Will the new Land Rover Discovery challenge the BMW X5?

BMW X5, News | February 19th, 2017 by 12
Land Rover Discovery1 750x500

Gone is the Land Rover LR4 in America, replaced with the new Land Rover Discovery (which is what the LR4 was called everywhere else in …

Gone is the Land Rover LR4 in America, replaced with the new Land Rover Discovery (which is what the LR4 was called everywhere else in the world) and it’s a marked improvement over the old car in every single way. Should the BMW X5 be worried about its new competitor from Britain?

Based on the same aluminum-extensive architecture that underpins the current Range Rover, the new Disco is bigger and more spacious than before while also being lighter and stiffer. It also looks quite good, although it has an unusually high and narrow grill that sort of gives it a squished face. Other than that, though, this new Disco is a handsome car with familial looks shared with the current line of Range Rovers. Admittedly, the rugged and boxy good looks of the old Discovery (LR4) will be missed, as there was always a reassuring sense of durability in that car’s looks, but this new car is very sharp.

Land Rover Discovery0 750x500

Inside, things are clearly Range Rover-inspired, as the overall design is so extremely similar to the Range’s. However, there are some tougher looking bits and some more pragmatism built in. For instance, the chunky buttons and extra cubby space make this the more utilitarian choice. It’s still a luxury car on the inside, with tons of rich leather and soft-touch materials but it’s got a practical side as well.

From what we’re hearing, it drives like a proper Land Rover should. It’s soft, smooth and comfortable while still feeling like a truck. Its seating position is high and gives a commanding view of the road and its handling characteristics favor smooth, calmer driving. While its front end is said to be accurate and the steering light, it’s not a tossable car by any means, as its tall body and soft suspension make it roll quite a bit through corners. It clearly emphasizes comfort and rugged off-road ability over performance and dynamics.

Land Rover Discovery4 750x563

And that’s really what the Land Rover Discovery is all about — blending off-road capability with comfort and luxury. In that endeavor, the Disco seems to be a success. Its ride quality is supple and luxurious, almost Range Rover-like, while the interior stays calm and quiet, even at highway speed. Yet, when the Disco goes off the road, it’s as capable as anything on the market. In fact, there’s probably nothing else in its class that can off-road as well the Discovery. But the trade off is that it isn’t the sharpest of handling SUVs on the market.

The BMW X5 is sort of the opposite of the Land Rover Discovery. While the X5 isn’t a great off-roader, it’s the more agile and better handling SUV of the two. For a big, hulking SUV, the BMW X5 actually handles with the capabilities of a much smaller car and is genuinely impressive. The Disco is calmer and more truck-like, by comparison.

So should BMW be worried about its new Land Rover competition? The Disco is said to be a superb SUV, with impressive luxury, good technology and peerless off-road capability. But, being that it’s so different from the BMW X5, will customers cross-shop the two and will the X5 lose sales to the new Land Rover Discovery?

[Source: Auto Express]

12 responses to “Will the new Land Rover Discovery challenge the BMW X5?”

  1. Pictor says:

    LR, no matter what marketing says, has lost its off road capability. Yes, it can handle slippery driveways well and I’m sure it will do just find on a dirt road. We’ll even see a few press photos with a wheel in the air as it negotiates a dirt road at an angle in an attempt to impress the uninitiated.

    What LR is now is a brand that capitalizes on it’s pedigree but the vehicles no longer have the capability they once had. Short wheel bases, robust box frames that offered good recovery points, full floating solid axles that offered great wheel articulation and a proper locking center differential are all but gone in the new generations of LR. The cars now have low residuals with questionable build quality and a limited dealer network. Get to know your mechanic if you own one.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      I’ve seen the Evoque do things i wouldn’t even try in an X5 X Line so idk man…
      For the build quality and reliability yeah it’s a problem but it has always been tbh.

      • Pictor says:

        Look, neither are off road vehicles but if you want to give the Evoque the edge because of it’s shorter wheel base and possibly better departure angle then I’ll give you that. That doesn’t make it any more an off road vehicle. Neither of them were made for that kind of driving but both will handle a dirt road and puddles just fine if that’s your idea of off road. Tata hasn’t shown interest in continuing the off road tradition of the muddy oval and they seem happy making lifestyle vehicles.

      • Guillaume Perret says:

        Just looking at the bumpers of the X5 going so low, you know the X5 is not intended for off-road …
        But do any of the X5 customers care ?

        • Kaisuke971 says:

          My point was just that even Land Rover’s worst suv is still more capable than BMW’s most SUV-esque car. Both these models are mainly driven by soccer moms anyway.

          • guest says:

            Given their sales volume, that’s a lotta balls.

          • sotos socratous says:

            It depends on what you are looking from your SUV. If you want practically, comfort and relaxed driving style go for the Discovery. Obviously the X5 will handle better and go faster but in the world of speed restrictions is that a selling point? Also don’t really understand what direction BMW are going in in terms of all the X models they are producing. They have obviously identified a gap in the market which personally I don’t think exists. I mean the X6 is probably a good example of that. What is the point of that car.

    • sotos socratous says:

      I have a Discovery 4 and had no issues whatsoever and have ordered the new Discovery – delivery March. I don’t think they have lost their way at all and their sales do not reflect that – look at the number of Evoque’s they have sold as an example.I will be very surprised if they have lost their off road capability especially if you compare them to the X5, Q7 and XC90s of this world. Low residuals, really? You find that the new Discovery has been predicted to retain least 58%of it’s value after 3 years which, I may be wrong, surpasses the other SUV brands.

  2. Scoop Henderson says:

    What is the average wait time for a tow truck?

  3. John Holm says:

    I’ll keep my 2003 Discovers and upgrade my 2012 X5d to the new hybrid electric X5.

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