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Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery Published: 21st Nov 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery
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Why should i buy one?

Range Rovers are great – it’s just that the really good ones are pricey – which is why the Discovery was introduced almost 30 years ago as a more utilitarian alternative – until that too went steadily upmarket…

In many respects, the Discovery offers the best of both worlds; boasting the same common sense that early Range Rovers provided (it used their mechanical make up) yet a much better cabin that can seat up to seven. Small wonder that an increasing number of enthusiasts are dancing with joy at this Disco…


What can i get?

Like the Range Rover, the Discovery evolved from a workhorse into a posh people carrier – more so in ‘Disco3’ forms that isn’t far short of L322 standards but a fair bit cheaper on the second-hand market as they aren’t classics as such. In common with Big Brother, the original three-doors hold the most classic appeal, especially the G-eg ‘WAC’ registration numbered version which depicts early production/ press vehicles.

However, the five-doors are better all rounders and for 1994 a facelift included Land Rover’s vastly improved 300 TDi unit (albeit hardly not reliability-wise) with an improved manual gearbox (codenamed R380). However, the Discovery II four years later is considerably better, owning to BMW input which included the new 136bhp TD5 diesel as an alternative to that stalwart of a V8 together with ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement, by way of a hydraulic centre ram on the rear chassis, although – like the Range Rover – this may well have been changed to conventional damping by now).

For 2002, the chassis was much improved and a centre lock diff again mirrored Range Rover thinking. There is also a cluster of special editions.

Prices start at around £1000 for something that’s clinging to an MoT right the way up to as much as £10,000 for a mint, low-mileage example; realistically, need to budget around £3-£5000; the vast majority are diesels.


What are they like to drive?

Discovery is a mix of Range Rover and Land Rover and is far more civilised and less arduous work than any Defender. On the Disco II there’s the clever Hill Descent Control (HDC) which makes climbing down slippery slopes absolute child’s play. Of the diesels, the TD5 is by far the best of the bunch. Visibility is brilliant, thanks to great expanses of glass including the welcome window roof panes and the light airy cabin is as comfy as a Range Rover and far more spacious and usable than any classic Land Rover.


What are they like to live with?

A Discovery is a great classic workhorse – it’s finding a good one because their lowly values and high repair costs have led to many awful ones out there because up until lately only ‘WAC’ wagons had real classic status. So along with rust, look for bodges and arduous off-road use.

A Discovery is slightly easier to work on than a Range Rover as they are more basic although the newer to mode the more complex they become. There’s no shortage of Discos so take time and vet them well – condition counts over spec and those fitted with sunroofs are prone to leaking.

Hill Descent Control, electronic brake distribution and Active Cornering Enhancement – but how many of these remain working? Support is great with top specialists (like Rimmer Bros and Britpart) and there’s also that’s always happy to accept new members and help out.


We reckon

With the rustic charm and ability of the Land Rover but with Range Rover-like civility and class, the Discovery is a good, practical sleeping classic; buy one now!


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