Thursday – A Big Discovery

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Jessica This car is a big step up from the Discovery of old. It feels solid, sorted and safe. The box shape does not work for me, utilitarian yes, aesthetic  no. Even though the bonnet is chunky and reflects the same look as a Range Rover, it definitely lacks a sense of style at the rear.

It’s easy to fall down when designing a dashboard. However, the retro wood finish ties neatly in with current online graphic trends (examples can be seen on Issuu.com) and will appeal to 70’s furniture enthusiasts. Combine this with lozenges of brushed chrome and you have a potential design classic interior.

Internally, the Discovery is very comfortable. The stitching is not overdone and it’s a pleasure to drive on either long or short journeys. Responsive, powerful with the all-important, armchair-style comfortable seats. It feels a little like sitting in a large comfortable office ( which rarely exist now, perhaps we do more work on the move these days, so it is appropriate!)

I know it has already been mentioned in terms of the current Jaguar range but the automatic  transmission dial is tactile, smoothly glides up when the car starts and feels thoroughly modern. It works just as well  in the Land Rover.

The Discovery is still ideal for pony clubbers and sport lovers alike, even campers – just make sure you do not have long nails as there is no chance of using the touch screen sat nav if you are fond of a well turned out hand!

Wednesday – The Handbag Car

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Jessica The ds3 is what I would call a handbag car. It offers, as any decent handbag should,  good design, functionality and  is sized for purpose.  Anya Hindmarch it is not,  however, references to the old Citroen aesthetic, via careful design and innovative dashboard features puts it firmly in the running for a future classic.

Inside, it feels roomy, without the go-cart feel of other small cars, such as the Mini. The Citroen drives as if it has a more substantial stature, with pleasing power and road holding.  The seats (which generally are a cause for concern for me, particularly on long journeys) are exceptionally comfortable, this combined with a big drive feel means the DS3 does not have to be a short hop, urban car.

I did have a bad moment when I was forced to look through the driver manual to identify a small button on the dash board. That made me realise how many times I have rooted through one of these tedious books to find specific information. Why is it so tricky to make them a clear and logical read?

Why can’t manufacturers provide an online manual, also available on the in car computer, which only refers to the model you are actually driving, thus saving paper, costs and preventing drivers from manual rage!

The button I eventually discovered was for air freshener ( I thought it was a little movable light !). I’m not sure what that says about the potential demographic but it does look appealing as a physical feature.

Jeremy I doubted Citroen could make a car to rival the Mini. I was wrong. The DS3 is an exceptionally good hatchback and combines all that is best about Citroen – unconventional styling, leftfield think – into a very smart little car. The slick roof operation, comfortable seats and willing engine are the highlights for me. I’m now looking forward to testing the DS5.