I'm looking to buy a used Landrover Discovery. Is this a reliable vehicle?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ken thompson, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    I've always loved the looks of these things and there are several '01s and '02s for sale in my area for between $26K and $33K with about 5K-10K miles on them. Does anyone have any experience with these things? For the same money I can get a brand new Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander which I'm pretty confidant have good long term reliability. Most of what I've seen on the internet regarding the Landrovers show improved reliability in the last couple of years but I've yet to drive one or even know anyone who has. I'm assuming the Landrover has similar on-road driving characteristics to the Honda and Toyota. Anyone?
     
  2. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken,

    A couple of points. First, the Discovery will absolutely NOT drive like a Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander. While I'm not very familiar with these two vehicles, my assumption is that they're based more on a car chassis (like their smaller compatriots, the CRV and RAV4) while the Disco is a truck at heart. If you're looking for a comfortable in-town ride, then the Disco probably isn't for you.

    I owned a '99 Disco up until about 3 months ago. While I absolutely loved the truck, the reliability was a big concern. In the last year or so, every time I took the thing in for an oil change there was something else wrong with it. First it was the electrical system, than the radiator. While the truck was still under warranty, I was very concerned about problems going forward. So I traded it in for a quad-cab Dodge Dakota.

    It's too bad really. I really loved that Disco. I've owned 4x4s my whole life, and it was far and away the most capable stock off-road vehicle I've ever owned, driven, ridden in, etc.
     
  3. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    You might also think about (just a suggestion [​IMG] ) a 2001 or 2002 or (later this fall) 2003 Nissan Pathfinder (LE or SE model).....
    You should be able to get a LOADED 2003 Pathfinder this fall for right at $31k~
    Take away some of the options (Leather, sunroof, etc) and you would probably be able to get on for $28-$29k.
    I have a 2001 Pathy LE (I paid exactly $31k for it brand new when it was released) and absolutely love it.
    The Discovery is a great truck...and I wouldn't mind owning one myself...but I don't think I'll be trading in my Pathfinder anytime soon. I like it toooo much!
    I like buying new (I know - I'm crazy!) but I just like buying new vehicles. If you work hard to negotiate a good price when you purchase it, you don't really have to think about it as loosing as much $$$ as soon as you drive off the lot.
    Be sure to check out www.Edmunds.com and visit the TOWN HALL section to see what owners are saying about the particular models you are interested in.
    Then go test-drive 3-4 of the vehicles you are interested in on the same day (if you can) without any intentions of buying that day.
    Good luck....
     
  4. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Another thing to consider...this fall - Nissan will be introducing a larger SUV to one-up the Pathfinder's and Xterra's in it's lineup....no name for the vehicle has been announced.

    It's expected to rival one of Nissan's biggest competitor larger SUV, the Toyota Sequoia (which is a beauty), although pricey (+ $40k I think).
     
  5. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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  6. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I own a 2000 discovery II and really like the truck. It has been reliable for me and my family. We had to get a new radiator during one check-up due to a recall. But that problem has been fixed in later models.

    The only gripe I have with the vehicle is the small doors for the back seat. It is quite difficult for the in-laws to get in and out of the truck.

    Otherwise, I think it runs great and is quite safe, as long as you're not one of those idiots that think that just because you have an SUV then you're invincible. But the traction in the wintertime is great.

    Another thing to note is that when BMW took over the company, they did a rehaul on safety specs and other mechanical issues. The result was the discovery II. I'm not sure what changes Ford has done since they bought them. I doubt much with the discovery because BMW designs are quite good. I think Ford wanted to get the Freelander out.

    Check with a dealer first. Go in and act as if you are interested in a New discovery and get the scoop.
     
  7. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    In my opinion they are not reliable. Unless things have improved greatly there are many better choices if reliability is a top concern.

    A friend of mine owned one and considered it worse than his wife's Jeep Grand Cherokee (and those are noted for their low reliablity.) Trying to get it in for service was tough because the Land Rover dealership's service area was always booked up. He spent a lot of time in rental vehicles; he rented so often the people at the Enterprise Rent-a-Car desk knew him by name. They said they can do that with most Land Rover owners.

    The only reason I can see to own one is if you are doing very serious off-roading and need great ground clearance. But since you live in Florida it sounds like you'll be using this in town as a family hauler and will be doing 0% off road/4 wheel drive.

    IMHO; check out the Pilot, Highlander or similar yuppie trucks.
     
  8. Peter Yee

    Peter Yee Stunt Coordinator
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    A co-worker leases a Disco Series 2. He's sorry he did. So many things go wrong with the truck that he'll be glad to get rid of it at the end of the lease. The number of recalls on his vehicle is positively amazing.

    I wish the BMW purchase of Land Rover had fixed the reliability (and perhaps there is a positive trend), but it doesn't seem to have done enough. Who knows how Ford will fare. I used to want a Disco, but seeing how low their reliability is (coupled with the underpowered engine -- fixed, however on the 2003), I've given up on the idea.

    -Peter
     
  9. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    If reliability is your primary concern, go for the front wheel drive, car-based Toyota or Honda. They're junk compared to the Discovery, but they are reliable. Even worse than the Highlander or the Pilot, however, is the Land Rover Freelander (a.k.a. the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute).
     
  10. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    What about an Acura MDX or a BMW X5 3.0 litre?
     
  11. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    I have the Discovery's big brother. If it is anywhere near as reliable as the Range Rover then NO! Move on! Spend your money somewhere else!
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'll take trouble free reliable junk over snob appeal any day. All the glove-soft leather and real burled walnut in the world won't keep a poorly built vehicle out of the shop.

    Yes, the Highlander and Pilot are not going to be nearly as good for offroad (meaning little or no road) driving but that hardly qualifies them as junk.

    There are also alternatives to the Land Rover that are very close to it in offroad competence and still much more reliable, such as the Toyota Land Cruiser.

    Acura and BMW, or Lexus RX300? No more competent offroad than the Toyota or Honda, at a much higher price. More creature comforts onroad, but you're paying more for the cache than for any real benefit.
     
  13. Marc S Kessler

    Marc S Kessler Stunt Coordinator

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    British cars have been traditionally unreliable and often difficult to find a repair facility other than the dealers who often overcharge. Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    My old carpooler owned one and hated it. The snobby service was the worst. When the wiper flew off while driving, the service rep told him he was driving too fast.
    Buy two, so you will have one to drive.
     
  15. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    ok.. look here:
    www.discoweb.org
    everything you would ever want to know about rovers from discos to series rigs... even landies and freelanders.
    actually, even if you do think you're invincible, you're pretty safe in a disco. it has a steel rollcage. i've seen pics (on the site above) from a guy whos disco flipped 3 times while trying to avoid an accident on the freeway. his wife and 2 kids were in it at the time and they all got out w/o a scratch. also, in light of his circumstances, i wouldn't consider the disco "rollover prone" either. his situation was pretty unique.
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My Audi dealership used to also sell Land Rover (they no longer do). One time they picked me up at the light rail station and drove me to the dealership in a "courtesy shuttle" to get my car after service. The car they used was a Land Rover Discovery.
    That was the absolute worst ride in a truck or car that I've ever had. Even compared to my old Isuzu Amigo it was awful. I would never even consider one. The absolute WORST!!! Even worse than my old carpool Ford Expedition (a close second int he "Worst ever crappy truck ride" department). I hated it passionaltely.
    I'd probably love it if I took it seriously offroad. [​IMG]
    And it it my understanding that they are not reliable - but I could be wrong.
     
  17. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I had a friend who had a friend that had a Discovery that was pretty old (I'm not sure the year) and he/she hated it. Totally unreliable. And I also heard from another guy and he didn't like it although I'm not sure he owned one. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    Case in point on my Range Rover. The EAS (Electronic Air Suspension) system went out in May and cost me $1700 for a new command unit. The EAS is out again and now the compressor is out at another $600 bucks.

    What would one do in the Outback or in the deserts of Africa with this vehicle and Buckhead Land Rover/Jaguar is no where in site? Do they make house deserted calls.

    I'm a bit pissed at the moment:

    "Your vehicle is ready for pick-up but we noticed that your brakes are wearing. Would you like us to go ahead a take care of that. It is only $475."

    How much wear? 50% 75% 95%

    "Don't know, the tech just noticed some wear."

    My fellow HTFers, don't all installed brake pads have some wear? Is it unreasonable for me to want to know how much wear we are talking about?
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    a friend of mine knew someone who had a range rover - it had so many problems he eventaully threatened to sue the dealership if they didn't take it back. needless to say they took it back...
     
  20. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    ---------------------------------------
    a friend of mine knew someone who had a range rover
    ---------------------------------------------
    you people kill me!
    [sarcasm] and then I knew three other people who knew a few guys that heard from a friend that his brother in-law knew some guy who's best friends fathers co-worker had seen a landrover and thought they were bad [/sarcasm] [​IMG]
     

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