2019 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Diesel Review
Jerry Reynolds | May 20, 2019
This week we’re taking a look at the 2019 Land Rover Discovery. This is the fifth-generation Discovery that debuted in America in 1989. You might remember previous versions were very square with a tall roof. This SUV was redone in 2017 and sports a more modern appearance.
Discovery has the classic Land Rover front end, you see more heritage in the slightly raised roof, and it has a very round, bulbous rear end. My tester has beautiful 21” 9-spoke wheels.
Land Rovers are known primarily for two things, great interiors and one of the best all-wheel drive systems you can buy, and Discovery delivers on both very well.
For getting off the pavement, use the Terrain Response dial on the center console to help you out of whatever situation you are in. You can leave the system on auto, or you can choose from five different settings. The Discovery is as capable off-road as its bigger, more expensive, and larger Rover siblings the Sport and Range Rover HSE.
The standard engine is a 3-liter V6 gasoline, but I have the 3-liter turbocharged diesel this week. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic. Together they produce 254-horses, which sounds light, but it generates a strong 443-pound feet of torque.
This is the top-of-the-line Discovery, the HSE Luxury, but you can go down to the HSE, or the entry level SE.
Moving to the interior, it is classic Land Rover with rich leather seats, soft-touch door panels, and a limited amount of wood trim on the dash and door panels. It also comes with pull down armrests that you twist to adjust the height.
The gauges are configurable and easy-to-read. Everything on the gauge cluster operates from the steering wheel and is very intuitive. As you look through the windshield, you’ll see an easy to read head-up display with sign recognition.
The center console has sliding cup holders with storage underneath. You can set the ride height, turn off the start/stop system, and activate the hill descent control. A round dial operates the transmission.
Center dash is the InControl Touch Pro screen that operates the vehicle settings, navigation, Bluetooth, entertainment system including the Meridian Surround Sound system, and the heated and cooled front seats that will give you a massage. It also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Discovery comes as a 5-passenger or 7-passenger. My review SUV is the 7-seater and it has surprising room for all occupants.
One wonderful thing is if you raise the power liftgate, you can fold all the back seats up or down with easy-to-use buttons. The seats fold quickly, it drops the rear headrests, and the seats fold flat. This is the easiest method to put seats down in any SUV I’ve had. The second row seats have a power slide feature for entry to the third row and it even slides the front seats forward at the same time. One button operates a short power gate that keeps things in place.
Standard Equipment and Options
The HSE Luxury comes very well-equipped with dual moonroofs, power tilt wheel, the leather massaging climate controlled seats, keyless entry, emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, park assist, and blind spot monitoring.
My tester has $11,000 in options, most notable is a 360-degree rear camera, 4-zone climate control, the 21” wheels, heated windshield, and tow package.
One cool, but mostly useless option, is a $410 activity wristband. You can lock your keys inside your Discovery, hold the activity band up to the D in Discovery on the tailgate to lock and unlock the vehicle. If you don’t want to carry your keys, or perhaps are going into the water, I suppose it could be handy. It stores behind a panel near the air conditioning controls.
Diesel mileage on this almost 5000-pound SUV is actually good, 21 in town and 26 on the highway. Being careful, you can get 635 miles of range.
What I like about Discovery, and I say this as a Range Rover owner for many years-this is a real, off-road capable Land Rover even if it looks like a normal crossover.
Handling is great, ride is very smooth, and the Discovery is super quiet inside. I love the diesel engine and is what I will choose if I ever downsize from my Rover Sport. Incidentally, this is the same diesel engine that comes in the Ford F-150.
A couple of complaints: The InControl touch screen is slow to react to basic operations, and there is a bit of a turbo lag when you really bear down on this vehicle, but it is not overly annoying.
MSRP as equipped is $80,915, which seems OK considering the room, performance, torque, great interior, and 7700-pound towing capacity.
2019 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Diesel Review
What I liked most: Capability, fuel economy, and interior.
What I would change: Upgrade the electronics, just too slow.
MSRP: $68,800 base price, total MSRP with transportation: $80,915.
Fuel Economy: 21 city/26 highway/23 combined.
Official Color: Loire Blue.
Odometer reading when tested: 1800 miles.
Weight: 4916 pounds.
Final Assembly Location: Solihull, United Kingdom.