We take Land Rover’s Discovery 4 on a whistle-stop tour of Weymouth’s new national sailing academy.
Voyage of Discovery
Launching the boat
Manoeuvring a large boat trailer can be tricky, but the Land Rover Discovery 4 made light work of launching and recovering our 6m Novurania RIB at Chichester Marina and the hectic sandy hard at Itchenor.
The all-round cameras took the guess work out of backing up to the trailer, while the remote control electronic air suspension allowed us to lower and raise the ride height for easy hitching. Low gear mode, permanent four- wheel drive and a new hill start feature ensured perfect control on the steep slip.
Escaping the crowds
With the boat safely in the water and the folding tow hitch tucked away, we set off in search of a quiet picnic spot.
Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response® technology automatically adjusted the Discovery 4’s set-up to cope with the selected terrain; muddy ruts, soft sand and slippery foreshore, helping us to find some amazing low water hideaways away from the crowds. Chichester Harbour is a gem for this kind of exploration, though we kept a careful eye on the tide. The Discovery has many fine qualities but it isn’t a submarine!
Space to spare
We always seem to take mountains of cruising gear, camera kit, food and wine for weekends afloat. The Discovery 4’s boot had no trouble swallowing the lot with space to spare for three extra crew in the back (and two more on the folding rear seats if needed). The drop-down tailgate made it easy to slide our bags in and was also the business for laying out the lunch hamper.
The long way home
The drive home after a weekend afloat can be a disappointing end to a relaxing break but the Discovery 4 ensured the luxurious cruising experience extended all the way home. The 3-litre SDV6 turbo diesel was smooth, powerful and instantly responsive, delivering maximum torque from just 2,000rpm. It was just as soothing idling in traffic queues as whipping out into the fast lane and powering past slower moving traffic. My final treat of the weekend was watching an Aston Martin Vantage receding in the Discovery’s rear view mirror.
Fuel economy figures for the Discovery 4:
urban 28.8 (9.8)
extra urban 34.9 (8.1)
combined 32.1 (8.8)
Co2 emissions g/km: 230