It’s hard to believe the Land Rover Discovery SD4 has been with us for six months already and its time to hand the black beauty back. It’s been such an easy car to live with, it will be tough giving it up. Warm and comfortable for the day-to-day commute grind and just as accommodating for long highway drives or weekend bush escapes.
We wanted to get one last chance to head bush with it and put the Goodyear Duratrac all-terrain tyres to the test, escaping the office for a day in the hills.
It had been dry for a long time around Melbourne and the tracks were dusty and rocky. We did find a clay track that climbed from a flowing creek and didn’t get any sun, so its surface looked slippery. It was also deeply rutted, so we set the suspension height to max and selected the ‘Mud & Ruts’ mode in the Terrain Response 2 system.
The Discovery takes on these sort of tracks without fuss or bother. You can open the off-road settings on the centre screen and see how soon the centre and rear auto-locking diffs are activating, which happens seamlessly. A little bit more suspension lift would be nice, but you need to fit aftermarket ‘bones’ to get that.
While the suspension tops out on rough stuff when in the highest setting, it isn’t fussed by gravel roads and smoother tracks. It drops down to the next lower setting at 80km/h and you need to raise it up again when the ruts deepen and you need the extra ground clearance.
The Disco covers gravel roads with poise and precision that few large 4x4s can match. The independent suspension and lightweight body really help with handling, and by 4x4 standards the Discovery is as sharp as they come. That is equally true on sealed roads, particularly those rough, winding country roads that test a car’s dynamics.
We doubt that whatever car we replace the Discovery with in the 4x4 Shed could ever match the dynamics, luxury and ability of the Land Rover, which is why it will be a tough car to hand back. Maybe we’ll have to wait for the new Defender which will share many of its chassis components with the Discovery.
The complete ownership adventure on 4x4 Shed
4x4 Shed Log: 2019 Land Rover Discovery SD4
Current mileage: 11,364km
Date acquired: Dec 2018
Price: $103,840 +ORC
Mileage since last update: 1268km
Average fuel consumption: 11.16L/100km