Land Rover Discovery (2009-2016) review - does it still make for a great 4x4? - Ride and handling

The definitive 4x4 from Land Rover - if you can’t quite stretch to a Range Rover

Evo rating
Price
from £41,600
  • Looks, prestige, utility and huge comfort regardless of what’s beneath the wheels
  • Beginning to feel its age despite many revisions, expensive to run and buy

Ride and handling

 Given its size, height and weight, not to mention its off-road prowess, it’s unreasonable to expect the Discovery to be a sports car sharp in the bends. Unsurprisingly it’s not, but for something with such a broad repertoire of ability it’s surprisingly adept on road. Like the performance, if you’re hoping to chase down X5s or Cayennes, forget it; the Discovery won’t see which way they went. The Land Rover is game though, hanging on longer than you would think it could, though there’s no denying it all gets a bit unruly when you ask more from the chassis than moderate cornering speeds. 

There’s air suspension on all models, even the XS Commercial features it - Land Rover once offered entry-spec Discoverys with coil springs. Those air springs deliver good ride comfort at speed, only some slow-speed patter upsetting the Discovery’s otherwise accomplished ride comfort. There’s some body lean in the bends if you’re a bit ambitious with your cornering pace, though it’s only really apparent if you’re asking more from the Discovery than you perhaps ought to be. The steering’s lack of information and relatively slow response is likely to slow you down before the body roll does. Off road, its ride height, tremendous axle articulation, air suspension, locking differentials and Terrain Response system combine to create a car that’s able to go virtually anywhere you choose to point it. Even if you never do, it’s good to know it can.  

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