comfortably accommodate normal-sized adults. Each seat is heated and cooled, and is also fitted with folding technology that can be operated from the rear, the touchscreen in the centre console or remotely using a smartphone. “(Each) allows owners to rearrange the seats from inside a shop while they queue to pay for large or bulky items, ensuring the vehicle is perfectly configured to accommodate their purchases,” Land Rover says.

Other features designed to make life more comfortable for passengers includes ‘Auto Access Height’, which drops the car’s height by up to 40mm to ease entry or exit.

The new Discovery will make use of Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. Based around a 10-inch touchscreen mounted high on the centre console, it has cut the number of controls on the dash by a third.

Connectivity with iOS and Android smartphones is included alongside a 14-speaker Meridian digital surround system, with an additional subwoofer, and 3G WiFi.

Land Rover is also debuting its Activity Key wristband, which allows drivers to leave the standard key fob in the car. Holding the waterproof Activity Key up to the ‘D’ in the Discovery badge on the tailgate simultaneously locks the vehicle and disables the ordinary key, which can be left safely inside.

The basics of the model have not been forgotten, in particular its off-road ability. Ground clearance has been increased 43mm to 283mm, and the wading depth goes up 200mm to 900mm.

The Terrain Response 2 driving system offers a range of modes depending on the surface being traversed, setting various aspects of the car from throttle response to gear changing, and can be left in an auto mode.

For particularly different ground the All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can be programmed to autonomously maintain a suitable crawl speed chosen by the driver, allowing them to concentrate solely on steering.

The new Discovery will go on sale with a three-way engine choice, the highlight of which is the new Sd4 Ingenium four-cylinder diesel. It produces 240hp with an 500Nm of torque and fuel economy of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 171g/km.

Also available will be a six-cylinder diesel with 258hp and 600Nm of torque, and a 340hp supercharged petrol 3.0-litre V6, with 450Nm.

According to Jaguar Land Rover managing director Jeremy Hicks the new Discovery will build on the strong demand that has always existed for the model in the UK, offering customers the most complete all-round SUV package available anywhere today.

“The new vehicle takes absolutely everything that is great about Discovery from its design, its versatility, its go anywhere, do anything credentials and builds on them to make it better in every way,” he says.

And he adds that the new model will appeal to a wider range of buyers. “Customer interest has exceeded all expectations already with a strong mix of new customers interested in the brand. With the addition of the Ingenium 2.0 litre engine, we’re also looking forward to talking to more fleet and business users across the country.”

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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