Land Rover Discovery 4 SE SCV6: Tow Test
Land Rover’s updated, supercharged Discovery 4 is a large, luxurious towing machine.
This is a very comfortable, stable and luxurious tow hauler with plenty of performance on offer. The fuel consumption figures when towing are not great, but that goes with the territory – this is no super-efficient diesel.
If you like to tour in comfort and want a big tow capacity in the sense of weight-carrying ability and performance – and don’t mind the fuel bills – then the Discovery 4 SCV6 might be just the thing.
Design & Construction
The Discovery SE comes with leather interior, cruise control, keyless start/stop, front, side and side curtain airbags (except no side curtain airbags for the third row), seven seats, the full suite of electronic traction controls including trailer stability assist, air suspension, towbar hitch and electrics.
The $3900 Black Design Pack includes an anthracite tow eye cover and gloss black (instead of silver) bonnet and tailgate script, door handles, front guard vents, grille mesh and side mirror caps. Also part of the pack are full length roof rails (black, of course), privacy glass (from the rear side windows back) and 19in black alloy wheels.
The Discovery is expensive, which is obvious, but when you look at other similarly specified 3500kg tow wagons, it is much the same story. A Toyota LandCruiser 200 GXL 4.6L petrol V8 is almost exactly the same price.
The Discovery’s all independent, air-spring suspension is a proven design, and it continues to work very well. The ability to soak up big bumps with ease is one of the greatest assets of this vehicle when touring, as is the ability to manual adjust suspension height to suit offroading or to improve ease of access when stopped.
The initial impression is that perhaps the damping is a bit too soft – there is some float when on undulating roads – but this doesn’t amount to much as it really is a superbly controlled, supple suspension. The steering is direct and provides good feel, although it can kick-back a little on rough surfaces.
The big negative for supercharged engines is often in their lack of fuel efficiency. However, in that respect, the SCV6 isn’t too bad. Averaging just under 10L/100km on a gentle, unladen 100km/h cruise, the consumption rose to an average of 12.5L/100km in more give-and-take secondary road conditions. With a 1800kg caravan hooked up behind, the SCV6 drank an average of 19.5L/100km.
And how does the SCV6 perform when towing? Like the trailer is not even there. It towed the 1800kg van behind without a problem, and when we towed another 2600kg van later, it also appeared undiminished in its eagerness to perform.
Land Rover Discovery 4 SE SCV6 Specs
Weights and measures
- Length 4829mm
- Width 2176mm
- Height 1887mm
- Wheelbase 2885mm
- Ground clearance 240mm
- Kerb Mass 2565kg
- Gross Vehicle Mass 3240kg
- Gross Combined Mass 6740kg
- Towing capacity unbraked/braked 750kg/3500kg
- Towball (max) 350kg
- Engine Supercharged petrol V6
- Transmission Eight-speed automatic
- Power 250kW at 6500rpm
- Torque 450Nm at 3500-5000rpm
- Gear ratios: 1 4.696, 2 3.130, 3 2.104, 4 1.667, 5 1.285,6 1.000, 7 0.839, 8 0.667
- Rev 3.297
- Final Drive 3.210
- High/Low 1.000/2.930
- Black Design Pack
Click here to read the full range review of the Land Rover Discovery