By William Coleman
Not all tow cars are equal and the new Land Rover Discovery Sport stands tall alongside a small number of luxury alternatives. After a few hundred miles of driving – pre-lockdown – we have some very strong opinions on this near-£60,000 tow car.
Caravans come in all shapes, sizes and weights and each van is uniquely loaded by its owner. You’ll need the right tow car to meet these specific towing needs and requirements. With the Land Rover Discovery Sport, you can tow the largest van and payload with absolute ease.
Make no mistake, this is one of the higher-end tow cars on the market and does come with a hefty price tag. The Discovery, or Disco as we like to call it, can set you back around £600 a month. We suggest doing your homework before committing. Take into consideration the vehicle’s kerb weight and any potential driving licence restrictions.
Driving and handling
CaravanTimes had the pleasure of testing the 3.0L V6 Twin Turbocharged Diesel 306HP model and it is an absolute beast, yes that is a good thing.
With a vehicle this heavy (2,311 kg), we were surprised at how well the vehicle adapted to every road surface. We went down all the roads you’d expect to find on your travels when testing, such as dirt tracks, roads with puddles and potholes, and the Disco didn’t even flinch.
This sports SUV can be a powerhouse on the motorway, as nimble as a hatchback in town, or down those smaller trickier roads. It is a fantastic example of the kind of vehicles that are being produced by Jaguar/Land Rover.
Under the bonnet, you have 306 horsepower to play with that provides a maximum torque of 700 Nm, so you will have very few worries towing a large six-berth twin-axle caravan.
One observation we made was the braking distance, and it has to be said, it was not the best. The Disco is weighty on its own, now add the caravan and you will need to preemptively brake to ensure you have a safe braking distance ahead of you.
The automatic eight-speed gearbox is a delight and could turn a lot of those avid manual drivers to the world or automatic driving. The word “effortless” comes to mind when breezing along in the Disco; at times it felt like this SUV drove itself.
Interior and exterior
As standard, the Disco comes with a gargantuan number of specifications that leave a lot of its competitors’ premium models in the wind. This is very much a luxury SUV that has everything you need to make this both the perfect town and tow car.
The exterior of this SUV is instantly recognisable and is sharp looking. It is a basic design, but there is beauty in its simplicity.
Inside is just like the Tardis; there is so much space that you will not know what to do with it. The rear passenger seats are well spaced and can be divided by a pull down armrest. Cupholders and a large surface can be used for leaning, resting tablets, or just simply as an extra bit of surface, to keep the footwells clear.
If you are going on those long drives, be prepared for one of the most comfortable journeys you are likely to take. The seats are large and soft and are extremely well made. The leather is soft with cushioning that has a firmness to it that feels more like memory foam than your conventional seating sponge. When driving, be ready for the passengers to nod off thanks to its high levels of comfort.
This model is the Landmark edition that features some unique specs:
- Fixed front and rear panoramic roof
- Dynamic exterior design pack featuring narvik black accents
- 20-inch five split-spoke style 5011 gloss black finish alloy wheels
- Landmark edition badge
- Privacy glass
- Signature hi-line tail lights
- Front fog lights
- Satin brushed aluminium vertical finisher
- MeridianT sound system 380 W
Optional premium extras:
- Farallon black premium metallic paint – £1,695
- Acorn and ebony interior
- Heated front and rear seats – £325
- Surround camera system – £635
- Detachable tow bar – £765
- Advanced tow assist – £375
- Advanced Off-Road Capability pack: Active rear locking differential, terrain response two, all-terrain progress control (ATPC) – £1,125
- 21-inch 10 split-spoke “Style 1012” gloss black finish – £1,590
- 21-inch full sized spare – £100
You can see that some people may be put off by the size of the Discovery, but the performance will soon dismiss any doubt. After racking up a few miles, you will realise that the size of this SUV is not an issue and is actually a positive. With this tow car’s size comes safety and comfort.
With an on-the-road price of £59,995 (£66,605 with all the bells and whistles), you are getting a lot of vehicle for your money. Depending on your specific needs, you may find a cheaper 4×4 or saloon/estate car that does the job without such a high cost.
As far as performance goes, the Disco is outstanding. Towing is a dream and you may never want to use another tow car again.