RETURNING from a 4000km return trip from Melbourne to Brisbane the previous month, the Disco’s duties were honed towards city and suburban life. By no means does that mean we took it easy on the big Brit; quite the opposite, actually. Instead, we borrowed a tow ball and hitch from a mate and the black Disco played tow rig to a single-tandem trailer, ferrying tonnes of junk to the local tip. With a 3500kg towing capacity, the Disco’s 177kW and 430Nm made mince-meat of the load.
In the March issue of 4X4 Australia, Matt mentioned the Disco’s non-existent low-speed throttle response: “Squeeze the pedal lightly and there’s nothing there,” he said. Slowly backing the trailer up to the ‘dump-site’ exaggerated this issue, as touching the pedal to slowly usher the rig back a few metres proved to be difficult. The aftermarket should sort out this calibration issue, though.
Boot space is ample, too, with more than 2400 litres behind the front seats and 1137 litres behind the second seats. We managed to store a pair of 2.7m lengths of timber within the vehicle, sliding them between the front seats.
The month also involved a weekend burst to Yea, north of Melbourne. Racing sunset to reach our destination, as this section of road is notorious for wandering wildlife, provided the opportunity to let the Disco stretch its legs and display its on-road prowess on twisty bitumen. For a 2.0-litre four-cylinder dieselpowered car, you’re constantly aware you’re in a ‘floaty’ wagon weighing in at more than 2100kg, but the engine’s sufficient output gives the Disco enough urgency to make the drive fun enough. The roads out here are dry and dusty, though, not the ideal environment for a black vehicle (with the added Black Exterior pack and privacy glass) and 20-inch, gloss black wheels.
The cockpit is lush and spacious, with the beige contrasting well with the black upholstery. Nitpicking, perhaps, but waiting a few seconds for the transmission dial to rise once the ignition is kicked over – it sinks back in the centre console when the car is off – can be slightly cumbersome. Also tiresome is the overbearing 360° Parking Aid technology, which constantly reminds the driver it’s there despite there being no notable obstacles (a dip in our driveway, for example, set it off without fail every morning).
The sat-nav interface on the 10-inch touchscreen is clean and easy to operate, but the InControl GPS powered by TomTom hasn’t quite figured out how to best analyse traffic and provide the quickest route. More than once we used our Android’s Google Maps instead, shaving more than 20 minutes off the ETA in some instances. The vehicle doesn’t have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, so we had to sit the phone in a cradle – the old-school way.
With 6500km on the odometer the dash was warning us that the exhaust fluid needed topping up and we only had 2000km of range. This is the Adblue for the SCR emissions reductions system and, if you let it run dry, the car won’t start.
Most cars simply have a filler for the Adblue tank beside the fuel filler and they are easy to fill. Not Land Rover, though. It puts the filler under the bonnet and has a small filler that requires a special LR bottle to fill it properly. Past experience topping up a Range Rover from a store-bought bottle in the bush proved to be a messy job, so this time we took it straight back to the dealer to have them fill the tank. This is worth knowing if you’re planning a long trip in your late model Land Rover and you might need to carry a supply of the AdBlue fluid.