In the end it came down to the SD4’s game-changing shift in terms of weight versus size, and engine versus performance. The Discovery is comfortable and capable unit on the black-top, yet it doesn’t become fussed when the tracks turn nasty.
Apart from tyre sidewall vulnerability – which can be easily overcome – the Discovery is a great all-rounder and well-deserved of the 4X4OTY gong.
Judges independently scored each vehicle against a set list of criteria – value for money, breaking new ground, built tough, bushability and doing the job it’s designed to do – and after the votes were tallied, the SD4 narrowly clinched victory ahead of the Isuzu MU-X.
The MU-X was an unlucky runner-up, winning over most judges for being well-proven and just ‘getting the job done’. Ron Moon even said if he was to pick one to do a lap around Australia, it’d be the MU-X.
Why the SD4 and not the TD6? The TD6 asks for an extra $7K, but the extra cylinders don’t push it a hell of a lot harder than the SD4. It may be relaxed, but it also uses more fuel; somewhat levelling out its bigger fuel tank (85 versus 77 litres). Also, if you want the V6 with a coil-spring set-up you can’t get the rear locker.
Stay tuned to 4X4Australia.com.au this week for a complete run-down of the 2018 4X4OTY.
Final scores (out of a possible 350)
Land Rover Discovery SD4: 237
Isuzu MU-X: 235
Haval H9: 218