5 things to know about the 2017 Land Rover Discovery

2017 Land Rover Discovery (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

The all-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery is one of those vehicles you could write volumes about. There are so many neat features, and the fact it’s a seven-passenger vehicle that fits real adults and can hit some pretty tough trails is pretty cool, too.

So, in case our full first-look review of the 2017 Land Rover Discovery was TL;DR, I’m breaking out five important features on this all-new full-size SUV.

Clever storage

Who doesn’t love a super secret spy compartment? The Discovery has a couple of them, including deep center console storage hidden underneath the front cup holders and another secret cubby behind the HVAC controls on the center stack. The former will hold up to four tablets, while the latter is great for hiding a phone or wallet.

In total there are 21 separate stowage areas including row-three cup holders, two tablet pockets, front and rear door storage compartments, a cooled box storage area under the center armrest ($350) and a twin glove box.

Hands-free liftgate

The kick-activated liftgate was pioneered by Ford, and various manufacturers have tried their own versions of the hands-free hatch including Hyundai’s Smart Trunk, which is activated by key proximity, and Lexus’ Touch-Free power door, which is activated with a wave of the hand over the rear Lexus logo.

Land Rover goes back to the kick-activated technology, allowing someone who has the key fob to walk up behind the vehicle and kick under the rear bumper to open the rear liftgate without touching anything. This is a great feature – especially if your hands are full.

The “gesture tailgate,” as Land Rover calls it, is standard on the base SE trim.

21 seat configurations

You want seating options? If you opt for the seven-seat configuration, Discovery has tons of ’em. You can raise or lower each rear seat individually or as a group, and in all there are 21 different configurations. Plus, you have options on how to lower the seats: from the front touch screen, from the rear switches or from your cell phone.

We also like that the configurations can be completed within 14 seconds, so you can swiftly switch between hauling cargo or people.

What we really love: The remote operation via your phone. Say you’re in Home Depot or IKEA buying some bulky home product. While you’re waiting in line, you can pull out your phone and drop the seats in preparation of loading the cargo.

Discovery is standard with five seats on the SE and HSE trims, and the seven-seat configuration is a $2,150 package option. The Intelligent Seat Fold Package is available at the HSE trim for an additional $1,070. Both are standard at the HSE Luxury trim ($64,945).

Yes, it has a diesel

The base engine for the Discovery is a 3.6-liter supercharged V-6. However, a 3.0-liter 6-cylidner diesel engine is available for a $8,960 upcharge. The extra cash isn’t completely due to the engine – the gasoline model is available in a base SE trim, whereas the diesel model starts at the HSE trim level.

The diesel delivers 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque – so it’s great for towing, but a little light on the acceleration. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in 7.7 seconds (as opposed to 6.9 seconds in the V-6).

This engine is quiet and steady, and though fuel economy numbers haven’t been officially released, Land Rover estimates it will get 26 mpg in combined driving.

Set your cruise control to 1 mph

Wait, what? Shouldn’t you add a zero to the cruise control number? Nope. The new Discovery offers a cruise control that can be set to 1 mph, and this is specifically designed for rock-crawling off-roaders.

The available All-Terrain Progress Control maintains a crawl speed chosen by the driver, which then allows the driver to concentrate on steering.

All-Terrain Progress Control along with Terrain Response 2 is standard on the top-tier First Edition model ($74,945).

The 2017 Discovery will have a base price of $50,985, and it will be arriving in dealers sometime in May.

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