Back to top

Driving Impression: Discovery 4 HSE

26 December 2013

A little earlier this year we took some of SA’s most popular SUVs to Botswana for a vehicle safari through the Khwai Conservancy. We’ll be posting reviews of all the vehicles that accompanied us over the next couple of weeks. You can read our travel article about the trip here.

When it comes to exploration and discovery, the British have a proud tradition. Land Rover is upholding that reputation by offering a vehicle that encourages travel and adventure in true British style.

One has to respect the way the British explorers of old refused to relinquish their dignity or propriety on their travels. Sure, their expeditions would usually take on a desperate and hard scrabble nature almost as soon as they left the coast and ventured into the interior of the “Dark Continent”. But at least they set off with every intention of going about their business in a gentlemanly and refined manner. To the great consternation of their porters, they would often insist on carting beds, tables, chairs, desks and other luxuries along with them as they hacked their way through the African jungles.

What a shame they did not have access to a vehicle like the Land Rover Discovery 4! It would have made their travels so much more agreeable.

In the great British tradition of adding a touch of class to all endeavours, Land Rover has constructed a vehicle that marries comfort and elegance with true overland capiability.

The Disco is an extremely plush vehicle, ensconcing occupants in a cocoon of luxury, even when the environment outside is harsh and unforgiving. Moreover, it has tons of gadgets and gizmos that allow the most difficult obstacles to be tackled without hassle.

Its Terrain Response system instantly tweaks the vehicle’s set-up to suit the road conditions. Its adjustable air suspension raises it to an impressive 310mm above the ground.

What all this means is that the Disco is an eminently adaptable 4×4. When cruising on tar, it is refined, surefooted and smooth. Twist the Terrain Response dial to let the vehicle know that you’re about to venture onto sand or rock, however, and it becomes a very different beast. As we saw in Botswana, very few obstacles give the

Disco reason to pause. In fact, it is so intelligent and capable that it very nearly takes driver ability out of the equation completely. As Kingsley Holgate once told us when we asked him what it was like to travel through Africa in the Disco 4: “It makes it so easy, it almost feels like cheating.”