The all-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery has been given a five-star safety record by ANCAP, before launching in Australia next week.
The big seven-seater 4X4 rated 90% for Adult Occupant Protection, 80% for Child Occupant Protection, 75% for Pedestrian Protection and a Safety Assist score of 73%.
Five-star safety is seen as an essential feature in this end of the market, where the Discovery will compete with other full-size, seven seater 4WDs. There are airbags across all three rows, and three different modes of autonomous emergency braking for different scenarios: City, Interurban, and Vulnerable Road User.
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery is built atop a completely new design. Most models continue to use airbag suspension that first appeared in the range back in 2004, after being pioneered briefly by the Range Rover Classic in the early 1990’s. The monocoque chassis is comprised almost entirely of aluminium, saving up to 480kg compared to a steel ladder chassis.
Interestingly, the airbag installed in the steering wheel was noted as being a little soft. Low pressure in the airbag allowed the crash test dummy’s head to contact the steering wheel, which resulted in a points penalty.
The Discovery heralds more of a move from the ‘traditional’ 4X4 in Australia eyes. Where older models of the Discovery went toe-to-toe with the likes of LandCruisers, Prados and Patrols, the new Discovery will also be competing heavily with road-biased luxury SUVs. It’s a tough gig: being as flash and refined as possible, whilst still maintaining a high level of off-road capability. Where ‘bush-ability’ might be a bit more left behind, Land Rover’s brand cannot allow a non-capable 4X4 to bear the green oval. Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures will be amongst the first to drive an Australian-spec model next week, so stay tuned for a road test and review.