Tuesday – On The Bounce

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I bounced around Mongolia once in a Land Rover Discovery. It was about the same time as the Mongol Rally, when people from the UK drive all the way there in cars which have to have an engine smaller than 1-0-litre. Oh and the cars have to be cheap – very cheap!

I’m disappointed that Chevrolet don’t make a 1.0-litre version of the Trax because it seems like the perfect Mongol Rally machine. The original Fiat Panda 4×4 has always been a favourite in the race but not many have survived the test of time.

Like most SUVs, the majority of Trax sold in the UK are going to spend their life on Tarmac. Today I had a chance to run it along some dirt roads and grassy fields – it performed really well considering it was on road tyres.

The short wheelbase and lightweight makes the Chevrolet perfect for uneven ground. OK, it may not be as comfortable as larger sport utility vehicles but with a decent set of off-road tyres, I reckon it would be unstoppable!

Monday – Stormy Weather

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Jeremy Thunder and lightning are sweeping across Wiltshire today but after a wonderful July it’s going to be flooding next for sure.  The Discovery is the perfect machine for this type of weather – as I discovered in Northern Ireland six years ago.

Driving back from the Mountains of Mourne in appalling weather, I came across a family who were stranded in flood water which was lapping up around the side of their Mondeo. I was in a V8 petrol Discovery 3, drinking fuel at 14mpg! However, I was very glad to be in the Land Rover because a guy in an Audi allroad seemed to be going under in his own rescue attempt too.

We managed to pull the Mondeo out but the car was a write-off, with water pouring out of the doors when we reached safety. The allroad survived but the owner was a bit miffed his 4×4 hadn’t lived up to expectations…

I know people who own off-road vehicles and never, ever go further than a muddy field at a party. Having driven across Mongolia twice in a Discovery, I can tell you there are few cars that will get you anywhere AND is such comfort.

 

Saturday – Square-Cut

cropped-d4_10my_hse_loc_070909_15_lowres.jpg Jeremy As predicted, Jessica isn’t too struck on Discovery styling. Even before the Land Rover arrived, she was recounting how her previous experiences with the Discovery hadn’t been too successful.

For once, I was rather smug when she tootled off to the gym this morning because I know the current version is nothing like the last one she drove in 2002. Having rumbled around Mongolia in a Discovery 3 and owned a V8 petrol model for a mad moment (11mpg anybody?), there is no comparison with the dated original.

So by the time she had returned, the latest Disco was receiving rave reviews for it’s performance, comfort and all round good motoring experience.

The square-cut styling, however, left her cold. Because she was brought up in a world of Range Rovers, I can sort of see her point. The Discovery does look a little utility but at least we both agree that it totally does what is says on the tin.