2020 Land Rover Discovery


The latest Land Rover Discovery trades Patagonia for Hugo Boss, but it’ll still head to the trails with the best of them.

Don’t let the 2020 Land Rover Discovery’s soft looks and docile on-road demeanor fool you. This four-wheeler is an adept off-roader, if you want it to be. 

The likable 2020 Discovery is made better this year with newly standard convenience and safety features that, frankly, should have been part of the package last year. We rate it at 6.8 out of 10, with its sophistication offset slightly by its thirst for fuel. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2020 Discovery is available in SE, Landmark, and HSE trim levels. The Landmark trim is new this year with a number of appearance and convenience upgrades, as well as seven seats standard.

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Two 3.0-liter V-6 engines are available, though they’re entirely unrelated. The base gas V-6 is a supercharged unit that delivers good, but not overwhelming power. The optional turbodiesel V-6 is both quicker and more efficient. It’s $2,000 extra, but it’s likely worth it for most buyers. Either way, the engines put power to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive. A two-speed transfer case and a locking rear differential are optional, but we’d consider them mandatory for anyone intent on discovering or conquering the great outdoors. 

The standard coil-sprung suspension is composed and comfortable, while the optional air springs are as plush as they get. The air suspension option also allows the Discovery to rise to the occasion for more ground clearance when off-roading. 

For explorers, the 2020 Discovery’s refined interior makes an excellent base camp. Its front and second-row seats are spacious and comfortable. Materials inside are decadent—almost too nice, really. The optional third-row seats are power-adjustable but sized for children. We’d either skip them or consider one of the Discovery’s larger rivals if seating more than five is essential.

For 2020, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The Disco hasn’t been crash tested, but automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitors are finally standard, as well. Plan to pay extra for adaptive cruise control—it’s kind of like paying for wi-fi at a high-end hotel, even though it’s a freebie on far less-expensive options. 

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery marks a dramatic departure from its squared-off past, but we like its clean lines anyway.

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery is a contemporary SUV with relatively slippery lines that stand in marked contrast to its boxy predecessors.

Its character seems more forced than before, but we can’t blame Land Rover for going in a more sophisticated direction this go-around. We rate the 2020 Discovery at 7 out of 10 points.

In redesigning the Discovery, Land Rover integrated the rounded, clamshell-style hood from the latest Range Rovers, and it sits just above a narrow grille and a wide bumper that adds considerable visual heft. From the side, the Discovery is shockingly ordinary—don’t look for the “Alpine” windows from the past, though the roof does bump up slightly above the second row. 

At the rear, the offset license plate isn’t as well-realized as Land Rover may hope—it’s placed there because earlier Discos had tailgate-mounted spare tires. Still, the single-piece tailgate that’s hinged at the top is a lot more convenient. 

Inside, the cockpit is modern and airy, though the view out is as commanding as ever. The dash has a horizontal theme carried into the wide touchscreen that takes center stage. Only bland gauges look and feel downmarket, though, as every other trim piece has a rich appearance. Lighter interior hues brighten the cabin considerably, though the big side windows are an asset regardless of what color leather drapes the Disco’s interior.

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The 2020 Land Rover Discovery is a formidable on- and off-roader.

Forget the clunky, lumbering Land Rover Discovery of the past. The 2020 Discovery is a refined, highly capable machine with excellent grunt. 

We score the 2020 Land Rover Discovery at 8 out of 10, with points above average granted for its prodigious power, its slick ride, and its serious four-wheeling capability.

Every Discovery sold in the U.S. features a 3.0-liter V-6 engine, either as a 340-horsepower supercharged gas engine with 332 pound-feet of torque or a 254-hp turbodiesel making 443 lb-ft. The gas engine is more popular, and it provides good acceleration, but don’t bypass the more frugal turbodiesel. There’s barely a hint of turbodiesel clatter inside, and its mountain of torque helps it rocket to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, nearly an entire second faster than the gas engine. But the gas model can tow 8,201 pounds, which is about 500 pounds more than the diesel model. 

Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The Discovery is a good mud-plugger in stock form, but the optional air suspension increases ground clearance from a Subaru-matching 8.7 inches to more than 11 inches when fully raised. Optional—but mandatory for anyone looking to explore—are a two-speed transfer case and a locking rear differential.  

The base Discovery rides well on coil springs, though admittedly the majority of our time has been behind the wheel of models with the optional air suspension. With the air springs, the Discovery smothers bumps small and large.

For would-be explorers, the Discovery is among the most capable and comfortable four-wheelers on the market.

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The optional third-row seat does the 2020 Land Rover Discovery no favors, but rows one and two are treated to exceptional accommodations.

Slip into the 2020 Land Rover Discovery’s luxurious interior and you may forget about its prodigious capabilities. No vehicle this plush should be this good at getting dirty. 

It’s a 9 on our scale thanks to good seats up front and in the middle, luxurious materials, and excellent cargo room.

Front-seat passengers have an excellent view from the leather-wrapped thrones that offer a wide range of adjustment. Row two is nearly as good, with excellent head room and around 38 inches of leg room. Reclining second-row seats are available. Wide rear doors make climbing in a cinch, too.

The optional third row is for kids, but it’s best when power-folded out of the way. There’s just 9 cubic feet of cargo space behind an upright third row, though that balloons to 45 cubes with the third row tucked away (or not optioned at all). With row two folded, the Discovery can accommodate almost 83 cubic feet of cargo. 

The interior is so full of small-item storage bins that you might want to invest in a Tile system to help locate missing items. Interior materials are excellent at every step of the way, and downright opulent on high-trim versions. In some ways, the Discovery is too nice for its mission as a go-anywhere family hauler—we’d feel bad about seeing juice boxes spilled in the back seat or mud tracked onto the plush carpets.

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The 2020 Land Rover Discovery has yet to be crash tested.

The latest model has been on the market since the redesign for 2017 which makes us wonder if the 2020 Land Rover Discovery will ever be crash tested. Until then, we’ll have to hold off assigning a score.

Upgrades to the feature set this year mean that every Discovery rolls into dealer lots with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitors, which are features that should have been standard before. Traffic sign recognition, driver condition monitor, surround-view camera, and keyless entry are all standard. Adaptive cruise control and active lane control are on the options list. 

Excellent outward vision is a Discovery asset, though the view rearward can be blocked by tall headrests and chunky roof pillars. 

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A few additional features this year make the 2020 Land Rover Discovery a better value, though it’s still expensive.

Plan to spend a lot for your 2020 Land Rover Discovery. The lineup starts at around $54,500, and most on dealer lots are likely to crest $60,000. 

We score the range at 7 out of 10 thanks to newly standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus the large touchscreen. 

The base Discovery SE is a good starting point with its standard leather trim, power-adjustable front seats, 10.0-inch touchscreen, and active safety tech. 

A new Landmark trim this year sits in the middle of the range, and adds 20-inch wheels, a standard third row, and heated front and rear seats. We’d bypass it for the Discovery HSE for about $62,000 that adds navigation, power-adjustable steering column, power tailgate, and an upgraded Meridian sound system. 

The diesel engine runs about $2,000 more, while the locking rear differential and two-speed transfer case are curiously paired with the third row seats.

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The 2020 Land Rover Discovery is frugal in diesel form, though it’ll take a while to pay back the cost of admission.

Highly capable vehicles tend not to be fuel efficient, though the 2020 Land Rover Discovery diesel can be an exception to that rule. We score the range at 3 out of 10 based on the more popular gas engine, though the available turbodiesel would nudge that rating a point higher.

The supercharged V-6 that’s standard is rated at just 16 mpg city, 21 highway, 18 combined.

However, the optional turbodiesel checks in at 21/26/23 mpg. Using average fuel prices, the EPA figures the turbodiesel will cost around $700 less to run annually, which means it may pay for itself by the end of the SUV’s 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.

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