From Off-Roading to City Living, New Land Rover Discovery Effortlessly Blends Performance and Luxury
Images by Atif Kazmi for Por Homme
Amangiri. You probably haven’t heard of it and even if you happen to be driving through Canyon Point, Utah, chances are you wouldn’t be able to see it. The secluded resort’s tucked away and built right into the surrounding canyon landscape with rooms costing nearly two thousand dollars a night. To get there, you’ve got to hit a narrow winding road that takes a couple bends and gets you there fairly quickly but there’s also a second option, one that’s a lot more rugged, uneven, and downright difficult to navigate in most vehicles. Consider it the road less traveled and in the new Land Rover Discovery, the only logical option.
We spent some time with Land Rover’s most versatile SUV as we flew from LA to private tarmac in St. George where we were greeted by a line of well-equipped Discovery SUVs. After a short break, we hopped in the Discovery of our choice and were on our way, ready to push the Discovery to its limits as we made our way to the Amangiri Resort. Within minutes of hitting Utah’s Southern Parkway, it started to down pour, which didn’t raise any concerns for us because the Discovery felt right at home. The SUV’s panoramic roof brought this feeling of comfort while creating a real open environment. About 45 minutes in, the rain slowed and we made our way towards the mountains to Buffalo Mountain Ranch where we’d eventually have lunch. This is where things got interesting, because we had gone from heavy rain to dry warmth to suddenly being met with sleet and eventually snow.
But we kept going though I can’t say that was the case for all cars and trucks on the road. There was even an 18-wheeler that got stuck and needed to be pulled out. And who better to do that than one of Land Rover’s Discovery service vehicles. They were fully kitted and took the truck out of a sliding ditch in minutes while we just continued on our journey. I played with the throttle a bit, just to see the Discovery’s response and Land Rover’s traction control kicked in for the most part, knowing exactly when stop me from getting too carried away. It wasn’t the most beautiful day but I think that’s what made this experience so real. And the snow was just the first of several tests the new Discovery faced on this trip but it might be the most practical for most families. With that said, it’s comforting to know that the SUV you’re driving to work, taking your kids to their practices in, and then to dinner later that evening can brave any storm that comes its way.
And through it all, the cabin is home so Land Rover’s made the new Discovery the most versatile vehicle in their lineup. The infotainment system and climate controls are refined and perfectly placed, while there are several USB ports throughout to keep users connected. Premium materials are used throughout and definitely set the new Discovery apart from its predecessors. This might not be something you notice immediately but there’s a sort of a split in the cabin, with the upper two-thirds using leathers and precision in every stitch while the lower third is comprised of more durable materials so you and the family don’t have to tip toe when entering. The new Discovery meant to be used and abused and will probably get offended if you don’t.
Usability’s a consistent theme for the new Discovery and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking parents with young kids or seven grown adults going on a road trip. The stadium-style seating and iconic stepped roof the Discovery is known for is present here and delivers optimal comfort, no matter where you’re sitting. The second row actually slides forwards and backwards so you can adjust legroom or make room for some additional luggage. The third row’s optional but should you go for it, know that it’s designed to accommodate folks that are up to 6’2”, which covers about 95% of the world’s population. Seats in rows two and three can actually be folded and unfolded with the touch of a button, with controls available at the back of the vehicle, on the main touchscreen display, and through Land Rover’s InControl Remote smartphone app. There’s a ton of storage space via several compartments, big and small. The central armrest alone can hold up to five tablets or you can opt to swap in a freezer / chill compartment. There are six 12V sockets and as many as seven USB ports — nine if the rear seat entertainment package is fitted — so you never have to worry about running low on juice. Staying connected isn’t an option here; it’s standard.
Land Rover’s known to craft highly capable SUVs, ones that don’t care what elements come their way, whether it’s heavy rain or snow or mud and deep water. The new Discovery is a work horse when it comes to fighting Mother Nature and an absolute dream when it comes to providing a cabin that’s built on comfort and function. Check it out in the gallery above and look for the new Land Rover Discovery to hit showrooms this summer.