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A car for all seasons

EPIC is the word. For a person who doesn&rsquo;t much care for heights, I&rsquo;m doing pretty well. I&rsquo;ve just scaled the terra-pod, a 200ft metal version of a hill-climb. Despite the nerves, I made it to the top, having been told that it&rsquo;s the best view ever when you get up there. But then it dawned on me that I actually couldn&rsquo;t see forward. As far as I was concerned, I was suspended 200ft up on a very narrow viaduct searching in vain for someone or something to tell me where I was going.<br /><br />But, this is the 2010 Discovery 4 and for the purposes of surround vision, Land Rover have installed not two but five cameras to be your eyes when your position on terra ferma is somewhat precarious, and this was one of those moments. I inch forward and there&rsquo;s a moment when I can see daylight between two of the wheels and the ground, front and rear. The tilt we are at should be defying physics but the surefooted Disco plants us back down on the flat without so much as a creak or groan.<br /><br />We are near Kelso on the Duke of Roxborough&rsquo;s estate with Floors Castle as a backdrop, and it is one day away from the Glorious Twelfth. For now the pheasants and grouse are roaming free, but they will be joined by game chips and full-bodied claret tomorrow night &ndash; that&rsquo;s if we haven&rsquo;t skewered the lot of them by the time we leave.<br /><br />The latest Disco seems to be sprinkled with just a little bling (LED running lights, stitched leather and more), but it&rsquo;s more than just a looker. This car is so capable it is nothing short of astonishing. From arrival at Edinburgh airport this morning we have covered motorways, A-roads, crossed a wide section of the Tweed &ndash; and that&rsquo;s through it, not over it &ndash; and we have completed a fair few highly technical sections that would bring many four-wheel drive cars to a halt. Or just break them altogether.<br /><br /><strong>SUPER-COMFORTABLE</strong><br />But everything that was covered today was dispatched with immense finesse. Road manners are refined, quiet and super-comfortable and there is little body roll to speak of &ndash; it feels so tight and agile. The cabin is airy and offers really good space with deeper seats and all around a better and more luxurious finish than the outgoing model. Where before there was a vertical dash, centre/console, now we have a much more flowing layout with the console and controls all angled towards the driver and a new, heated steering wheel with remote mounted controls for audio, cruise control and more. There&rsquo;s also an impressive and easy-to-use touch-screen system for satellite navigation, car set-up, audio et al.<br /><br />On the outside, little has changed &ndash; there&rsquo;s a new grille, LED lights at the front and less plastic, making the car look more curvaceous and ultimately more limousine than workhorse. But as we discovered today, it seems to shy at nothing.<br /><br />So what else is new? Well, I&rsquo;ve been driving the 3.0 diesel V6 with 245bhp and an impressive 0-60 time of nine seconds. It&rsquo;s not brand spanking new, based as it is on the 2.7 litre V6, but having had a substantial redesign, it now offers better performance, reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.<br /><br />The Disco 4 is lighter than the outgoing 3 and this combined with the new power on tap makes light work of motorway miles and overtaking is a breeze. Upgraded suspension enhances driving dynamics too, and cornering stability is much improved.<br /><br />For those that require the Discovery to be the ultimate workhorse, it is here with bells on. For those averse to mud and ruts &ndash; you&rsquo;re missing out.<br /><br /><strong>THE FACTS:</strong><br />LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 4<br />6-SPEED<br />AUTOMATIC<br /><br /><strong>PRICE:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &pound;33,500<br /><strong>0-62MPH:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 9secs<br /><strong>TOP SPEED:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 112mph <br /><strong>CO2 G/KM:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 244g/km<br /><strong>MPG COMBINED:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 30.4