25: Land Rover Discovery – Much improved icon of country life

Top cars for 2018: The Disco has not had the best reputation for quality in the past, but it has made great strides in this area

 

Any recommendation of any Land Rover product, but especially the Discovery, has to come with the disclaimer ‘but the reliability . . . …’ It’s true that the Solihull products have not had the best reputation for quality in the past, but true also that it has made great strides in that arena.

The new Discovery is too new to tell, really, when it comes to longevity, but for now, we like it enough for its immediate qualities to give it a big thumbs up. The cabin is huge, comfortable, tranquil (few cars of any type are this refined), and if you spec it up, quite luxurious.

The new four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine doesn’t exactly struggle with the weight but it never feels fast. Better to upgrade to the brilliant V6 diesel. The looks won’t be to all tastes (offset numberplate anyone?) but it’s bluffly handsome, not Range-Rover-chic on the outside.

Best of all are its amazing off-road abilities, including being able to tackle a nearly-metre-deep flood without worry. Lower CO2 of entry-level diesel engines has seen the price tumble relative to the old model.

Best model: 3.0 TDV6 HSE

Prices start from: €57,815

Finance package from: €POA

CO2 emissions: 163-189g/km

Sum-up: The automotive equivalent of Hunter wellies and a Berghaus jacket.