2020 Land Rover Discovery

By June 24, 2020

Behind the soft and suave looks of 2020 Land Rover Discovery lies a genuine SUV that’s ready to conquer almost any terrain. This off-roader might not have the chutzpah of the Range Rover, but it is no less adept at being both luxurious and capable.

For 2020, a number of convenience and safety features that were previously optional are now standard. There’s also a new trim, the Landmark. It gets some cosmetic upgrades as well as a standard seven-seat layout.

Most Discovery models will be powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 that makes 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic hooks up to this engine and sends power to all four wheels via Land Rover’s full-time all-wheel-drive system.

Those looking for better fuel economy will want the 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which has 254 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. The 8-speed automatic is employed here as well.

Despite the diesel’s mountain of torque, the gas engine remains the towing champion, able to pull up to 8,201 pounds. The diesel is 500 pounds shy of that number.

It’s a different story with fuel economy, where the diesel is out front with 21 mpg city, 26 highway, 23 combined. The V-6 returns 16/21/18 mpg.

More safety features are now standard for 2020. The list now includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitors, traffic sign recognition, driver condition monitor, a surround-view camera system, and keyless entry are all standard. Adaptive cruise control and active lane control are optional.

The NHTSA and IIHS have not tested the Discovery for crash testing.

Model Lineup

All prices include any applicable destination charges.

The $53,325 SE is the cheapest trim. Standard features include 12-way power seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, 19-inch wheels, and a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The new Landmark trim is priced at $59,525 and includes navigation, 20-inch wheels, Meridian audio, four-zone climate control, a standard third row, and heated front seats.

The Discovery HSE is $60,725 and gets tri-zone climate control, SiriusXM and HD radio, an interactive driver display, traffic sign recognition, a power-adjustable steering column, power tailgate, and an upgraded 10-speaker Meridian audio system.

The HSE Luxury is the top trim and costs $68,225. It includes a 16-speaker Meridian audio system, heated front and rear seats, LED headlights with automatic high-beam assist, Windsor leather upholstery, and an electronic air suspension.

Exterior

The predecessor to the Discovery, the LR4, was all sharp corners and hard lines. That’s no longer the case, as the Discovery embraced curved design elements with an unexpected zeal. The softer lines and rounded touches bring some grace to what would otherwise be a blunt look.

Still, the Discovery remains more upright and boxy than most of its competition. The rear end looks particularly tall when viewed straight on, despite the use of multiple horizontal design elements. From the side, the raked and kinked C-pillar does a good job visually lowering the roofline and adding some forward thrust to the design.

Interior

The Discovery amplifies its SUV roots with a blocky, tough-looking interior. The big four-spoke steering wheel feels particularly truck-like. Material quality is excellent, and so is fit and finish.

A 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on all models. Higher-trim versions get navigation, SiriusXM, and HD radio. All versions come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The software is easy to use and fast to respond.

An expansive glass area means that front-seat passengers have a generous view out from the leather-upholstered, multi-adjustable seats. The second row is nearly as good, with 38 inches of leg room and fishbowl levels of rear door glass to peer out of. The tall roof means head room is plentiful across all rows.

The third row is the most cramped, and its lack of space means it is best left to children. Since it’s optional, we’d suggest skipping it to take advantage of the ample 45 cubic feet of cargo space that’s behind the second row. With the second row folded, there’s almost 83 cubic feet of cargo space.

Driving Impressions

Despite their potential to be serious off-roaders, most Discovery SUVs will live out their lives on pavement. Luckily, they handle civilized roads with aplomb, smothering bumps and tackling potholes with easy, fluid grace. Whatever the road surface, there are no pitching, rolling, or floating motions from the well-tuned suspension. An available air suspension makes a great thing even better, offering an even smoother ride.

That competency extends off-road, where the Discovery truly shines. That aforementioned air suspension allows the Discovery to get up on its tippy toes to create nearly 13 inches of ground clearance. Standard clearance is an already impressive 11.8 inches. With the higher clearance, the Discovery can ford up to 35.8 inches of water.

Other off-road goodies populate the option sheet, such as a multi-mode terrain selector, electronically locking rear differential, and a two-speed transfer case. Equip them all and the Discovery will be nearly unstoppable.

As for engines, both the gas V-6 and the turbodiesel are powerful and highly composed. The turbodiesel is especially notable; the typical diesel clatter has been banished, and it actually is the quicker of the two options. Its 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds is nearly a full second ahead of what the gas V-6 can do. Credit for this feat goes to the 443 lb-ft of torque that the diesel dishes out.

Final Word

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery is able, adept, and admirable, and few vehicles can match it for its breadth of talents. Whether going out on the town or out to the backcountry, the Discovery can handle it. We’d get ours in HSE trim.

 

—by Anthony Sophinos, with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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