You really can feel the Range Rover DNA in the Discovery – which is hardly surprising, as it just a Range Rover with a bumpy roof really. I’m just a bit worried about how much I’m enjoying the driving position.
If anything, it’s even better than the Range Rover. In that, your head is practically brushing the headlining (especially if it’s sagging a bit). The Discovery has a higher roofline, so there’s no hemmed-in feel. The top of the seat base is a long way from the floor though, so you sit as if on a dining chair. Also, the body is very high up, perched as it is upon a strong, steel chassis. At first, this can be a bit alarming when cornering, but you do quickly get used to it. As the months (yes, months!) have gone by, I’ve begun to love it more and more. You do feel like king of the road.
Now, I have to quickly point out that I don’t drive like I’m king of the road. I drive a 2CV, so I know what it feels like to be at the other end of the scale. They say might is right, but I refuse to believe it…
Yet I find myself enjoying the views over hedges and there is something magnificent about pottering down the road sitting upright and dignified. Yes, dignified in a Discovery held together with tin foil. It doesn’t matter how shabby it looks when one is taking the wheel.
I got so carried away last night that I drove into town in the Discovery. Not really what it was built for. I have other, smaller, more economical cars for such missions.
Even in that slightly blurry shot, it looks quite at home though I reckon. After all, this was a 4×4 built to offer the best of all worlds. Yet, as I discovered last weekend, it is superb in the mucky stuff, but it was also designed to be good around town. Sadly, far too many were bought with nothing else in mind, which seems a bit like buying walking boots to go ballroom dancing in. Often, snow is cited as a reason that a 4×4 ‘must’ be owned but it seems silly to live with significantly higher running costs all year round when chances are, if it does snow, you’ll want to stay at home anyway.
Go on. Admit it. You want a 4×4 because you want a 4×4. There’s no harm in it! Some people opt for the higher running costs of petrol over diesel just because it’s a preference. For some, owning a 4×4 is a preference. 4×4 owners are often seen as the root of all evil – some get their vehicles egged by over-zealous hippies. Why not BMW saloons instead? Or Jaguars? They’re no more of a waste in a city than a 4×4. Or Toyota Piouses! Those batteries contain some hideous, Earth-scarring chemicals yet they STILL burn fossil fuels as well. It’s amazing what clever marketing can do for a car.
I digress. The point is that there’s no shame in having a 4×4 just because you want one, though I do urge any 4×4 owners to get acquainted with their vehicle’s off-road abilities. These vehicles are built to do well in many different situations. Dare I say it, but I’m sure my Discovery feels happier when I drop it into low ‘box and engage the diff lock. Like an eager puppy, it doesn’t want to sit in the house all day. Go on. Go and get it dirty!