Large Premium SUV of the Year 2018: Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is the 2018 Auto Express Premium SUV of the Year, with the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover commended
Last year’s overall Car of the Year holds on to its category win this year in the face of stiff opposition. Yet it’s the Discovery’s family-friendly features and go-anywhere ability that triumph once again.
In the past year, we’ve done more than 20,000 miles in a Discovery and it has proven its worth on and off road. It’ll munch miles with ease, combining quiet relaxation with a ride that smothers the worst that Britain’s roads have to offer. In that respect, it rivals the best luxury cars for a sense of serenity – amazing when you consider it also goes further than many 4x4s if you test its off-road credentials.
And it’s on mucky, hilly dirt tracks, when wading through seriously deep water or tackling a tricky steep slope, that there’s the odd juxtaposition of impressive luxury with the wilds outside the window.
You sit, perched high for a good view across traffic or terrain, in a beautifully trimmed and comfortable leather chair with air-con gently calming the cabin’s temperature and, if you want it, soothing music playing through the excellent Meridian audio. Yet at the same time the conditions outside will make even the hardiest explorer wince. Not so the Discovery.
And the family can come along for the ride, too; you and up to six others have easy access to all five seats at the back and plenty of space once they’re on board. Equally impressive are the thoughtful touches: cup-holders, storage space and charging points for all, and seats that are easy to put up and down – electrically in many cases.
The Discovery isn’t perfect; infotainment upgrades can’t come soon enough because the current set-up is disappointing. But that’s easy to overlook because the rest of the car’s abilities put it head and shoulders above anything else in the class.
Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE (£62,505)
You might think the 3.0-litre V6 diesel would be the natural choice here, but we find the 2.0-litre version to be slightly more refined and perfectly powerful enough, while saving you money on running costs and purchase price. HSE spec is the one to go for, too. It comes generously kitted out, with leather everywhere, LED headlights, a Meridian sound system and plenty more comfort and convenience features as standard.
In true Porsche fashion, the new Cayenne might not look a whole lot different to the old one, but it’s a whole lot better. If you want your SUV on the sporty side, this should be your choice. Its agility belies its size, it’s hugely quick yet it remains comfortable and beautifully built. It’s a stunning achievement.
The Range Rover may be getting on a bit, but it’s the standard by which luxury SUVs are measured. And it’s still one of the best. Recent tweaks have kept it looking fresh and majestic, while tech upgrades have further improved the fine cabin ambience and even added hybrid power. Its blend of style, quality and 4x4 ability has yet to be beaten.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2018
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2018 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2018 is the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2018 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2018 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2018 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Volkswagen Golf is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mercedes A-Class and Skoda Octavia commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2018 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe Mercedes C-Class is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2018 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2018 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended
- 11Small SUV of the YearThe Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2018 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc commended
- 12Mid-size SUV of the YearSkoda is on a roll, and the Karoq is proof that the Czech brand knows exactly what it’s doing in the field of family SUVs.
- 13Large SUV of the YearThe Skoda Kodiaq is the 2018 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and SsangYong Rexton commended
- 14Small Premium SUV of the YearThe Volvo XC40 is the 2018 Auto Express Small Premium SUV of the Year, with the BMW X1 and MINI Countryman commended
- 15Mid-size Premium SUV of the YearThe BMW X3 is the 2018 Auto Express Premium Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60 commended