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Land Rover Discovery V6 S AT

Broadcast date : 16th July 2006

Land Rovers have been around since the late 1940ís when the British Rover company decided to build an off-roader to rival the American-built Jeep.

Landies, as they are known the world over, are still produced in rugged pure-off-roader form, but since the 1970ís the company moved to the luxury people-carrier arena, first with the Range Rover, and then with the mid-sized Discovery.

Discoís, as they are known to the Land Rover elite, have really grown up In this third-generation Discovery, the more affordable Landy SUV is, in many respects, larger than the Range Rover!

That rear-end is probably the softest visual aspect of the Discovery 3, which looks as if itís shed all pretensions of being a comfy cruiser and returned to its rugged roots. Black plastic scuff resistant trim shows it means business.

The tailgate unfolds to reveal a third row of seats which are big enough to be used by adults.

The news item pertaining to this model is the four litre engine, a V6 producing a handy 161 kilowatts, and 360 Newton metres of torque.

The new V6 model which follows on the V8 and diesels does come with a full range of equipment, including a triple sunroof fixture for the extremely tall roof.

Cloth upholstery is standard to go with the no-nonsense durable-looking dash fixtures, and the V6 comes in auto form only with electronic range and ride-height selection.

Care has to be taken that there is enough clearance when parking it under trees because of that tall roofline. But nothing, nothing prepares you for the ultra-smooth ride, which is evident as soon as you pull away. From your cabin perch, all is well.
With the V6 Discovery 3 you still get Land Roverís amazing air suspension, which offers different settings for the specific terrain you are covering, and three ride-height settings.

The low-range option is selected via a switch on the console and works perfectly with the auto Ďbox, as you also have ABS-assisted hill descent to prevent wheel lock-up. There is a degree of body roll, but itís much better than before.

This is one massive vehicle, weighing over 2500 kilograms, and in certain conditions you might wish for a V8.

But the engine is so smooth and powerful enough once you are on the freeway that we think this is the Disco to go for.

Land Rover claim a sub 12 0-100 and a top speed of 180, which is more than adequate for this type of vehicle.

And fuel consumption is listed at just under 16 litres per hundred kilometres, considerably lighter than the V8. For us the two stand-out features were the silken six-speed automatic gearbox and the amazing suspension.

And selecting the various terrain options automatically adjusts ride-height, throttle response and diff locking functions, all at a touch of a button

We often doubt the wisdom of venturing off-road in an expensive SUV, where paint work and wheel-rims take a pounding. In this Discovery, however, its prowess is so good that we would actively encourage weekend bundu-bashing. The odd paint scratch would count as an honourable battle scar.

Land Rover Discovery V6 S AT
  • Engine: V6 petrol, 4 015cc
  • Power: 161 kW @ 4 500 rpm
  • Torque: 360 Nm @ 3 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed auto, four-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 11,3 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 180 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 15,9 litres/100 km (claimed)
  • Price: R440 000
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