Our cars: Range Rover - May
A fancy audio system is always high up my agenda when choosing a new car. With the Range Rover I opted for the 19-speaker surround sound Harman Kardon system. The standard 14-speaker set-up is pretty good, but this version adds surround sound just like you get in the cinema, plus a dedicated sub-woofer for bass.
It means the kids can watch a movie in the back with headphones. The front passenger can watch, too, thanks to the dual-view screen that lets them see the film, while the driver concentrates on the sat-nav. However, there’s not a lot of music in 5.1 surround sound – most is recorded in stereo.
Luckily, record producer Steve Levine gave me a CD of surround sound mixed music he's been working on. It's much more detailed and expansive, making you feel like you're slap bang in the middle of a studio. The system is worth the extra £1330 just for the drama it adds to movies, especially when the 4x4 is rolled into a 36-month finance deal.
Fuel economy isn't as galling as you might expect, either. At 27.1mpg I'm getting pretty close to the official 30.1mpg figure.
What isn't so impressive is interior space. Yes, it's great up front, but it's only okay in the back and poor in the boot. The Fowler Five headed off to Center Parcs recently – incredibly, a weekend's luggage filled the boot!
The early electrical gremlins have disappeared. A good thing, too, as I'm planning some serious off-roading soon, and I wouldn't want to get stuck in the mud.