Style & Substance


A road trip from Sydney to Coffs Harbour with the Fishing World Bar Crusher 620C in tow provided a great introduction to the  Land Rover Discovery 4 TD V6 SE. From the outset it was clear this vehicle would stand out from its peers – the angular geometry used in the body styling identifies the car from a mile away. The look appeals to me; I’m not a huge fan of those bulbous car shapes with exaggerated curvature heavily adorned with plastic. The Discovery appears elegant without excessive body panelling.

I spent most of my time in the driver’s seat and the first points I noted were the amount of room available, comfort when sitting behind the wheel, and superb all round visibility. The cabin was spacious and featured ample headroom along with chic, comfortable leather seating. The window layout provided clear visibility from all angles while driving or in the passenger seat. Controls fell to hand with the centrally located seven-inch touch screen display driving a host of functions including GPS navigation, radio/audio entertainment and hands free phone connectivity, to name a few. Coupled with the thumb controls on the steering wheel my hands didn’t need to travel far to access all that was required whilst driving. Jim’s iPod sat in the integral Ipod dock for most of the trip – playlists were readily available on the Disco’s touch screen or you could flick through songs via the controls on the steering wheel. The dash gauges were easy to read with a TFT display sitting between the tacho and speedo providing a host of information.

The keyless entry and push button start were neat features – with the key in my pocket all that was needed was to press the start button and the Discovery came to life.

Beneath the bonnet resides an impressive 3.0L V6 twin turbo diesel powerplant, the first turbo kicks in at low revs to minimise lag and enhance low rev throttle response while the second turbo provides boost to the upper rev range. Application of power is notable with acceleration throughout the entire rev range – hit the accelerator and the car willingly obeys! The on road characteristics of the Discovery were impressive; it towed the almost 2 tonnes worth of Fishing World Bar Crusher with ease and didn’t flinch when powering up hill. Taking the boat off the back highlighted just how responsive the Disco is  – it gets full marks for performance.

The six speed automatic transmission was smooth and quiet, complementing the diesel engine elegantly. The Terrain Response system in the Discovery takes the guess work out of choosing optimal settings for driving across varying conditions, with five pre-programmed functions to cater for driving on-road, through  mud and ruts, gravel or snow, clambering over rocky terrain or driving along sand. While we didn’t put the vehicle through any rigorous off road testing, slipping beneath the chassis reveals adequate clearance with no nasty protrusions to get caught up on while adventuring through the scrub. Realistically though, most of these cars will likely spend more time on road and towing than rampaging through dense bush.

The TDV6 SE featured adjustable electronic air suspension that delivers a smooth ride. Flicking a switch allows for adjustment of the height, if required. The rain sensing wipers came on during the intermittently wet drive home while the xenon headlamps provided crisp, clear illumination.

The Discovery series features an electronic park brake with the lift of a switch engaging the brake. The brake disengages when you depress the accelerator, making launching and retrieving the boat a breeze – realistically though, launching a boat with an automatic transmission vehicle isn’t complex, however, the ability to hop in the Disco with boat on trailer and easily accelerate away from the ramp was neat.

Another interesting feature that thankfully we didn’t need to test was the trailer stability assist, which adjusts power and braking to minimise dangerous trailer sway and help regain control. Opening the tail gate reveals a large rear luggage area with the option to fold down the passenger seats to form a cavernous cargo store.

Fuel consumption was surprisingly good for a large vehicle with the Discovery averaging, 12.5 litres per 100ks while towing.

Overall the TD V6 SE is a quality, premium 4WD that’s a pleasure to drive and tow with across all weather conditions. Having driven it for an extended period I can appreciate the accolades the Disco has earned – it’s a fun, responsive car to drive. With a price of $81,990 it sits towards the upper end of the 4WD drive market; however, in this instance you get what you pay for with the Discovery 4. It thoroughly impressed everyone who sat behind the wheel, myself included.
By Sami Omari

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