Pricing hits the mark with competitors all around the $100,000 point, though a diesel Mercedes sends it north of $120,000. In relative terms, the $95,900 for the upmarket HSE version of the Disco 4 is good value.
It offers a spacious seven seats, good fuel economy, lots of features, strong 3500kg tow rating plus awesome off-road ability. The eight-speed automatic helps the 183kW/600Nm 3-litre bi-turbo V6 diesel to move the bulky 2.5-tonne body.
The engine is a clean-up version on the longstanding V6 that is also used in the Range Rover and Jaguar. Bonus bits include the five-mode terrain assist mode that alters engine, transmission and braking to suit driver-selected road conditions.
Electronic air suspension allows for ground clearance from 185mm to 310mm and flattens body roll when on the bitumen. There’s no crash rating for this car. The previous Disco 3 rated four stars. New model gets eight airbags, rear camera, front and rear park sensors, heated mirrors, bi-xenon headlights and electronic assistance including anti-trailer away, rollover stability, hill descent and hill holder, traction and stability control.
The spare is full size. Ride comfort and handling is, however, first rate. The electronic air suspension is complex and not as durable as steel springs, but thee are over-ridden by advantages such as the flat cornering stance, the ability to raise the vehicle for off-road travel, the disregard it has for speed bumps and the cloud-like glide it gives to the ride.
The steering ratio is high so needs more turns of the wheel – typical of 4WDs – but the weighting is close to perfect. It’s a surprisingly easy car to park. In the dirt it prefers tyre pressures down to about 18psi and the suspension jacked up. Then, together with the low-range transfer case and the ability to select terrain conditions in the Terrain Response program, it is almost unstoppable.