As a large family hauler the Land Rover Discovery XXV special edition offers luxury for seven people as well as off-road performance.
Every weekend is a chance to get to get to know a new car a little better. I knew I had a busy couple of days ahead with plenty of running around so I had my fingers crossed for something ultra plush, luxurious and comfortable.
I got my wish, jumping behind the wheel of the Land Rover Discovery XXV special edition. The 25th
anniversary edition adds a host of special touches inside and out.
This seven-seater is a big rig, yet feels nimble and light on its feet (or wheels). It’s no wallflower though, powered by a three-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine with an eight-speed sports automatic transmission. The V6 is capable of producing 183kW and 600Nm. It can move its booty fast enough to hit 100km/h from a standstill in 10.7-seconds.
The XXV is the Land Rover Discovery HSE with a makeover, marking a quarter of a century and it looks and feels suave. The manufacturer's list price is $109,900 and this one had a few options bringing the cost up to $121,540 before on road costs.
Those additions include the sunroof, xenon adaptive headlights, auto lights, surround camera system, 17-speaker Meridian surround sound system, digital radio, blind spot monitor and wade sensing.
The surround camera system also includes a handy tow assist function that helps line up the tow-ball to the trailer as well as T-junction view, while the exterior detection pack includes reverse traffic detection for those tricky manoeuvres.
Standard inclusions are impressive in their own regard and it’s hard to find fault with the interior when it comes to quality, finish and practicality. This 4WD is fitted with Windsor leather seats with XXV embossed headrests, the driver and front passenger seats are electrically adjustable and heated, as are the rear seats.
Glamorous black lacquer is a feature finish on the steering wheel; it’s also trimmed with leather. The cabin also boasts leather on the doors and dash. You’ll also notice the XXV stitching on the carpet mats.
It’s incredibly well decked out. Rear passengers are looked after with their own climate controls and plenty of room. The infotainment system is easy to use and can store music from your CD’s as well as the usual USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
We enjoyed flicking through the digital radio channels, and the sat-nav was simple to figure out.
With three separate sunroofs, there’s plenty of light and the front panel is electric slide/tilt. To the delight of my daughter, when you start the car the rotary gear shifter dial pops up out of the centre console – adding theatrics to the usually mundane.
When it comes to boot space, with the rear seats upright there’s 1260-litres to play with, if you fold them down there’s a huge 2558-litres.
Our weekend schedule included my daughter’s guitar lessons and drama class, as well as lunch with friends, the grocery run and more. Given the height of the car, jumping in and out was made easier by the shiny stainless steel sidesteps. In fact the only thing we found annoying was closing the doors. They need to be firmly shut or they don’t latch.
The extra exterior finishes include extended roof rails, 20-inch alloy wheels and a new grille. The standard discovery grill has been altered to include a black surround, different frame and mesh.
Playing with the air-suspension was a lot of fun. You can lower the car to make entry easier, and then if you forget to hit the button to raise it back up, it’ll automatically lift when your speed reaches around 15km/h.
Despite its luxurious interior, it’s still a serious off-roader. You can raise the air-suspension to increase your approach and departure angles, which also allows for greater clearance when it comes to river-crossings.
The off-road settings include snow and sand, and are all at your fingertips. You can monitor it all on the touchscreen in the dash.
The Discovery was really difficult to fault. The biggest downfalls are the fact that its size takes a little getting used to, and the need to slam the doors closed. On the positive side, it feels so light on the road yet easy to control and it has enough guts that you don’t feel like you’re driving a people mover.