It might be one of the more niche Christmas presents out there at the moment, but if someone wants a luxurious SUV crossover, which for tax purposes qualifies as a commercial vehicle, Land Rover has just launched a commercial version of its Discovery model -- just in time for the festive season.
Although it's hard to see how much of a market there is a for a van version of the Discovery outside its home UK market, Land Rover dealers will tell you they get bombarded with enquiries for a commercial variant every time Land Rover launches a new Discovery.
A Discovery Commercial is basically a regular Discovery with all but the front two seats removed, to open up a large load space, which in this case will offer buyers 1,856 liters of flexible capacity to do with as they see fit. There will be two engines available for this version, which are a 2.0-liter Ingenium and a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel. The Discovery Commercial is exclusively all-wheel drive, with an automatic transmission, twin-speed transfer box, air suspension and a full-size spare wheel.
The load-space is accessed by a powered tailgate and benefits from Discovery's innovative powered inner tailgate. The available load-space in the Discovery measures 1,635 mm in length, 939 mm in height and is 1,411 mm wide, and the trunk opening is big enough to cope with loads with measurements of up to 1000 mm x 735mm.
Of course, a Discovery Commercial doesn't come cheap, and the least expensive version is the Commercial S 2.0D SD4, which costs from £40,333 +VAT + on-the-road costs. At the other end of the scale, a 3.0D TD6 HSE costs close to £60,000 on-the-road, including VAT.
And it's the tax situation that makes these vehicles attractive to UK buyers. Business users can potentially claim the VAT back, which represents 20 percent of the OTR price, and the company car tax for a commercial vehicle is much less than a passenger vehicle in the UK.
Orders are being taken now, with deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2018.