Thursday – Brand Power

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Jessica  The Mitsubishi GX5 is a curious car. On guessing the price I was wildly inaccurate as the drive quality and slightly bizarre choice of trimmings didn’t lead me to believe I was driving a car that sells in the £34,000 price bracket.

Talking about trimmings, there is retro and there is ‘why use old design…’ This car has an old style automatic gear stick which reminds me (vaguely) of the old red Jaguar my Father drove in the 1980s with it’s super 8 casettes. This, however, is a strangely cheap copy and looks out of place among the modern gadgetry.

Looking at cars and prices below is a random selection of seven-seaters which made me wonder where and how this Mitsubshi model competes…

Jeep Grand Cherokee £36,995.00

Volvo XC90 £36,865

Land Rover Discovery GS SDV6 3.0 AUTOMATIC £38,850

My biggest difficulty was the slow responds under acceleration and spongy steering. I would have happily swapped fewer gadgets and alarms for a better driving experience.

That said, the Outlander doesn’t look bad from the outside with its sleek lines. It’s also well considered from all angles.

I must say that after many years of visiting Badminton Horse Trials and seeing the sponsorship logos, I always imagined Mitsubishi was at the utilitarian end of the 4×4 market. It obviously has a healthy approach to country living and moving various types of livestock around the country. Such is the power of marketing!

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Wednesday – Taking The Strain

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Jeremy Just arrived in Southampton for a night at the Pig In The Wall. It’s a hotel that deserves a wacky name because is it so stunningly different. Tomorrow I’m leaving the Discovery at the quayside to catch the ferry to Cowes for a sailing masterclass, with double Olympic gold medalist, Shirley Robertson, for the FT Magazine. Forecast is sunny but I know I’m going to get soaked, one way or the other…

Being down by the coast reminded me that the Land Rover is a brilliant towing machine – something Jessica and I have not had time to put to the test. While she would have pulled a horse box, I definitely would have hitched up to a boat!

The Discovery won its class in the 2012 Towcar of the Year Awards for the third year in a row, beating the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Volvo XC60 and Ford Ranger, to name but a few.

I used a Discovery 3 to pull a small yacht across Ireland in 2008. There was hardly any impact on performance and the Land Rover proved steady at motorway speeds. The Discovery 4 has an eight-speed automatic gearbox instead of a six which I imagine would make it an even better workhorse.