The Land Rover Discovery’s tally now stands at eight class wins in the nine years of the Tow Car Awards. New rivals keep taking a shot at the title, but for now the Discovery remains on top.
It’s an absolutely superb car to tow with. The massive kerbweight helps – even a big twin-axle tourer is a favourable match when a car tips the scales at over 2.5 tonnes, but the thoroughly sorted suspension also deserves credit for making the Land Rover such a relaxed and easy companion when towing at the legal limit and beyond.
Straight-line stability is excellent. You’ll need to be going well beyond the legal limit or driving in a strong crosswind before you need to make any steering corrections.
In most cars the lane-change test feels pretty dramatic. The judge’s notes from tackling this violent manoeuvre in the Discovery describe it as “so easy”.
The engine and brakes are also top-notch. Plant your right foot and 30-60mph disappears in 11.1 seconds. Move your foot across to the other pedal and the 30-0mph stop takes just 10.4 metres. So whether you want to overtake slower traffic or avoid an accident, the Land Rover Discovery obliges.
The 1-in-6 test hill isn’t much of a test at all for the Discovery. Some of our drivers tried the same test on a 1-in-4 slope, and the result was the same.
As an everyday car, the Discovery is still a class act. Some rivals feel a bit lighter on their feet, but for such a big, heavy car the Land Rover can be hustled along at a decent pace. And if you’d rather back off and just cruise along in quiet and comfort, the Discovery will be in its element.
Of all the cars tested this year, the Land Rover picked up the highest score from our practicality judges. Just about every gadget, gizmo and towing aid you can conceive of is fitted and the boot easily takes a full load of holiday luggage (with five seats upright). The seven-seat cabin is exceptionally spacious and versatile.
It may not be a cheap car to buy or run, but strong resale values help offset that. In the final reckoning, we think the Land Rover Discovery is worth its premium price tag.