David Motton

See other tow car reviews written by David Motton

When towing heavyweight tourers long distances and in all weathers, the Land Rover Discovery 4 has few peers, report the experts at Practical Caravan

Overview

When it comes to towing heavyweight tourers long distances and in all weathers, the Land Rover Discovery 4 has few peers. No wonder it has won so many Tow Car Awards.

Towing

The big Land Rover makes towing seem easy. The big, beefy 3.0-litre engine has no trouble pulling twin-axle tourers up to speed, and the well controlled suspension keeps the outfit steady and stable at the legal limit and beyond.

The Discovery handles the lane-change test well even in wet conditions.

In an era when most 4x4s are getting lighter, the Discovery remains a true heavyweight, with a kerbweight of over 2.5 tonnes. That makes the 85% guideline largely academic for caravanners. Whatever you own, there’s little chance it won’t make a sensible match.

Everyday driving

In day to day driving the Discovery is just as impressive. The boxy shape helps you locate all four corners accurately so it’s not as intimidating to drive as you might expect from its size.

Ride comfort is exceptional from this tow car, smoothing away poor surfaces better than the likes of the BMW X5. But despite cosseting its passengers, the Land Rover is still composed and capable when the road starts to twist and turn.

The Discovery's dials are large and clear, with a touchscreen sat-nav which doubles as a display for the rear-view camera.

Space

Practicality is another strong point. There’s respectable head and legroom even in the third row, and everyone gets a good view since each row is higher than the one in front.

Seats are slightly higher up, but expect less legroom.

With seven seats upright the boot is still useable, and it becomes cavernous once the third row is folded into the floor. Stow the second row too and there are 2558 litres to fill. That’s more than in any estate car we can think of.

The back seats fold down to create a generous flat load space.

Running costs

Of course, the price is high with running costs to match with this tow car. Count yourself lucky if you equal the 32.1mpg official combined figure. However, strong demand leads to excellent resale values, so you’ll get back much of what you paid out a few years down the road.

Technical specs

Kerbweight2583 kg
85% KW2196 kg
Towball limit150 kg
Maximum towing limit3500 kg
Power252.0 bhp
Torque442.0 lb ft
Official MPG32.1 mpg
CO2230 g/km

Verdict

Practical, powerful and stable, the Discovery is our favourite heavyweight tow car.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Powerful and a very practical tow car
  • Well controlled suspension makes for steady, stable towing

Cons

  • It's not a cheap option
  • Running costs are pretty high
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