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Looking.... (Discovery)

2107 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  **DONOTDELETE**
Hey guys I live in LA and was lookin at used cars today. There was a 199- Land Rover Discovery (V8I) or whatever, and we test drove it. It costs $11,000, w/ 84,000 Miles. Wondering if this was a good deal. The truck is in great condition, and the interior was kept very well. And a couple other questions: WHat kind of gas mileage do they get? How are they offroad? And what about repairs? I am looking for a long term vehicle, so how long do they last before they start to need repairs? Thanks for your help!
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Read some of the posts on this forum. Very capable vehicles, but they have a lot of flaws and maintenance problems are frequent and not cheap. I know this because I worked inside of a Land Rover dealership in San Diego from 99 to 00. Lotsa problems. Again, very capable trucks offroad out of the box, but lotsa problems.

I remember the window stickers for the ones with the 5.0 V8's said 12mpg around town. I think 15-16 on the highway. My Ram gets 13-14 mpg around town with a 5.9L V8 and still has solid axles front and rear. It's all what you want.

Oh yeah, the rear seats are a bitch to get into and out of because of the goofy door design, and the dash layout is goofy because all Rover basically did was switch the steering wheel and glove box from side to side from the English spec one to make it left hand drive for US and other LHD countries. Seemed rather underpowered too, even with the "big 5.0L V8".

Long story short, I wasn't impressed, especially not for the money and problems.
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Hey thanks for your help, but I guess I will write off Land Rovers, cause I am looking for a reliable family car that isn't going to cost a lot to keep running. I think I am going to go with a 4Runner. I know they arent too much offroad but they are good trucks. Thanks anyways!
5.0L ?

You're thinking of the Ford engine. I'm pretty sure the biggest V8 in a Disco is only about 4.2L. The RR came with a 4.6L. I'm reasonably confident because I helped a buddy (dfry44 who is the top Rover mechanic at his dealership) swap a 4.6L into his '95 Disco, but I may be a point or so off on the numbers.
Steve83, yep, I think you're right, got my numbers wrong. I was thinking of the 4.6L. I wasn't thinking of the Ford V8 though. I beleive the new Rover V8 is 5.0L, and also if you do the bore and stroke routine to the 3.5L V8 you get a 5.0L V8. Know a couple guys overseas who have done that.

Steener, don't take it as a bad mark against all Rovers, they are good trucks within limits, but yeah, they aren't the most reliable. The Toyota 4Runner is a very capable vehicle however. I think you'll be presently surprised with them. I come from Michigan, land of the "US-made" vehicle (even though my Ram says heche en Mehico and my last Blazer was made in Canada), and was quite surprised with how well Toyotas and many other Japanese 4x4's did offroad and also with their overall quality of build when I lived in SoCal. If I ever buy a smaller 4x4 it'll be a Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner. I do have to say that the reliability of a Toyota is immensly greater than a Rover. Not trying to down on Rovers again, but just the truth as I've seen it.
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Here in Memphis, Ducks Unlimited is BIG BIDNESS. Each year they have a weekend of sports equipment dealers displays at their property by the AgriCenter. Among thousands of others, they have ALL the 4WD brands' dealerships out in force, offering free test drives on the mud/obstacle track used by all the brands. For the past several years, the local LR dealer & LR USA have offered to foot the bill for setting up the track, provided that THEY get to decide on the complexity. (Do you see this coming up 5th Avenue yet?
) Year before last, they had a particularly challenging track and ALL the other brands (Chebby, Ford, Toy, Dodge, Nissan, etc.) went to the DU officials and complained that the track was TOO extreme because ALL their vehicles were getting stuck WITH THE TEST DRIVERS (that's EX-potential buyers to the salesmen
) IN THEM ! ! ! To add insult to injury, the Rovers were driving past them on the harder lines and PULLING THEM OUT !

Last year, DU politely declined LR's offer to build the track, so LR pulled all corporate support.
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Like I said, they are capable, but they aren't the most reliable. That said, most of the Rover owners I came across in San Diego had no intention of or how to use the 4x4. They actually had an incident where a lady goofed up the 4wd system by constantly driving it in 4hi and 4lo on the road. She thought it was some kind of special over drive gear or something on the transmission.
Stupid stupid stupid.............
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Driver error has always been a big problem. The valve guides foul up because the engines never get "aired out"; the t-cases go bad because they never get shifted.

Now, the leaking engines, overheating, failing electronics, & sunroof tracks...
If one is looking around the 1995-1997 time range, what if anything would you specifically look for in a Discovery? I have a CJ7 that I'll be keeping, but am looking for something else that's a relatively short wheelbase, decent clearance, onroad, comfortable vehicle for more daily use. How terrible are the repair issues and what are the major flaws (assuming one has a good 4wd/car mechanic)? I really like the (ack) 'form factor' of the Discovery. What about safety (not rollover propensity, but things like cab structural integrity IN rollovers, or other benders)?

Read the posts above. Capable vehicle, but a lot of issues. Lots of expensive stuff goes wrong with them, very often. Personally I'd rather get a cheaper, more reliable US or Japanese SUV and just upgrade it as necessary. Probably cheaper anyways.

They get rather bad gas mileage and are kinda underpowered too.
Plenty of discos have 4.6s actually all of them from the second half of 99 and on do, never been a 4.2 though. (96-first half of 99 had 4.0) 95 on down had 3.9
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