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Also driven: Land Rover Discovery 4 HSE 3.0 SDV6

Land Rover

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Review

In the wake of Evoque’s sales conquests it could be overlooked that Land Rover has long been selling superb premium vehicles.

Stalwarts, such as the Discovery and Range Rover, must not be overshadowed by the young buck.

While the Discovery brand has been around for 23 years now, the latest incarnation in HSE trim is a wonderfully special car.

And so it must be, because at £52,450 it battles aggressive rival Audi’s Q7, which has better economy and CO2 emissions in its armoury.

The three-litre V6 turbodiesel is thirsty (32mpg combined), but with power recently boosted from 245bhp to 256bhp is as gutsy as could be desired, and hauls along this substantial seven-seater smoothly in conjunction with the eight-speed automatic gearbox.

We filled the car to near maximum capacity with seven occupants and kit for a seaside break, and it coped admirably, even when challenged with some off-roading behind Heacham’s holiday homes.

Maybe it’s my Norfolk upbringing, but to me the Discovery has the edge with its classy styling and plush interior.

The 2012 model’s rotary gearshift and off-road electronic control only enhance that perception.
 

Driven: Land Rover Freelander 2 eD4 HSE

Land Rover has spent decades upholding its core value of 4x4 go-anywhere products. But it is now seen as an alternative premium choice for business executives and the rural middle-classes.

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