The Land Rover Discovery is one of the most capable off-roaders you can buy, offering luxurious accommodation for up to seven occupants. Now business users can also buy a Discovery in commercial vehicle form, sacrificing the second and third row of seats in favour of a cavernous load bay.
Outwardly there’s little to distinguish the Discovery Commercial from its seven-seat stablemate. It still has five doors and the rear windows’ concealment panels are masked by privacy glass, retaining the Discovery’s exterior design. Inside, the powered tailgate and rear doors provide access to 1,856 litres of flexible load space, including secure underfloor stowage. The load space measures 1,635mm long, 939mm high and 1,411mm wide, enough to accept loads measuring up to 1000 x 735mm. Towing capacity is certified at 3,500kg. A powered inner tailgate allows for easier loading and acts as a retainer when the load space is full. It can be used as a seat, too.
The Discovery Commercial is available with a choice of two diesel engines. The four-cylinder 2.0D SD4 Ingenium engine develops 240HP and can deliver up to 33mpg, while the new 3.0D SDV6 produces 306HP and 700Nm of torque with a maximum WLTP figure of 31.7mpg. This larger diesel is capable of powering the Discovery from 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds and delivers relaxed cruising refinement and effortless towing. Like every Discovery, the Commercial models have four-wheel drive, automatic transmission, twin-speed transfer box, air suspension and Terrain Response off-road systems. This optimises the vehicle’s engine, gearbox, centre differential and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.
Although the Discovery Commercial has a load bay where the second and third rows of seats would normally go, for the driver and front seat passenger the infotainment and technologies are unchanged. Three trim levels are offered; S, SE and HSE. InControl Touch, Land Rover’s infotaiment and communications system, comes as standard as does a cruise control with speed limiter. More luxuries and tech come as you move up the range, including Navigation Pro and Wi-Fi hotspot for both SE and HSE. Given that many Discovery Commercial vehicles will be bought by businesses who travel far and wide, that sounds a worthwhile upgrade.
Again, the Discovery Commercial doesn’t skimp on safety systems compared with its 7-seat equivalent. The comprehensive standard specification includes Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Hill Launch Assist, Dynamic Stability Control, Roll Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Gradient Acceleration Control, Hill Descent Control and Trailer Stability Assist.
Verdict: if you simply need a van to transport goods from A to B on normal roads, the Discovery Commercial has extraordinary capabilities you’ll never use. Typical users of those capabilities will include farmers, landowners, film makers and photographers, those working in remote areas and emergency services. For these businesses, the Discovery Commercial’s sure-footed off-road capability, luxurious driving compartment and cavernous load bay will make an irresistible combination.