Many automakers reveal important models before the L.A. Auto Show, but few allow the public to lay eyes on these vehicles alongside media.
Land Rover decided to break the mold a bit with the introduction of its all-new Discovery. On Tuesday, the three-row SUV was given an open-air reveal at a pop-up venue in L.A.’s Venice neighborhood, next to some seriously cool action sports equipment. The active lifestyle environment fit nicely with Land Rover’s new model, which the automaker says is its most versatile yet.
With seating for seven passengers, a premium cabin, innovative convenience features, and sophisticated off-road goodies, the 2017 Discovery is your new go-anywhere-in-comfort SUV. It’s also a handsome thing, with a rounded body and striking exterior touches that look considerably upmarket for the price ($50,985, including destination charge, for the Discovery SE, the least expensive of several variants).
Among the car’s highlights are seats that can be configured via an Apple or Android smartphone, new driver assistance features, advanced tow assist (more on that in a moment), a bunch of storage cubbies, nine USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. All this is baked into a body that weighs up to 1,000 pounds less than the current LR4, thanks to aluminum construction.
At launch, the Discovery will only be sold in First Edition spec, which retails for $74,945. Though that may sound like a lot, it’s a relative bargain considering how many toys come standard. Having personally poked and prodded this new SUV, I can assure you that Land Rover isn’t ripping anyone off – every surface is high quality.
The Discovery will eventually be offered in several variants, including the Discovery SE, which is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 making 340 horsepower. There’s also the Discovery HSE ($56,950), Discovery HSE Td6 ($58,950), which uses a 3.0-liter diesel V6 rated at 254hp and 443 pound-feet of torque, and the Discovery HSE Luxury ($63,950), Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 ($65,950), and the aforementioned Discovery First Edition.
With the introduction of its 2017 Discovery, Land Rover is showcasing its all-new advanced tow assist technology, which helps drivers back up with a trailer (similar to Ford’s towing aid). Towing up to 8,201 pounds in the Discovery is no problem, but backing that load up can be difficult. With Advanced Tow Assist, drivers can guide their trailer or camper into position without using the steering wheel.
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While a 10-inch display shows multiple rear camera angles and trajectory lines, a console-mounted dial (dubbed Terrain Response 2) is used to steer the trailer. If the system detects a potential jackknife situation, it will alert the driver. Short of the system steering the trailer autonomously, it doesn’t get much easier to backup with a trailer or camper.