By: IOL Motoring Staff
Pretoria - Land Rover's Discovery 4 has had such a comprehensive upgrade for 2014 that we're almost tempted to label it Disco 4.1 - but to avoid confusing the issue we'll stick to Land Rover terminology and just refer to it as the 2014 Model Year Discovery, and note that it's already in South African Land Rover showrooms.
The Disco has been given a whole new 'face', new badging, improved audio systems and a new range of driver assistance, comfort and safety features.
But ironically, the big news is actually smaller as Land Rover's iconic five-litre petrol V8 finally gives way to an all-new supercharged three-litre petrol V6.
Power and torque drop about 10 percent from 276kW and 510Nm to 250kW and 450Nm, but quoted fuel consumption is down 15 percent, from 14.1 to 12 litres per 100km, and CO2 emissions are down 13 percent from 328 to 285g/km.
The 2014 Discovery is also still available with the 183kW/600Nm, three-litre SDV6 turbodiesel, as well as the 155kW/520 three-litre TDV6 version.
Each of these is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, driving all four wheels via Land Rover's proven Terrain Response system and a high and low-range transfer 'box.
The grille, front bumper and headlights are all new, with new LED daytime running lights and classier foglight trim. XS and S models come with bi-halogen headlights and a single running light, while the SE gets xenon headlights with LED running lights and flagship HSE models get the adaptive xenon version.
The tail lights have also been cleaned up with a black mask rather than a clear lens.
For the first time the 'Discovery' name replaces 'Land Rover' on the bonnet and the number 4 disappears from the tailgate leaving just the word 'Discovery', while engine badging moves from the tailgate to an ingot mounted on each of the front doors.
Even the oval Land Rover logo has been given a richer shade of green to make it more visible.
There are two new alloy rim designs to choose from, while the optional 'Black Design Pack' - with its own choice of 19 or 20” black alloys - remains available.
The new side mirrors are as much about function as they are about form; yes, they're more aerodynamic than before but they also house the cameras for the surround camera system and the sensors for the all-new wade sensing system.
The new Discovery comes as standard with the latest generation of Tracks4Africa, a suite of 16 maps of rural areas, with impressive detail, much of its content being user-driven. For example, in Angola it maps nearly 20 000 roads and tracks, and details more than 2500 points of interest.
For the urban environment, the mapping software is Nokia Here, covering more than 100 cities in sub-Sahara Africa.
Available as an extra cost option, on the top-of-the-range HSE only, is wade sensing, an exclusive Land Rover feature that switches itself on when water hits the bottom of the lowest parking sensor and uses sonar-based sensors in the mirror housings to calculate its depth.
The water level is shown in real time on a graphic of the Discovery in the TFT display on the centre stack, with warning chimes as the depth approaches the permissible maximum of 700mm.
Standard kit includes blind spot monitoring, closing vehicle sensing, reverse traffic detection and T-junction cameras that give the driver a 180 degree-plus view at an intersection, shown on the central screen.
And finally, as on the corresponding Range Rover trim specifications, the SE now has a 380W, eight-speaker Meridian audio system, while the HSE gets a 17-speaker, 825W Meridian Surround system.
3.0 TDV6 XS - R653 500
3.0 SDV6 S - R776 100
3.0 SDV6 SE - R825 500
3.0 SDV6 HSE - R925 000
3.0 V6 Supercharged SE - 819 700
3.0 V6 Supercharged HSE - 919 200