Family cars don’t get much bigger than this!

Buying a family car can be as tricky as choosing your baby’s buggy, as there are so many variables. Is there room in the boot for said buggy and all the shopping? Can I fit baby seats as well as toddler seats and still get in a teenager? Do I actually like driving the car?

The Land Rover Discovery 4 pretty much ticks all the boxes – as well as being one of the best four-wheel drives available. No other family car can really compare for space, comfort and luxury.

Fuel consumption – Technically up to 35mpg, but in reality it’s more thirsty. Being so huge, it does like to drink diesel, but the stop/start facility switches off automatically when you’re at the lights, in a jam etc and as soon as you touch the accelerator you’re away again – reducing fuel use and emissions, to a certain extent

Road tax – £285

Congestion charge – yes

Safety – up to 8 airbags. It also has blind spot monitoring/close vehicle sensing, so the car will tell you (with a light) if someone is closer than they should be, which is perfect for faster driving

Seats – up to seven full-size adult seats, with Isofix in the middle row, so plenty of room for babies, toddlers, teenagers, au pairs – and grandparents.

Media – Touch screen “infotainment” with digital radio, blue tooth, aux & usb connections, so you can sync with any phone, mp3 player etc – are standard. The seat back DVD players also worth investing in. You don’t have to use them every time you drive, but on long journeys, or when stuck in traffic, there’s something about Peppa Pig that mummy’s singing just won’t beat

The drive – Excellent visibility – as you sure are high up, supported with a dashboard that’s easy to navigate. For such a huge beast it really is incredibly smooth – and changing from road driving to more off-road conditions is easily done at the touch of a button. If you’re driving around the streets of good old London town it’s unlikely that you’ll need to add on certain off-road options, such as “wading”, but hey, if you’re off to the country for the weekend you never know when you might have to cross a river in full flood.

Automatic or manual – 8 speed automatic gearbox, making for “invisible” “gear-changes”.

Optional extras – there are four models of the “Disco 4” from SE to HSE luxury, but with so many options you can basically have it tailor-made. The family optional extra Miss Dashboard recommends is the cooled cubby box – a God-send for keeping milk and other snacks cool, especially on long journeys. The camera pack is also well worth investing in, if you’re needing to park in tight spaces – and gives added peace of mind when doing nursery or school run, so you can see every little person in the vicinity. Oh and of course as families come with sticky little mitts, it’s worth upgrading to the leather seat option – not only will you feel even more like the cat that got the cream as you cruise around in the comfort of an elevated leather armchair, but the upholstery is also easier to wipe clean!

Storage – Numerous little nooks and crannies throughout the car can house every little extra from wipes, to spare nappies and toys. And with a boot so huge, there’s loads of room for luggage and shopping, that you may not even have to fold up the Bugaboo, while still leaving enough room for the odd dog, or three.

The look – rugged chic

Warranty – Three year full manufacturers warranty and roadside assistance

Price SE from £41, 595 on the road, HSE luxury £59,965

Miss Dashboard loves the boot door – it splits, so is great for family days out, as you can sit on it to change wellies.

With so much attention to detail in the accessories, you would have thought they could have included a nappy changing service. Maybe on the Discovery 5?

Follow Miss Dashboard on Twitter @MissDashboardUK for loads of useful blurb about cars. 50% of car drivers are women. It’s about time we wrote about them.

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