If you’re really serious about losing weight, you want to do everything possible to shift a few extra pounds here and there. You might be surprised to realise that there are a few things you can do to help you lose weight while driving. The following tips aren’t going to get you to do exercise at the wheel or anything like that – they’re going to prevent you from eating while driving, which will in turn prevent you from putting on more weight. It’s very easy to eat while driving somewhere.
If you drive regularly, say a daily commute to and from work, for example, and you frequently eat when you drive, try to imagine how much food you’re consuming. You’ll be surprised how much it adds up to. It can be easy to fall into the trap of not realising how much food you’re eating while driving. If you can cut out eating while driving altogether, you’re going to put on less weight and this should contribute towards weight loss. You aren’t going to lose tons of weight by cutting out eating while driving, but it will certainly benefit you, especially if you practice it in the long run.
This was the car that dragged the Discovery from its cheekily chic origins into the world of true luxury SUVs. It was bigger, bolder and packed with new technology – and it was also more reliable
TARGET RANGE: £5000 – £18,000
The Range Stormer concept car that wowed visitors to the North American International Auto Show in 2004 was a clear indication of the way Land Rover was planning to distance their premium products from the company’s agricultural roots. That concept was eventually developed into the Range Rover Sport, but many of the design cues were used to hoist the already popular and stylish Discovery to new heights of elegance and road presence, with sharper styling and new technologies aimed at reasserting its 4×4 pre-eminence among the new generation of luxury 4x4s from other premium car-makers such as BMW, Lexus and Porsche.
The crisper frontal design of the new Discovery 3, with its designer headlamps, inset foglamps and the clamshell bonnet came straight from the Range Stormer, along with the newly patented Terrain Response system; so did the body-on-frame construction resulting in a stronger all-in-one bodyshell. The Discovery 3 was designed from the start as a seven-seater, the stepped-roof design allowing the three rows of seats to get progressively higher towards the rear, which combined with the large rear glass area makes for a light and airy atmosphere for all seven passengers, the seats being quite comfortable enough to accommodate seven adults.
Tyres are a very important part of your 4×4 and your choices can affect running costs, longevity and performance. The 4×4 tyre market is gradually changing to meet new EU regulations. Read on to find out what’s going on in the market, glean some top advice from the experts and pick up essential maintenance tips
Words: Hils Everitt
Within the motoring world, it is generally agreed by the retail experts that 4×4 owners are far better informed, generally, when it comes to the rubber wear that holds up their vehicles compared to their mainstream peers.
It is also generally agreed that tyres are the most important choice a vehicle owner has in their lifetime of driving and should involve plenty of research and taking on aboard advice from the experts if knowledge is not as extensive as it should be. As the SUV market has exploded in the last decade, so has the availability of tyres suitable for this genre of vehicle and more sizes have become available in the once limited All Terrain and Mud Terrain sector over the years.
Bob Cooke – contributor
Had it been a rainy day we probably wouldn’t have got anywhere. At first glance, especially from the superbly scenic viewpoint of our picnic spot overlooking the green expanse of Bedfordshire extending to the horizon, it’s hard to understand why they call it Devil’s Pit because the first view of it is a broad field with a bit of a rise at the far end. There are, however, two factors that lift it above the seemingly mundane bit of field-crossing – one being the chalky surface of the tracks which turn treacherously greasy when wet, the other being the demanding selection of rutted, steep-sided hollows hidden away behind the trees in the north-west corner of the site. No wonder the site personnel are so keen to ensure that cars using the black-run section in this area are roll-caged and all occupants are harnessed in and protected by helmets.
As June and MOT time approached, the ominous bumping sounds from beneath the Freelander became louder. I’d say, ‘surely you can hear that now?’ as we’d encounter a minor road hump and looking round the delightful leather cabin. I’d think, ‘it’ll never pass its MOT and the costs will mean sayonara for our well travelled friend’. One day, taking my daughter, two grandsons and my mother-in-law around Southport, I realised that the familiar strange creaking from under the rear seat that accompanied every journey had stopped. Some weight on the rear seat was all that was needed to cure that noise! I felt sure the other rumblings were serious and was dumbstruck when my regular mechanic Phil emerged to say there was nothing wrong with the elderly Land Rover; not even the tiniest advisory.
Nigel Fryatt – editor
When Suzuki’s small, three-door Grand Vitara arrived at the magazine, I did wonder if it would actually impress. It was effectively replacing my tough, black Toyota Hilux – as ‘macho’ a truck as you can find on and off the road; the Vitara certainly had a softer appearance. Despite this, it fitted the bill, being one of the few remaining ‘soft-roaders’ that actually has a low range gearbox, which certainly increases its capabilities.
Ours was the three-door SZ4 model, powered by the 2.4-litre petrol engine. That makes a lot of engine in what is actually a small SUV. Interestingly, Suzuki sells equal quantities of three and five door Grand Vitaras here, and this despite the fact that the three door does not come to the UK with a diesel option. It has to be the largest engined small off-roader available and the high revving 164bhp unit certainly entertained. The 16v unit is not particularly well equipped in the torque department, but does offer 225Nm (166lb ft). The engine is a peach of a unit really, free revving and gives the Suzuki more of a ‘hot hatch’ than SUV on-road characteristics. Helped by the relatively short wheelbase of the three-door, the stubby Suzuki does not roll and wallow when driven quickly, and can be hustled along. The downside is, of course, that despite weighing only 1830kg the thing does drink fuel with equal enthusiasm; we struggled to average 30mph, and that’s emphasised by a surprisingly small 55-litre fuel tank (around 12 gallons). I suppose it does mean that as we never let the tank run ‘into the red’ for fear of running out, at least we could only get 50 quid’s worth of fuel in there at each top up! Indeed, the fuel economy confuses the vehicle’s computer, which estimates how many miles you have remaining – we ‘ran out’ on numerous occasions, once in a dreadful traffic jam on the M25 – yet always managed to drive when ‘the computer says empty’.
Bob Cooke – contributor
There are places I wouldn’t take my Cherokee, and that includes some of the holes at John Morgan’s Slindon off-road site. I go there quite often because it’s not that far – I reckon just over half a tank’s drive there and back, and but for the price of petrol I’d go more often – and there’s such a good variety of off-road terrain that anything from standard 4x4s to heavily modified specials can find terrain that’s challenging enough to excite without damaging the vehicle. Of course if you don’t mind a bit of damage there’s plenty of suitable terrain for that as well, such as when a couple of over-excited lads sent their Discovery sideways down a serious slope or when an overconfident chap drove his Range Rover into a puddle without thinking to check how soft the bottom was…
Nigel Fryatt – editor
When you get quizzed by those ‘other’ motorists who don’t just ‘get’ why we own 4x4s, one word usually ends the argument. Even for those who don’t want to go off-road, or don’t have the ability to understand how good a 4×4 is during inclement weather conditions, one thing they can never argue against is – versatility. If you own a 4×4, then you have the ability to do just about anything.
Our little three door Grand Vitara is a perfect example of this. Provided you are happy to use just a little more fuel than absolutely necessary, then the thing is like a hot hatch and can be hustled about with aplomb. Great fun, and it does surprise people at times with its ability to launch itself down the road. When off-road, we have found that once ground clearance and that vulnerable-looking (and massive) rear exhaust silencer box are accounted for, the little truck’s ability to be slotted into Low range does make it a surprisingly competent mud-plugger. The light steering and a good all round visibility helps here as well, but it performs better than many think.
Hils Everitt – Editor at Large
Long journeys in pursuit of features was never a problem in the good old days when fuel cost a few pence per gallon. We didn’t bat an eyelid at driving big old petrol 4.0-litre engines for several hundred miles in more traditional 4x4s that ate up the miles and, therefore, the gallons. Returning less than 20mpg, and in some cases 10-15mpg didn’t really figure on the radar.
Oh how times have changed. Now, we hardly ever drive big petrol engines. ‘Big’ diesels, like in Discovery 4s and its rivals, now return over 30-plus and we are pleased with that. The big luxury 4×4 manufacturers still strive to bring those figures into the more palatable zone towards the 40mpg mark, but it is in the mid-sized SUV market where you’ll find the most impressive mileage returns for your hard-earned cash.
It had to be a real adventure, and so there had to only be one route, traversing the continent of Africa, from north to south. The choice of off-roader was perhaps a little more surprising, as the journey was completed by Nissan Patrol
Words and photography: Rene Bauer
Having previously criss-crossed Australia in a Nissan Patrol, I had always had this dream about a ‘real’ expedition – to have to dig myself out of mud, to be dirty, camp in the bush and maybe also feel fear of fierce locals or wild animals. Itches like this need to be scratched and so a plan was made; my partner, Andrea, and I would cross Africa, from north to south.
The first question, however, was what vehicle to use; Land Rover, Land Cruiser or stick with the Nissan Patrol that we knew so well? After looking at prices, we quickly realised that it had to be a Nissan Patrol, so we bought a black SWB Nissan Patrol 2.8-litre TD.
We spent the following 15 months building, repairing, and welding. First, out with the back seats and in with a bespoke drawer system. The production bumpers went, as well as the side steps and we started planning the replacement parts. As my brother-in-law is a fabulous welder, he offered to manufacture reinforced bumpers, roof rack, swing-away doors for jerry cans and a spare wheel. Happily we agreed… what we didn’t know was that he is a pedantic, precise welder who took six months to make all those parts.