The Land Rover Discovery has always kept a fairly consistent boxy design structure over the past generations as the most famed off-roader of the bunch. However, with this new model the brand goes in a more conservative direction with similar styling to the latest Discovery Sport. Will a move away from the tough “go anywhere” exterior change the way traditional LR buyers perceive the new model? Or will this stylized version expand the brand to the a larger base of consumers? The 2017 Land Rover Discovery made its US debut this week at a pop-up display on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA and we got a chance to see for ourselves if this new model is headed in the right direction.
For this California debut the Land Rover Discovery was shown in First Edition trim draped in a stunning Namib Orange with Black accents. This newer model seems to set its sights on the outdoor activity crowd and various sporting equipment such as kayaks, snowboards, bikes, skis, and surfboards were displayed with the new SUV. To further emphasize the surf and beach aspects of the event famed surfer, Laird Hamilton, and his US beach volleyball olympian wife, Gabby Reece, were on hand to talk about the vehicle and pose for pictures. Features like the SUV’s new Activity Key wristband will let athletes leave an annoying key fob behind and the waterproof bracelet can be used to unlock the vehicle instead. This latest Disco is available with two engine options including a 340HP Supercharged 3.0L V6 and a 3.0L TD6 Diesel V6 with 443 lb-ft of torque. Four trim levels are available including the base SE model at $49,990, HSE, HSE Luxury, and the First Edition to top things off at a starting MSRP of $73,950.
The updates continue to the interior with an updated media center similar to the systems found in the newer Jaguar models and Discovery Sport. Innovations like a hidden storage compartment under the front cup holders, a hook on the passenger side for things like a purse or small bag, and two pockets on the back of the front seats offer utility for the family that has not been found in past Land Rover models. The 2nd row seating offers fantastic leg room for my 5′ 11″ frame. The raised glass roof may look completely gone but a slight bump to increase rear head room still exists and the panoramic sunroof helps make both the 2nd and 3rd rows seem airy and open.
Overall this new Land Rover Discovery seems to offer more luxury while still maintaining the rigid off-roading underpinnings that the company is known for. New innovations will appeal to the buyer who wants an SUV that is a reflection of their sporting personality but is comfortable enough for long periods in LA traffic. This Land Rover brings the Discovery model closer to competing with the higher level Range Rover line and should help compete in the ever growing full size luxury SUV market. Stay tuned this week for more information about the Discovery and other models making their debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.