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MOTORING MOTORING Land Rover Discovery


Land Rover’s iconic Discovery sets a benchmark in its class, brilliantly combining the on-road comfort of a luxury car with unstoppable off-road ability.


In latest guise, the Discovery is smoother, quieter, more comfortable and even better equipped and overall, it is a package which rivals find hard to equal, let alone exceed. The only engine is a 3.0-litre twin- turbo diesel with 252 hp on tap. It needs all that power because the Disco weighs around 2.5 tonnes. Apart from moving off, when you need to push the accelerator hard to gain momentum, once underway you never feel short of power and the general handling is remarkably car-like, despite its bulk. There are several versions with


different equipment levels and ranging from £38,850 to £52,475 for the flagship SDV6 HSE, which was my test model. Even with so much weight and a lack of aerodynamics, the Discovery still gets from 0-60 mph in just 8.8 seconds, putting some hot-hatchbacks to shame. Top speed is 112 mph and the


Toyota Yaris Hybrid While fully-electric cars are still gaining acceptance, hybrids are well established and the latest Toyota Yaris hybrid underlines why. A spacious easy-drive hatchback with low running costs and exceptional fuel economy, it stacks up well as top choice for those who want to save money and have green credentials. The Yaris Hybrid, priced from


£15,195, is a little more expensive than a conventional hatchback of the same size, but its zero road tax and other savings soon make up. Power comes from a 1.5 litre 98hp petrol engine linked to a 59hp electric


fuel economy is 32.1 combined , almost exactly what I got after a week of varied use.


Pushed hard on the tarmac, the


Discovery is superbly composed and retains assurance even on twisty roads. On motorways, its brilliant air suspension copes with even rough surfaces and delivers excellent ride comfort. Land Rover has improved noise


intrusion and vibration quite considerably, the result being a relaxing driving


Pushed hard on the tarmac, the Discovery is superbly composed


environment. The 8-speed auto transmission is smooth and responsive too. Stability and traction controls and hill descent control are standard, along with full-time four-wheel drive. Off-road, it is genuinely impressive, conquering terrain that would leave some rivals stranded. The cabin is impressive, with wood and leather and a wealth of technology and luxury equipment. You get a great view


ROAD TESTS BY NICK FLETCHER


CONTINuING OuR NeW MOTORING COLuMN. THe eXpeRIeNCeD AND AWARD-WINNING MOTORING JOuRNALIsT, NICK FLETCHER, HeLps OuR ReADeRs TO CHOOse THe BesT OF THe NeW CARs.


of the road, the layout is user-friendly, and seating is extremely comfortable. The Discovery seats seven adults with ease, and with full occupancy, still provides 543 litres of luggage space. Fold the seats and you increase that almost five-fold, to 2,558 litres. Even the entry GS Discovery is exceptionally well equipped, with standard kit which includes air-conditioning, all- round power windows, Bluetooth and keyless entry. XS models add cruise control, front parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, leather seats, sat- nav and MP3/USB connectivity. My test model, the HSE then adds


various other kit including wood trim and a substantially upgraded sound and vision system, creating an impressive luxury ambiance.•


motor. In normal driving the two power units switch seamlessly without you noticing, so you get very smooth driving. And the car also has electric CVT transmission, which is also very smooth in operation.


“A spacious easy-drive hatchback with low running costs and exceptional fuel economy”


Top speed is 103 mph, the 0-60 mph time 11.8 seconds, fairly typical by class standards. But the bonus comes with


76.3 mpg combined, which is substantially above the class benchmark. Yaris has plenty of kerb-appeal with


smart looks and sleek styling and underway it proves neat and nimble in its handling and it takes a rough surface to upset its compliant ride quality. Steering needs only a light touch and the turning circle is tight, making parking much easier.


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