Window shopping

LR3

By avoiding most media, I didn’t find out about the Auto Show here in town until the last minute. Weekends are a terrible time to visit such things.

Luckily, there’s one coming up in Columbus, so maybe I can steal away for a weekday and not have to fight off thickets of people to snap some photos.

With the nice weather today I stole away to the Land Rover dealership to check out the latest iteration of the Discovery, now with the LR3 moniker. I drove the prior beast for 3 years and put more miles on it than the lease allowed. It was a stiff ride and I admit I saw gas stations with a bit too much frequency.

I was immediately drawn by the low stance. Like it’s bigger and much more expensive brother, the new Rover lowers itself when parked (and can manually be lowered under 20 mph driving for parking garages and such).

They’ve taken almost every quirk I had and refined it considerably. Flat folding rear seats with ample legroom (even for me), wider doors, a split fold rear gate, a built in cooler (okay, that’s over the top) all with a more powerful engine that improves fuel economy. Lots of goodies underneath as well, providing a better—albeit still quite jerky—ride.

Motor Trend gave it the SUV of the Year nod and I think they summed it up well, “Imagine a Leatherman tool by Bang & Olufsen.”

I’m not in the market for a vehicle at this point. I’m still pissed at Toyota for not firming up details for the FJ Cruiser. But car design is an obsession of mine and I like to be able to curse model names when I have road rage.

4 comments

  1. So what do you think of the new BMW 3? For a while now, they’ve been a bit too small in the interior, but I am curious to your thoughts on the new design.

  2. CM
    I think BMW has been suffering through a series of misfires ever since the roadster and 7 series, I’ll say it, debacles.
    I’ve read a few pieces of the philosophy of their design, but it slipped from my mind. Cars are about reaction, not dissertations.
    Words that came to mind from some of their recent work: Overwrought. Trying. un-BMW.
    They’ve always been about incredible function surrounded by agressive no nonsense lines. Timeless stuff that really could’ve evolved with subtle freshening.
    I think the design team over there have seen the err of their ways. I can only imagine sales of their flagship sedan dipped (thanks likely in no small part to the first rev of iDrive), until they “fixed” the issues (both inside and out).
    All that said, I think the new 3 is less heinous than the roadster, x3, x5, 5 and 7 series. The ass end has a touch of Hyundai in it now, though. Is it a better looking car than the model(s) before it? No.
    Maybe this was all necessary, but as I see more and more hardlined badges (volvo, subaru, mercedes, vw, heck – ALL automakers) I wonder, had someone stuck to their guns and kept making agressive hard lines, would they stand out in the pack in the current market?**
    I think so.
    I was hoping BMW would be one of those automakers. Instead, they are caving to trends that don’t enhance the brand.
    ** Cadillac is another story entirely.

  3. The first thing I thought of when I took a look at the new 3… that the rear end looked like a mid-90s Honda Civic.
    Hmm.. Personally, I am not so sure about the direction of Cadillac, but at least it’s not derivative.

  4. I love the FJ Cruiser and I would probably be one of the 3 people who would want it in that smurf blue. People complain about the c-pillar being in the way. So the fuck what, my FJ Cruiser will have cameras to give me viewing pleasure from all angles via my touch screen.

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