Regular readers of our mag will know that over the years our long-term garage has had cars from almost every prominent automotive brand from Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Jaguar and Volvo to Ford, Renault, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. When the trusty Honda Civic left our premises last week, we were deliberating what its replacement should be. That’s when Imran said it’s been a while since we’ve had a land Rover on our long-term fleet. Well, we went back and checked our archives, and “a while” proved to be exactly nine years! The last time we had a Land Rover on an extended loan was back in September 2008. A call was placed promptly and to our delight, a brand spanking new Land Rover Discovery was available. And that too in the range-topping First Edition guise.
Although not as storied as its more iconic siblings like the Defender and the Range Rover, the Discovery is a success story in its own right. Introduced in 1989, the Discovery, or LR4 as it was known in some markets, has carved a niche for itself as a more urban-oriented yet rugged family vehicle. Despite having been around for nearly three decades, its popularity hasn’t waned prompting land Rover to come up with a generational update. It’s also one that follows the new family styling direction that eschews the good old box for some smooth curves. It’s not just the looks that have changed. The new model gets a monocoque structure, as against the body on frame build of its predecessor. With a good deal of aluminium going into the construction, the new Discovery is considerably lighter — almost by nearly half a tonne — than its predecessor.
But as we learnt when we had it briefly for a first drive a few months ago, its soft-roader appearance is deceptive and it’s in fact quite capable away from city limits as well. The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 is also impressive in its performance and refinement. The Discovery First Edition is going to be with us for the next six weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for weekly updates on how it is to live with this new Land Rover.