Launched in 1989, but famously leaked to the press a good deal earlier, the original Land Rover Discovery was a typically resourceful piece of British engineering.
Take the ageing Range Rover chassis, stick a spacious body on top and spruce up with a decent diesel motor. It saved the company and, with the emerging MPV phenomenon, made a serious dent in estate car sales.
Corking off-road, acceptable on it, the Disco soldiered on until ’98 when it was revamped, treated to a five-cylinder diesel engine and given the option of air suspension.
Then in 2004, Land Rover launched the Discovery 3. This wasn’t a dramatic improvement so much as a galactic leap for the Discovery, which instantly went to the top of the big off-roader class, being next to unstoppable off-road yet comfortable and relaxing on it.
In 2009 it received a heavy update that brought with it a larger capacity diesel engine and warranted a number upgrade to Discovery 4.