Does the 2013 Land Rover Discovery leave you in a sweat?

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Land Rover has always been known for its off-road prowess since the introduction of the series 1 in 1948. The original Land Rover was everything a trail blazing rig should be – rugged, dependable and devoid of frills. During the more than half a century that has passed, the beloved British icon has been kicked around between Ford and Tata (when it ceased being British altogether), it has become a status symbol of the rich and famous, and has been laden with all of the luxury the industry has to offer. All of these transformations leave us wondering if the 2013 Land Rover Discovery still retains any hint of its roots.

 

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery

To be succinct, it does. Sure, the 2013 Land Rover Discovery is loaded with the lavishness owners have come to expect, but it is still a formidable off-roader as well. All it takes is just a few minutes behind the wheel to appreciate the Rover’s hard-as-nails demeanor. The Disco’ has a commanding driving position and you never forget you are behind the wheel of an SUV, not some sissy car. The ‘Integrated Body Frame’ double chassis foundation adds a bit of heft to the rig, but this is offset in part by the 256bhp 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel lurking under the bonnet. The power from the oil burner is sent through an 8-speed ZF gearbox in order to propel the Rover from 0-62mph in 9.2s on the way to 112mph.

These figures won’t win you any trophies at the track, but they aren’t half bad considering the Discovery was primarily engineered to crawl off-road. The Rover navigates its way through the rocks and mud very, very well. The 4×4 system can direct 100% of the torque to the front or rear axle depending on where the oomph is needed. If you get yourself in really deep, the arrangement can be switched to the 50:50 front-to-rear power-split that will haul you out of even the toughest of situations. If you find selecting the correct four-wheel drive setting to be a burden, don’t worry, Land Rover has employed computers to do the thinking for you. The patented Terrain Response system makes all of the decisions – pushing us just one step closer to total AI domination.

The boxy yet debonair look of the Land Rover Discovery has remained mostly unchanged from the previous model year. This lack of alteration should appease Land Rover fans that cling to the brands quintessential slab-like bonnet, stepped roof, and rear windows that wrap the body. One variation Rover geeks will notice, is that for the first time the lettering on the nose reads ‘LANDROVER’ instead of ‘DISCOVERY’. Yeah, you have to be a hard-core enthusiast to notice that tweak. The other subtle changes will likely be missed by the general public as well including smarter headlamps (they finally graduated college), a glossier radiator grille and fog light surrounds, restyled bumpers and more rounded door mirrors. The bread and butter changes to the Disco’s design were made back in 2004 when 17.6cms were added to the body length.  This significantly changed the overall layout of the SUV, making transporting seven standard size adult human beings much more plausible.

Sure, the 2013 Land Rover Discovery can take you wherever you want to go off-road, but with pricing between £40,000 and £60,000, getting mud on the tyres might prove a little scary. There aren’t many significant option choices for the Rover. There is only one engine option and a single body style on the menu. All trim levels come equipped with a heavy duty 4WD system and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system – no wannabe 2WD SUVs here. The base model also includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights, automatic climate control, Bluetooth compatibility, push-button start, rear parking sensors, a volumetric alarm, a heated front windscreen and an eight-speaker audio system. However, the bean counters have deemed an upgrade necessary should you desire a full-sized spare (yes, really). You also have to step up to mid-spec level if you want the centre dash infotainment touchscreen, cruise control and roof rails.

It’s probably not a revelation that owning a 2013 Land Rover Discovery isn’t cheap. The Land Rover is a porker, tipping the scales at over 2.5 tonnes. The fact that the SUV is boxy as well as plump, means fuel economy isn’t the greatest especially for a diesel. The rig is rated at 35.3mpg and 213g/km of C02.

Having a 2013 Land Rover Discovery in your fleet is not cheap and won’t make you any new friends over at the Greenpeace camp. Despite all of this, if you want to traverse the back country without leaving the luxury of rich leather and automatic climate control at the country club, the Disco’ might be the vehicle for you.

What do you think of the 2013 Land Rover Discovery?

Andrew Kirkley
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