Land Rover is extensively updating the Land Rover Discovery for the 2021 model year, reinforcing its appeal to “active families for whom Discovery enables their active lives and daily adventures,” said Finbar McFall, Land Rover’s product marketing director, at the vehicle’s unveiling last week.
“It’s truly a vehicle created around the family.”
As with any vehicle freshening, Land Rover tweaked the Discovery’s styling with a revised grille, new matrix LED headlamps, body-color side vents, and new 19- to 22-inch alloy wheels. In the rear, revised tailgate trim visually connects new LED tailgate lights, and bumpers have been revised front and rear, with sportier R-Dynamic models benefitting from unique rear lighting and exterior trim.
Inside, buyers will grip a new steering wheel with shift paddles and switches that come on only when needed, providing haptic feedback when activated. Elsewhere, designers banished the old rotary control gear selector, replacing it with a new toggle shift lever in a redesigned center console, which can be ordered with a storage bin or a refrigerator, while R-Dynamic models get unique two-tone seats with contrast stitching, exclusive interior detailing on the doors and instrument panel, and brushed aluminum trim.
Beyond the wardrobe updates, Land Rover strived to improve the Discovery’s comfort and convenience, adding four-zone climate control and new heated seats for the second row that fold at the touch of a button from the front seats. They stow in as little as 12 seconds and provide more than six feet of length and 87.75 cubic feet of cargo space. A larger tailgate opening makes accessing that space easier, and a unique inner tailgate provides a comfortable place to sit while tailgating.
Engineers have also improved cabin air with the availability of PM2.5 air filtration, reducing fine particulate matter from pollutants, such as those in wildfire smoke, from entering the cabin.
Perhaps the Discovery’s biggest change comes under the hood, where buyers will have a choice of a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 296 horsepower with a 6,613-pound towing capacity, or a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder mild hybrid rated at 355 horsepower with an 8,200-pound towing capacity.
The 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbodiesel offered in 2020 will no longer be available in the U.S., although Land Rover will offer diesel options overseas. As before, an 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive and an air suspension are still standard and the Discovery’s wheel articulation is unchanged. It can still be raised or lowered 4.5 inches and wade through 35 inches of water.
Driver-assistance features are now offered in a Driver Assist Pack and Blind Spot Assist Pack, and include Adaptive Cruise Control, 3D Surround Camera, Rear Collision Monitor and Blind Spot Assist. “ClearSight Ground View” is also available, which uses the front cameras to show the view directly beneath the front of the vehicle.
Technology also gets an upgrade thanks to a new electrical architecture that uses two LTE modems to accommodate multiple tasks simultaneously and enabling over-the-air software updates to the vehicle’s 44 individual electronic modules.
It all supports Land Rover’s new “Pivi Pro” infotainment system, one that houses a majority of the vehicle’s controls, including Land Rover’s Terrain Response System, on an 11.4-inch touchscreen. According to the company, 90% of the most-used functions can be accessed within two taps of the home screen.
The new software adds a new level of convenience by embedding intelligent learning functionality into the navigation system, allowing the vehicle to learn your favorite places and the routes you typically drive. There’s also Wi-Fi connectivity for up to eight devices, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 15-watt wireless charging with signal booster, and charging points for every seat. Uniquely, those in the second row can secure a tablet while it’s charging.
With the launch of the redesigned Defender for 2020, and the revised Discovery for 2021, Land Rover has finally established three distinct product lines within the Land Rover brand according to McFall, with Defenders being the most capable and durable; Range Rovers being the most refined; and the Discovery as the most versatile and family friendly.
The 2021 Land Rover Discovery will be offered in ascending 2.0L S, 2.0L S R-Dynamic, 3.0L S R-Dynamic, and 3.0L HSE R-Dynamic trim, with base prices starting at $53,900 for the Discovery 2.0L S, and topping out at $68,900 for the Discovery 3.0L HSE R-Dynamic, before options and a $1,350 destination fee.