Major new advances for the Land Rover Discovery 4 include a revised suspension, improved steering, larger brakes and enhanced versions of Land Rover's award-winning Terrain Response and Hill Descent Control systems. Land Rover is not sitting quietly through this recession, thank you.
OK, so the facelift doesn’t amount to much. A nip here, a tuck there, but many of us liked the looks of the Disco 3 just fine anyway. So how about a smoother ride?
Done. They reduced the vehicle’s center of gravity, which dramatically reduces its natural body movements through a curve. Then they gave it a larger, stiffer anti-roll bar and threw in some new bushes and front and rear dampers to enhance the ride even more. Nice.
And when it comes to brakes, Land Rover asks “why stop there?” So they added a new, larger brake system derived from four-piston, opposed caliper performance system used – and proven - on the Range Rover Sport. Besides increased stopping power, there’s also a new emergency brake light function that makes the lights flash to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.
Then there’s the refinement to the understeer control system, which helps automatically slow you down when you enter a corner too fast, reducing your risk of rollover. Some may argue that the vehicle is doing too much of the driving for you, but if you’re putting yourself – and your passengers – at risk of rolling over by taking a turn too fast, maybe that’s not such a bad thing, eh?
So what about the award-winning Terrain Response and Hill Descent Control features? How can you improve upon them? Three words: refinement, refinement, refinement.
In soft sand, for instance, there’s now “sand launch control” which helps keep your wheels from digging down into the sand when starting in the sand from a stand still. And in the rock crawl mode, improved brake and traction control response times make tough going, well… easier.
As far as the much acclaimed Hill Descent Control system, they’ve now added Gradient Release Control (are you listening, San Franciscans?). This inhibits the initial rate of acceleration when descending very steep inclines, which adds control and eliminates that frightening lurch that happens when you release the brake at extreme downward angles.
Now, as far as style goes, that’s - as always – in the eye of the beholder. The interior will look very different to you, with a transformed dash and center console, new seats and gadgets aplenty. The exterior gets smoother, more aerodynamic looking, with sporty new LED lights front and rear. Suffice it to say that everyone will know you’re driving the new 4 series; the one with all that cool new stuff that no other SUV in the world has.
And that says a lot, no matter what you may think of the new front grille.
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