Hold on just a minute. Isn’t that what Landrover makes? SUVs? Why would they stick the word “SUV” on the end of one of their model names as if it indicates something new?
Granted, it’s a strange choice to stick the phrase SUV on the end of something that was in most people’s minds, always an SUV. But it turns out that Landrover has done it for a reason, and it’s not just to confuse the crap out of you. The Landrover discovery was always a 4×4, meaning that all four wheels provided power. But it wasn’t always so much of a “utility vehicle.” What is an SUV? Well, it’s a vehicle with lots of practicality, something that Landrover feels that the latest iteration of their classic offering should have.
But why? Part of the story comes from the expanded boot space. There’s just a lot more room in the latest Landrover than there was in previous versions. Landrover has taken the time to expand the space so that the vehicle offers more utility to people who want to lug more stuff around with them, say on a family holiday.
The company also wants to keep its branding up to date. Other companies, like Audi and BMW, are all very much in the luxury SUV market and already appealing to customers all over the world with several accomplished products. Landrover needed something that could go head to head with their offerings while retaining that unique Landrover originality. The grunting looks of the Discovery set it apart from the competition, as does the ability to take it off road. But Landrover knows that it needs to do more than appeal to the adventurer in its customers to shift its cars. It needs to make its vehicles utterly compelling.
The Differences With The New Discovery
Landrover realised that the old Discovery was a bit of a beast. It was heavy and awkward to turn around tight corners in city streets. The Discovery was never meant to be a vehicle that ferried kids to school in Chelsea, but that’s what it’s become, so it needs to adapt. The engineers at Landrover have made the new Discovery more than 450 kg lighter, meaning that it can achieve a much more respectable MPG compared to the old version. The 3.0-litre version is still powerful enough to get the car up to 62 mph in under 6 seconds, so performance is always good, if not quite as sharp as some of the competitors from Europe.
The only problem with treating the Discovery as a sports car – even though it is in the name – is the ride height. The car tends to lean when taking corners, making it difficult to control at speed. It is a powerful car, especially if you go for the larger engine size, but it doesn’t handle like a sports car, thanks to its high centre of gravity.
So should Landrover have chosen the moniker SUV? Arguably, the answer must be yes because otherwise, they would have had an uphill battle with customers on their hands.