Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/12/09 10:57 a.m.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with the Land Rover Discovery or 95-98 Range Rover? I am shopping for a interesting winter car and thought I would look for some info from our readers. Are they decent? Diabolical? Any help would be great.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
10/12/09 1:07 p.m.

I met a few Roverheads recently, and they told me to avoid the Disco, and go with a "Classic" Range Rover. They have known faults, but like most machines can be decent if they are well maintained.

I'd take a Landcruiser (older 4 door) in a heartbeat over a Rover though.

These guys are super nice and know a bunch about Range Rovers:

BoxheadTim Reader
10/12/09 4:17 p.m.

One of my acquaintances here in the UK helped Land Rover set up the production line for the Discoverys and iron out the kinks in the process.

He's got a Discovery himself that he uses a lot for offroading and suggested that if I ever were to buy one, I'd be better off buying one with as few options as possible. The electrics don't seem to have progressed far from the Lucas stage.

Overall the V8s are pretty sturdy, they do corrode so careful inspection is necessary. I'm not sure if the missed oil changes/cam wear issue on the Rover V8 has been rectified for those, otherwise the cam is a service item unless you religiously change the oil. Same with the Classic Range Rover, btw.

I've had a Range Rover in the past, you need to search very carefully for corrosion on these as they can and will rust pretty much anywhere. Apart from the outer skin obviously because that's aluminium. Which can and will lead to contact corrosion...

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/13/09 9:06 a.m.

Thanks guys. I will look at both and get the nicest condition one I can. I agree about the Land Cruiser Joe but the expense of a Cruiser for a beat the crap out of it winter car makes the cheaper Rover more attractive. Also the Land Rover is such a classic brand and its British. :)

ronbros Reader
10/15/09 8:11 p.m.

is it rumor, but L/Rs will be made in India 2011,, what about parts??

ronbros Reader
10/15/09 8:13 p.m.

course if they are anything like India farm tractors, they will be better than the originals

ddavidv SuperDork
10/16/09 5:39 a.m.

Every single repair shop mechanic and body shop tech I've talked to about Rovers has the same reaction: "What a piece of crap". They all hate them. They are miserable to work on and always seem to have some diabolical problem that is hard to diagnose. I realize it's heresay, but I've actually begun asking this question every time I see one in a shop and have never gotten a positive reaction to them. I do get mixed reactions to Jag XJ6's, so use that as a measuring stick.

Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
10/16/09 1:14 p.m.

I've had friends with Discos and most give up on them after a few months of ownership. They don't rust out here but every manner of hard-to-diagnose poor running and electrical glitch shows up.

My friend Eric toughed it out for two years but it was his third car. He never was able to get it to run well.

boeingpilot None
10/18/09 7:14 p.m.

Well, here's my two cents. I've had my '01 Disco since early '02 and love it! It serves as our daily kid carrier, and doubles as our, snow/sand/mud off-road toy. Disco's are great trucks if you follow a few guidelines:

1) If you plan on hardcore off-roading go with a series 1 over a series 2. Not to say D2's aren't as capable, they were just designed to be more of a luxury SUV than an off-roader.

2) Find an independent LR mechanic. Unfortunately, most dealers will rob you blind. The right Rover-specific mechanic will make all the difference.

3) Like any British car, cleanliness and routine MX is the key. Take care of it, and will definitely take car of you.

4) All Discos have issues with the head gaskets. Most of Disco on the road now have had them replaced. Make sure the one you are looking at has had it done.

5) The other common Disco problem is what we call the "3 amigos". The ABS, hill descent control and traction control all work off the wheel speed sensors. If a sensor goes bad all three warning lights will come on. If you go to the dealer they will try to push a new $2200 brake modulator on you. Don't fall for it. 99.9% of the time it will be a speed sensor.

6) The '03 and '04 models had bad oil pumps from the factory. If you're looking at one of these models make sure it has been replaced.

Having said all that, I will always be an L/R owner. They are supremely capable and absolutely bullet-proof if taken care of.


Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/19/09 12:42 p.m.

Thanks for all the great info everyone. I am still considering a Disco but may settle for a Saab 900/9-3 instead as I know how to fix everything on those cars myself.

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