Pros: Supposed to be excellent for off-road, lots of storage areas.
Cons: Uncomfortable seats, hard to climb on, doors have a very small ratio of aperture.
I planned to travel to Cincinnati from Washington DC, the trip was for four adults and I thought that in my little Saab 9-3 convertible we wouldn't be comfortable for such a long trip. The same group had been in road trips to Cleveland, Chicago and Indiana several times and I have never heard so many complaints regarding the car like this time.
Actually I have never heard them complaining until this time....
During my trip planning I went ahead and started looking for a car to reserve, my first mistake was to travel over the July 4th holiday weekend, my second mistake was settling for the Land Rover Discovery, as it was the only car available at the rental location that we thought we could have our cooler within reach for the sodas and we had all 6 pieces of luggage that would fit with us.
We grabbed our Discovery and hit the road. After an hour in the car, the people in the back seat started complaining that the seats were uncomfortable (and I am talking about people in their mid-twenties with no problems in their backs whatsoever), the seats are too upright, the seating area is too short, all in all the seats are not to be used for more than an hour at a time. After the third or fourth hour on our way, and a couple of stops, the two people in the back had tried sitting straight up, backs facing the doors, and all to no avail. I was in the driver's seat and after working with the lumbar support I found a comfortable setting for the seat. But the people in the back seats did not have the luxury of changing the positions of their seats, and they were not happy about it.
In favor of the Discovery I can say that it seems like a robust car, the two sunroofs, and the multiple storage bins that were put to good use are nice features. I thought that it would consume more gas than it actually did, so that's another plus, and the cooler and all the pieces of luggage did fit in the back of it.
But the two seats in the rear take up a lot of trunk space, the maneuverability is not great, it actually feels unstable, even though you know that when handled properly it is supposed to be extremely difficult to tip over, it feels like it could happen at any time. We could not figure out why they put storage areas in the driver and passenger doors if it is almost impossible to reach them with the doors closed. The location of the door openers is a little out of reach, I can imagine that for a taller person it would be even more difficult.
I can truly say that the choice of vehicle affected our enjoyment of the trip, as we arrived to our destination with only had one thought in our minds: "Where are the 8000mg of ibuprofen that my body needs after this?"
I have owned a Durango and an Explorer, and I would have to stick with the American SUV's in terms of comfortability and overall feel of handling.