A history lesson…
The original farmer’s favourite, the Land Rover Discovery has gone through four incarnations now – and we think the fourth is definitely the best. No longer the Range Rover’s ugly and not talked about cousin, the Disco is a serious contender for any 4x4 driver who wants technical prowess and handsome looks.
The original looked about as mainstream and urban as a hillbilly, but now, thanks to Land Rover’s ambitions of worldwide domination, the Discovery looks and drives as well as pretty much any big 4x4 on the road.
It won’t give you the finest leather or wood like the Range Rover, but it will give you insane practicality, huge power reserves and a definite presence in any situation.
Bang for your buck
Land Rover never messes about with kit on any of its cars, and with the Discovery they really went to town. Very powerful Harmon Kardon speakers are as standard, as is 7-seats and a very attractive and well-build interior. The outside is rugged, handsome and tough, but that doesn’t mean it’s designed purely for the fields; this is a true car for the roads, too.
Climate control, ESP, four-wheel-drive, heated front and rear screen, rain sensing wipers, it’s got the lot! A used Disco really does make financial sense in a world full of X5s and expensive Audi Q7s.
What you’ll pay
Most new Discos cost upwards of £27,000, so used prices are still relatively high. If you want a 57-plate Disco 3 with a 2.7-litre Jaguar-sourced V6 diesel engine, you’ll be paying around £14/15k, which is very respectable for such a powerful and respected motor.
What to check
The new Discos come with an electronic handbrake and there have been reports of these seizing up and failing to work. Make sure the E-brake works, and ask if it’s ever broke before.
A clutch assembly for the Disco will be around £210, while a new starter motor around £240 and a radiator around £375. So not cheap, but this is the price you pay for 4x4 motoring.
How it drives
All new Land Rovers have a driving style about that which is questionable. On one hand, they are fabulous; comfortable, excellent over bumps and well damped; on the other hand, they can be very poor through the bends due to the air-suspension which tends to allow a hell of a lot of lean.
If you want a sporty drive, the Discovery probably isn’t the 4x4 for you; it’s just not a car that can do corners like a BMW X5. But if you want a car that will transport your family in supreme comfort and safety, then there’s few cars on the road that will even come close.
Sure, the Range Rover is better in pretty much every way, but that car costs considerably more than the Discovery, so if budget is a corner, the Disco makes a lot of sense!
Couple that with its sheer size, impressive engines and build quality, and there’s no surprise why they are still selling in their thousands to this day.