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Driven << Back


Back in 1994, we bought a new V8 Discovery. Of the thirty 4WDs we have owned since 1969 the Land Rover was the most memorable. It was comfortable, spacious on the inside, compact on the outside, provided first-class vision for all passengers, and (with ARB air-lockers front and rear) was just about unstoppable in the rough.

But the thing that distinguished the Discovery, from every other company vehicle we have ever had, was its unbelievable unreliability. It would take quite a few thousand words to detail the problems that arose during our three years of ownership. Yet, believe it or not, it was (in all other respects) one of the most enjoyable, and practical 4WD wagons we have lived with. We know how Jaguar owners felt many years ago. They loved their car’s ride, performance, grace, design and ambience. But they hated Jaguar’s management; for neglecting the quality control.

When Ford bought Jaguar, their No. 1 priority was QC. So much so, that Jaguar now rates near the top of the class for customer satisfaction. Let’s hope Ford has also waved a similar magic wand over its Land Rover division.

In 1999, people in the street would have been hard-pressed to distinguish the new Series II Discovery from the superseded Series I. That shouldn’t happen now. The new Discovery (named LR3 in the USA) has its own unique, and very dramatic, styling. The modern design is more Star Wars than Windsor Castle. Goodness knows what Her Majesty must think. Of course, there’s always the fleet of conservative Range Rovers to shuttle the VIPs and the corgis around. 

The LR3 is more expensive than the Series II it replaces. And that is understandable. As far as we can tell, there are no carry-over parts from the superseded model, and the design and engineering that has gone into the new LR3 is astounding. Take the time to read through the specifications and we think you will quickly come to the conclusion that Land Rover has done an extraordinary job. The LR3 features so many ‘industry firsts’, and ground-breaking design features, that it makes you wonder why the thing is not twice the price!

For people who need a combination of utility, versatility, advanced safety features, real off-the-beaten-track ability, and that hard-to-define cachet  (so necessary for parking outside the country club) Land Rover’s LR3 Discovery would be pretty hard to beat. In fact, if time proves that Ford has really eliminated the Land Rover’s ‘Department of Glitches’, we reckon the LR3 Discovery is the best thing that has happened to the 4WD scene since Willys went public with the CJ2A Jeep in 1945!


If you own, have Driven or have something to say about the Land Rover, email us.

Your comments could be posted here!

SPECS & STATS - Land Rover LR3/Discovery SE

Under the hood
Engine Type4.4L V8 
Horsepower300 hp @ 5500 rpm224 kW @ 5500 rpm
Torque315 lb.-ft @ 4000 rpm435 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Consumption14 mpg city -18 mpg hwy17L/100 km city - 13L/100 km hwy

6 Speed Automatic

The Ride
Front SuspensionIndependent double wishbone
Rear SuspensionIndependent double wishbone

Size me up 
Exterior Height74.1 in1882 mm 
Exterior Width75.4 in1915 mm
Overall Length                      190.9 in4848 mm
Wheelbase113.6 in2885 mm                             
Ground Clearance7.3 in185 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity 22.8 (gal)86 (litres)

Make up - 8 Colors
Bonatti Grey MetallicTonga Green PearlescentAlverston Red Micatallic
Zambezi Silver MetallicMaya Gold MetallicJava Black Pearlescent
Chawton WhiteBuckingham Blue Mitallic

* Specifications & options may vary in different regions