Grab a bargain with our handy buyer's guide
2 February 2010

The Land Rover Discovery turns 21 this year, and there's never been a better time to grab a bargain.

In fact, we'd even go so far as to say that, right now, the Land Rover Discovery is one of the finest and best-value used family cars in the world.

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery has been revealed – read more here:

It wasn’t always this way, of course. With their blue-grey plastic-and-cloth interiors and patchy reliability, the earliest Discos didn’t exactly carve out a reputation for flawlessness.

But the Discovery improved greatly in its second generation, engineered under BMW, and took a giant leap forward in quality, refinement and dependability when the 2004 version was introduced.

So much so, in fact, that when the Discovery 3 was released, this magazine called it “a superlative all-rounder”.

Now, more than five years later, that car has become one enormously tempting secondhand option; its incredible every-occasion versatility and any-weather usability can be bought for less than £15,000.

Find out how in our guide below. To find out more, read the full story in this week's Autocar magazine, on sale now.

 

Underbody

Fuel tank, exhaust and air compressor could be vulnerable to underbody damage by rocks and verges, but Discos are so rarely used off road that it’s not anything to worry about. Disco’s hybrid monocoque chassis is as robust as any.

 

 

Engine

V6 diesel autos are the most common models. The 2.7 lump is quiet and won’t cause problems if given regular oil changes. Be wary of previous owners who’ve chipped their cars to remedy its Achilles’ heel: a shortage of grunt.

 

 

Chassis

Air-sprung cars have a problem with compressors. “A compressor will only last four or five years,” says Kevin Gallagher of Les Pauls Motors. “They’re £350 plus fitting to repair. Beware of cars that don’t sit level, or that take longer than about 10 seconds to pump up on their springs.”

 

 

Cabin

Smart, well stocked and hard-wearing for the most part; worn or broken seat bolsters are the only things to look out for. “People tend to want leather seats, so expect to pay a bit less for cloth. But don’t worry about those flat-fold seat mechanisms,” says Gallagher.

 

 

Equipment

If you want heated leather, sat-nav and a premium audio system, look towards SE and HSE spec; basic S models are often manuals with five seats, steel springs and matt plastic bumpers and wheel arch extensions. Steel springs are less comfy but more reliable.

 

 

Servicing

Variable service indicator can put 18k miles between pitstops, but oil changes more frequent than that are advisable. A minor one will cost under £300 at a specialist, a major one about £450. Engine is due a belt-change service at 105,000 miles.

 

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Land Rover Discovery reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
5

2 February 2010

Would agree with many of the points made. The Disco 3 is a Great car.

In fact I came so close to buying one but it the end went for the Jeep Grand cherokee for several reasons.

- For the same price, you could get a far newer model grand cherokee.

-The Jeep was far better equipped for the same price.

- (deciding factor for me) The 3.0 Mercedes diesel in the Jeep is much better than the (rather underpowered) 2.7 in the land rover.

-Preferred the way the Jeep looked from the rear.

SO thats why I went for the Jeep. Granted, the Land rover is slightly bigger, but I got an 07 Loaded Overland spec Grand Cherokee for the price of a pretty basic model 55 reg disco.

I'm glad I made the decision and havent regrettted it. But for anyone interested in the Disco, I would reccomend it, I spent a lot of time thorughly researching and testing both models and was highly impressed by both. But you do need more money in my opinion for the Land Rover (im not a fan of base models).

2 February 2010

It's good to see some news/information about 2nd hand vehicles.

2 February 2010

I've always found the Discovery 3 to be an over-rated car with a crude interior. It's a mammoth of a thing with a rear that looks like a Ford Transit Connect and too much plastic cladding.

28 September 2016
'Discos are so rarely used off road that it’s not anything to worry about.' LOL. If I ever move to a farm, I'll happily buy one of these suburban tractors and use it as intended.

28 September 2016
It doesn't appear to cover a number of longer term reliability issues that are appearing on fourms and other car websites with some regularity - namely the predisposition of the electrnoic parking brake to seizing, failure of the cambelt tensioner on the 2.7 tdv6 engines (more so in a particular age range - leading obviously to total engine failure, snapping of the crank on the later 3.0sdv6 and spun bearing shells on the 2.7tdv6.

I own a Discovery 3 myself and consider myself a reasonably handy DIY mechanic. If I weren't - or didn't have the predisposition to working on my own car; I would not recommend the D3 or D4, given the cost of repair - not necessarily servicing.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK