2020 Land Rover Discovery vs. 2019 Ford Flex

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/13

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Land Rover Discovery have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Ford Flex doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the Discovery and Flex have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Flex’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Discovery has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking that use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flex offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery. But it costs extra on the Flex.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Discovery’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Flex doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Land Rover Discovery has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Flex doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Discovery’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Flex doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Discovery offers an optional Surround Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flex only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The Discovery’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Flex doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Discovery and the Flex have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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The Discovery comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty that covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flex’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Discovery’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Flex’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Engine

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The Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 53 more horsepower (340 vs. 287) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (332 vs. 254) than the Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

The Discovery’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 189 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 254) than the Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Discovery’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 350) than the Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Land Rover Discovery is faster than the Ford Flex V6:

Discovery

Flex

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/13

On the EPA test cycle the Discovery Td6 gets better fuel mileage than the Flex AWD (21 city/26 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Discovery supercharged V6 gets better city mileage than the Flex Limited AWD turbo V6 (16 city/21 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Discovery’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Flex doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Flex (22.4 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Discovery Gas’ standard fuel tank has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Flex (23.8 vs. 18.6 gallons).

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Land Rover Discovery, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Flex.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Discovery’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Flex:

Discovery Td6

Discovery P340

Flex

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.3 inches

12.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

13 inches

The Discovery stops shorter than the Flex:

Discovery

Flex

60 to 0 MPH

138 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

148 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Discovery’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Flex (285/40R22 vs. 255/45R20).

The Discovery’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Flex’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Flex SE. The Discovery’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Flex.

The Discovery offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Flex, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare that limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Discovery is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the Flex.

Chassis

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The Discovery is 6.7 inches shorter than the Flex, making the Discovery easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Discovery uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Flex doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Discovery has 2.3 inches more front hip room, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear hip room, 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room, .2 inches more third row legroom and .9 inches more third row hip room than the Flex.

Cargo Capacity

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The Discovery’s cargo area provides more volume than the Flex.

Discovery

Flex

Third Seat Folded

40.2 cubic feet

43.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

43.5 cubic feet

n/a

Second Seat Folded

88.3 cubic feet

83.2 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Discovery’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Flex doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Discovery’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Flex’s (8201 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Discovery is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Flex. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Flex (except SE), the Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Flex doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Discovery’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Flex’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Discovery’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Flex’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Discovery the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. The driver of the Flex can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Discovery has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Flex doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Discovery’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Flex SE/SEL’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Discovery to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Flex doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Discovery’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Flex’s headlights that were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Flex doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Discovery detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flex doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Flex doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Flex’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Discovery has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Flex has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Discovery offers optional heated front, second and third row seats that keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Ford doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Flex.

Optional air-conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Discovery’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Flex doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

The Discovery has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Flex SEL/Limited.

Economic Advantages

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The Discovery will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Discovery will retain 47.79% to 49.86% of its original price after five years, while the Flex only retains 42.16% to 47.41%.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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