Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

King of the Road

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

King of the Road

Article excerpt

Byline: Robin Roberts

FROM once dominating the premium off-road market and moving into the on-road sector, Land Rover has come under intense pressure from rivals who have gone the other way.

Abilities and expectations have changed over the years and the whole market has become muddied with models of varying capabilities, but Land Rover has always dug into its roots and every model carrying the distinctive green and gold badge has to have very good off-road ability and capability to forge a metre of water.

Those engineering requirements have defined the basic design which has created a high floor and long travel suspension package and a powertrain which must perform in any terrain. Any other attributes and they are definitely plus points.

After the 110-inch predecessor to the utilitarian Defender we saw Land Rover launch the first luxury 4x4 in the Range Rover. But that left a lot of middle ground untouched and the Discovery was created in 1989 and then the Freelander arrived.

The Evoque will open up yet another sector from autumn. But the Discovery is for many the standard heavy duty Land Rover and the main competitor to other executive soft-roaders.

Land Rover has kept the Discovery up to date and it boasts many features available on its Range Rover stablemate, but the range is comparatively small, running to just three models, sharing a 3.0-litre V6 engine with 6sp automatic transmission and three trim levels, priced from pounds 36,785 to pounds 50,785.

The top of the range HSE comes with leather trim, electric sunroof, metallic paint, cruise control and MP3 connectivity. It is well equipped because the powertrain includes the sophisticated terrain response, which means you simply "dial-in" the road surface and the power train management system does the rest to give maximum traction and responses. …

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