RAY MASSEY: Land Rover’s new Discovery Sport loves the mud

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The best Disco in and out of town: RAY MASSEY puts Land Rover’s new seven-seat mud-plugger through its paces

There’s nothing more satisfying than a filthy 4X4. Proper muck and dirt is the true badge of honour that proves an off-road vehicle has been put through its paces.

So after taking Land Rover’s new Discovery Sport for my own extensive test drive — on-and off-road in Spain — nothing gave me greater pleasure than seeing it caked in mud and dust.

The flexible new seven-seater Discovery Sport is the smaller sibling to the larger Land Rover Discovery. 

Tough cookie: The flexible new seven-seater Discovery Sport is the smaller sibling to the larger Land Rover Discovery

Tough cookie: The flexible new seven-seater Discovery Sport is the smaller sibling to the larger Land Rover Discovery

The first generation baby Disco Sport was launched in September 2014 and replaced the long-running Freelander.

Now after five years, the new Discovery Sport has had a significant update gaining frugal new hybrid-electric engines, a revamped interior offering more space, internet access, and improved safety features.

Priced from £31,575 to £49,675, launch models are available in standard Discovery Sport trim plus S, SE and HSE, with an R-Dynamic option.

 

The new Disco is priced from £31,575 to £49,675, launch models are available in standard Discovery Sport trim plus S, SE and HSE, with an R-Dynamic option

The new Disco is priced from £31,575 to £49,675, launch models are available in standard Discovery Sport trim plus S, SE and HSE, with an R-Dynamic option

An even more fuel-efficient 3-cylinder electric plug in hybrid or PHEV is to follow next year.

On the road, the new car has plenty of oomph and good handling. 

The petrol 240 hp 2-litre hits 60mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph, and is particularly quiet and comfortable for cruising. 

And if you’re fording streams, it has a wading depth of almost 2ft (600mm). 

No slouch: The petrol 240 hp 2-litre hits 60mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph, and is particularly quiet and comfortable for cruising

No slouch: The petrol 240 hp 2-litre hits 60mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph, and is particularly quiet and comfortable for cruising

Across some tough terrain I had fun climbing steep tracks and making precarious descents, and crawling over a narrow bridge made of tree trunks. 

Built to be tough at Halewood, Merseyside, the new Disco Sport shares its flexible chassis with the Range Rover Evoque and is central to Land Rover’s plans to ‘electrify’ its range. 

Its 48-volt mild hybrid ‘electrified’ engines will help reduce emissions and fuel consumption.

Just don’t wash it too often.

Ray took the Land Rover's off road through the Spanish dirt and was impressed by its performance

Ray took the Land Rover’s off road through the Spanish dirt and was impressed by its performance

Aston Martin teases topless pics 

Hair dryer: Aston Martin's new Vantage Roadster will acceleration from rest to 60mph in 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 195mph

Hair dryer: Aston Martin’s new Vantage Roadster will acceleration from rest to 60mph in 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 195mph

Aston Martin has revealed the first official glimpse of its new Vantage Roadster.

The photographs are some of the first official images of a lightly disguised prototype being tested in the UK before arriving in showrooms next spring.

It will have the same engine as the coupe: a 510 hp 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine linked to an 8-speed automatic gear-box with manual paddles giving acceleration from rest to 60mph in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 195mph. 

The expected priced is £130,000.

Drivers don’t feel the pressure

One in six drivers (17 per cent) has never checked their tyre pressure says new research from Goodyear. 

And women feel less confident and more reliant on a partner to do that job than men, while younger drivers (aged 18 to 24) are most likely to neglect their tyres.   

 Volvo’s no spine tingler

More than one in three motorists (34.9 per cent) takes at least one day off a year because of back pain caused by uncomfortable car seats, costing the UK economy nearly £9 billion a year in lost productivity, says research from Volvo Cars UK.

And one in ten has taken off a full working week or longer because of problems caused by poor seats.

Are you sitting comfortably: 32.4 m people employed in the UK, about one in eight (12 per cent) have taken up to two days off work for back pain from poor quality car seats

Are you sitting comfortably: 32.4 m people employed in the UK, about one in eight (12 per cent) have taken up to two days off work for back pain from poor quality car seats

Such discomfort has forced a third of drivers (29 per cent) to see a doctor or physiotherapist — costing the NHS nearly £200 million.

The research shows of 32.4 million people employed in the UK, about one in eight (12 per cent) have taken up to two days off work for back pain from poor quality car seats, with (13 per cent) asking for up to four days of sick leave.

Volvo was one of the first car makers to incorporate spinal research into its seat design, with the Volvo Amazon in 1965.

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