How do you spec the ultimate family hauler?
Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but choice can be seriously confusing. In our new configurator challenge, we’re going to let the CarAdvice team loose on a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal spec of a certain model.
For this edition of the Configurator Challenge, we’re designing our perfect Land Rover Discovery.
Let us know what you think in the comments, and which cars you’d like to see next!
James Wong, Journalist
While it's a firm belief of mine British cars look best in British Racing Green, haters will be pleased to see I've chosen to shake things up with my entry into the Configurator Challenge this week.
I've chosen the SD4 HSE (from $96,250), because it gets a decent amount of standard kit, while the 177kW/500Nm four-cylinder SD4 diesel offers comparable outputs and performance to the TD6 V6 without having to shell out the extra $7000.
The Discovery is widely-regarded as the ultimate family SUV due to its all-round practicality and go-anywhere attitude, but this latest model's resemblance to the Range Rover catalogue led me to go for gangster-spec – because I'm the cool dad.
Santorini Black ($2060) is my exterior choice, darkened further by the Black Exterior Pack ($920) and privacy glass ($890), accented by diamond-turned 21-inch nine-spoke alloys borrowed from the Range Rover ($2990).
Inside, I've gone for seven seats ($3470) in Light Oyster/Espresso in higher-grade Windsor leather as part of the 7 Seat Luxury Climate Pack ($8910), which also adds heated and ventilated front/rear seats, heated third-row seats, four-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, solar attenuating windscreen, along with a heated windscreen and washer jets.
There's also high-gloss Charcoal Oak trim inserts ($440), a fixed panoramic sunroof with power blinds ($3550), and a head-up display ($2420).
I also ticked the boxes for the Drive Pro Pack ($4900) – bringing active safety tech like driver condition monitor, adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, lane-keep assist, blind-spot assist with rear cross-traffic alert, and traffic sign recognition – along with the Vision Assist Pack ($2550) – which adds auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a surround camera system, and adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist.
All up, that's around $33,000 of options (yikes!), bringing the as-seen-here ticket to $129,350 before on-road costs.
Once you go black, you can never go back – unless it's green.
Cassandra Chea, Account Executive
Being mindful I am someone who doesn't know too much about cars, I chose the HSE Luxury TD6 (from $116,800) mainly because it's the fastest (haha). It was a no-brainer to choose the neutral Byron Blue metallic for the exterior. I love how the colour is unique without being overly bright or dramatic.
I felt like the 21-inch split-spoke wheels with Satin Grey finish paired well with the main colour of the car, and I obviously had to include the electric sunroof for that summer tan! I also ticked privacy glass for those "I think I am celebrity" kinda vibes.
For the interior, I went with the combination of the 'Ebony' Windsor leather with contrasting Pimento piping and stitching, Titanium Mesh trim inserts and Ebony headlining.
I feel like black is so universal and will never go out of style. Some say it's boring... I say it's timeless. I have also included black roof rails just in case I decide to take out that bicycle in the garage – that is currently intertwined with dust and cobwebs – for a spin.
Kez Casey, Road Tester
Usually the Configurator Challenge becomes a dark window to my soul, filled with pink Bentleys and lime-on-lime 911 GT3s but in this instance I’m speccing a vehicle the way I would from a genuinely practical perspective.
In the case of the Discovery that means trying to keep a lid on the budget which results in the mid-spec SE trim tied to the mid-output SD4 engine.
The base S is a little too bare, but SE includes automatic LED headlights, auto wipers, leather trim, front and rear parking sensors and a 10-speaker audio system. Although the punchier 'TD6' V6 diesel would be nice, the 177kW/500Nm high-output four-cylinder oiler is up to the task with the added bonus of purchase and fuel savings.
Before options I’ll be handing over $85,950 which is painful enough, and with a view to using my Disco as an actual off-roader I’ve kept the options streamlined with Land Rover’s Capability Plus pack including an active rear differential and upgraded Terrain Response 2 system, plus a surround-view camera for a better view of the terrain I’m conquering.
Because I’m not made of stone I’ve relented and added Acorn leather to the five-seat interior, the Black Exterior Pack – only because it ties the styling together more fluently – but stuck with basic Fuji White solid duco and 19-inch wheels. None of that 22-inch nonsense here.
Due to exercising some restraint options come to no more than $7330, however at $93,280 before on-roads this is spec is still no bargain buy, and that’s before a trip to ARB, Old Man Emu, and Ezytrail.
Scott Collie, Journalist
Unpopular opinion time – I really like the way the new Discovery looks, off-centre number plate and all. It's a bit different, and that's rare these days.
I've opted for TD6 3.0-litre V6 diesel in mid-range SE spec. The idea of a four-cylinder Discovery, no matter how good brands are getting at downsizing, just doesn't feel right to me. Hooked up with an eight-speed automatic transmission, putting power to the road through a sophisticated four-wheel drive system, it's just right.
In keeping with my past configurator challenges, my Discovery is finished in Loire Blue with a body-coloured roof. The 21-inch alloy wheels were tempting, but you can get 20-inch units in the same style, and ride comfort is key in a family car.
Speaking of family car things, my Disco comes with seven seats trimmed in Light Oyster leather. They fold into the floor when you aren't using them, so there's no real penalty, but the choice is nice nonetheless.
Now, the scary part – options. The TD6 SE starts at $92,650 before on-roads, but the addition of adaptive LED headlights, heated seats, a surround-view camera, Terrain Response 2, a locking rear differential, a powered tailgate, and metallic paint add $26,260 to the list price.
Total cost? $118,910 plus on-roads.
Adam 'AK' Morris, Contributor
I'm not a Kardashian or a rapper, I rarely dress in active wear, I'm not a mum and and my non-existent kids don't play soccer so while I'm sure the Discovery is a lovely thing, it doesn't really froth my ethically-sourced Nicaraguan single-origin almond milk quarter-strength decaf extra-large extra-hot latte. But, here's how I'd spec it anyway.
I've selected the 3.0-litre HSE Luxury TD6 because if I was going to lay my hard earned down on something like this, it will need to have all the bells and whistles. Plus, I'd be seriously putting its off-roading credentials to the test so power, torque and the optional Capability Plus Pack will be a must (as will a spare set of wheels and off-road appropriate tyres but I couldn't find that option on the configurator).
Looks wise, I've tried to find that balance of class and understatement but with just a suggestion of presence, so it's Silicon Silver with 22-inch 'Style 5025' Satin Dark Grey diamond-turned rims, an electric sunroof with fixed rear glass and power blind, along with the Black Exterior Pack to remove any garish chrome trim.
Inside, it will be a five-seater as I don't have kids, and even if I did, I'm not a taxi service and their friends can find their own bloody way to dressage. The colour palette will remain subtle and classy with Ebony 'Windsor' leather, Natural Charcoal Oak veneer, Ebony headlining and the optional Meridian Surround Sound System because how else would I listen to Beyoncé?
Finally, I've selected Drive Pack Pro to look after me when I'm in a hurry looking for a car park near the post-modern organic Tibetan-sourced yoga loft cross-fit gym.
Mat McNay, NSW & QLD Sales Manager
Ah the Discovery – AKA the people's Range Rover. I’d be buying the Disco as a luxury tourer tackling everything from snow trips to surf trips and 4x4 trips (oh yeah, it'd get dirty). It’s for this reason I’ve opted with the HSE TD6 delivering bucketloads of torque around town, also making it a weapon off-road or on long drives.
Visually it’s a simple formula, big rims, black accents, dark paint. I’ve opted for the Carpathian Grey paint complimented by the Black Pack. The 22-inch split-spoke wheels in satin finish were chosen to compliment the other visual choices. I’d like to think that the 22-inch rims could be swapped out with a set of steel rims and mud tyres if a 4x4 weekend was on the cards.
From a features perspective I’ve landed on the fixed panoramic roof (a powered sunroof isn't necessary), all the active safety tech, and the Climate Comfort Pack making those snow trips or early morning surfs a little bit toastier.
Interior options were kept to a minimum with the Ebony 'Windsor' leather trim chosen in five-seat spec. My favourite JLR accessory at the moment is by far the Activity Key, I’m forever paranoid about losing a key in the surf on at the snow.
In summary – black on black on black with a lil' bit of silver.