When it comes to Land Rover models, the Discovery is very much like a middle child.
It’s not a chic urban fashion bauble like the Evoque. Nor does it have the incredible, over-the-top quintessence of a Range Rover. And it lacks the clear rugged aura that defines the Defender.
Yet it has a bit of all of them in its makeup, which is why it lacks the clear image that its siblings possess, and remains the least popular Land Rover model in the states. But a recent off-road drive at The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina revealed it to be worthy of consideration.
The Discovery starts at $53,600, and is offered in base Discovery S, midlevel R-Dynamic S, and top-of-the-line R-Dynamic HSE trim levels. Power comes from either an inline 4- or inline 6-cylinder engine.
All-wheel drive is standard, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, third row seating, a 3-D surround view camera, air suspension, and a panoramic roof. The Discovery received a freshening for 2021, and remains unchanged for 2022.
The Discovery’s wardrobe adeptly acknowledges its predecessor, the LR4. It maintains certain hallmarks, such as the stepped roofline and off-center rear license plate.
But the boxiness that defined the LR4 has been lessened, with rounded-off corners and a chic sleekness, offset by 22-inch all-terrain tires. This is one civilized SUV that isn’t afraid to get muddy, even if it says so unobtrusively.
The leather-lined cabin boasts the sort of niceties you expect at this price point, such as three rows of heated seats, with the front-row massaging seats.
As you’d expect, the second and third row seats fold, and the second row adjusts fore-and-aft and reclines. The climate controls, consisting of two rotary knobs, are very easy and intuitive to use, far easier than accessing a touchscreen. Overall, the ambience is notably upscale, if not quite as much as a Range Rover, but more than enough to please your inner-hedonist.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter Ingenium 4-cylinder engine is standard on Discovery S and R-Dynamic S trims, generating 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. If you desire more power, opt for the R-Dynamic S or R-Dynamic HSE trim and their turbocharged 3.0-liter Ingenium inline 6-cylinder 48-volt hybrid driveline that produces 355 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Both engines mate to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2022 Land Rover Discovery.
Safety features include Dynamic Stability Control with Roll Stability Control, Electronic Stability Control, Roll Stability Control, Blind Spot Assist, Blind Spot Emergency Braking, Rear Traffic Monitor, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Front Collision Mitigation, driver alert monitor and 360-degree camera.
Discovery models are equipped with a 11.4-inch touchscreen that uses Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. It has a far more editorial look to its controls and is very intuitive to use. There’s also a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless smartphone charger, head-up display, and in the name of family harmony, nine USB ports. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability is standard.
We drove a midlevel R-Dynamic S with the inline 6, which proved to be a true SUV, not some poser in outdoor gear. It makes quick work of off-road trails and obstacles, thanks to its terrain response system and hill descent control.
The air suspension makes a difference off-road, not only allowing for good ground clearance, but also providing a very luxurious ride for a trail-worthy truck. And its camera setup makes off-roading easier by simultaneously showing lower left- and right-hand views, as well as an overhead composite image. It’s also blessedly quiet.
While we didn’t have a chance to try the base turbo four, the six provide the sort of lively power you expect. That said, you’ll feel like you’re driving an SUV. Clearly, this is no Jaguar F-Pace.
But this is not the vehicle to seek out if you want an agile, sports-car-like hauler. It’s an off-road warrior, one blessed with a civilized attitude and that’s how it drives. It’s not ponderous, but it feels very much like the SUV that it is. Despite its lightweight aluminum architecture employed elsewhere in the Land Rover line, it does weigh a considerable 5,569 pounds. It makes for a unique driving feel, one that may not be to everyone’s liking — and that’s fine.
2022 Land Rover Discovery S Dynamic R specifications
|L: 195.1 inches/W: 78.7 inches/H: 74.3 inches/Wheelbase: 115.1 inches
|3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder hybrid, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive
|18 mpg city/24 mpg highway/21 mpg combined
|355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $61,900; As tested: $62,925 including $1,025 destination charge
The 2022 Land Rover Discovery continues to be an underappreciated gem, with the comfort of a Range Rover for $40,000 less, but all the dexterity of a Defender wrapped in a premium wardrobe that looks apropos alongside the Evoque. The middle child? Very much so; but one that deserves your attention if you’re considering a true SUV, rather than a mall crawler with an attitude.
2022 Land Rover Discovery — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Land Rover Discovery worth buying?
Yes. You get the power, refinement and capability of Range Rover models in a far less expensive package.
Are 2022 Land Rovers reliable?
Consumer Reports rates the 2022 Land Rover Discovery as being worse than average. J.D. Power has not rated the Land Rover Discovery’s reliability.
Is Land Rover made by Toyota?
No. Land Rover is owned by Tata Motors of India. Toyota builds the Land Cruiser, which is no longer offered in the United States but is still sold overseas.