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Used Land Rover Discovery Review

14 Jul 2022

If you’re looking for a used Land Rover Discovery for sale, you’re likely to be considering either the Discovery 4 (2009-2017) or the Discovery 5 (2016-2020). In this review, we’ll take a look at both, including the best engines and trims for each and the pros and cons of this purposeful workhorse that’s packed with charm. 

Regardless of its age, and there are plenty of old models out there, there’s very little that can match it as a genuine off-road vehicle while doubling as a practical family car. It can keep a smile on your face during the longest journeys and is a huge amount of fun when you venture away from the roads.  

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Seven-seat interior
  • Excellent off-road capabilities
  • Quality feel inside and out

Cons

  • Expensive to run
  • Not as agile as its rivals
  • Some reliability issues

How does it look?

The Discovery 4 arrived in September 2009 and featured new external styling, a redesigned nose and tail, a new interior, improved electronics and a better multimedia system. Many people prefer the chunky and upmarket styling of the Discovery 4 to the softer styling of the latest model. Those looks, along with its on-road comfort and off-road brilliance, make the Discovery 4 just as desirable now as it was when it first came out. 

The Discovery 4 featured design changes that gave it a stronger family resemblance to the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Although the Discovery 5 was more evolution than revolution, it did introduce a new monocoque chassis that was also based on the Range Rover Sport. That made it much lighter than the much-loved Discover 4 while still offering a huge amount of interior space and seven very usable seats.

What’s it like to drive? 

When it comes to driving off-road, the Land Rover Discovery is impossible to beat. No other SUV makes such easy work of the bumpy stuff, with a Terrain System that allows you to tailor the car’s abilities to any driving situation. Add to that the four-wheel-drive system, excellent ground clearance and ability to drive through deep water, and you have a car that can handle everything you can throw at it, including the school run.

When it comes to taking the Discovery on the road, the commanding driving position provides excellent visibility, with the low side windows giving you a 180-degree to the front and sides. That contributes to a feeling of invincibility, which is complemented by the comfortable ride. However, with the Discovery 4 weighing in at nearly three tonnes, you won’t get the road-holding ability or agility of more compact SUVs, but when you have this unbeatable level of refinement, comfort and stability, do you even care?

Is the Land Rover Discovery Reliable?

One of the big question marks about the Land Rover Discovery has always been its reliability. It’s fair to say that its reliability record is far from perfect, so you have to be careful when shopping around for a Discovery. The cost of parts and maintenance if something does go wrong is also quite high. However, if you’re happy to run the risk, the reward is a very capable and iconic family car.

Which is the best used Land Rover Discovery to buy?

Finding the right Land Rover Discovery for sale is no easy feat, particularly with so many different options out there. If you’re looking for a Discovery 4, the 3.0-litre diesel engine is probably the best option. The basic S specification is quite basic, while the SE adds a few extras including leather seats. The HSE has all the gizmos and is probably worth the extra if you have room in your budget.  

If you’re on the lookout for a Discovery 5, the V6 engines are the pick of the bunch. They are noticeably smoother and more powerful than the four-cylinder engines, which are still very capable but lack a little bit of punch. Spec-wise, the S offers air-conditioning, air suspension, a six-speaker hi-fi and a 10-inch touchscreen. The SE adds automatic headlights and wipers, sat-nav, LED lights, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats. Move up to HSE trim for keyless go, powered third-row seats, 20-inch allow wheels and a panoramic roof. 

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is the entry-level of the Discovery which arrived in 2015 to replace the old Freelander. It’s smaller than the Discovery and provides more practicality in urban settings while still giving you the option of seven seats. If you’re in the market for a Land Rover Discovery Sport, the fuel consumption boost the diesel engines give you is hard to ignore. The 178bhp TD4 is one of the best, while the 237bhp diesel is faster but more thirsty.

How much is a used Land Rover Discovery?

For a 2009 Discovery 4, you’re looking at a minimum of £8,000 for a model that’s in good condition. The 3.0-litre diesel engines are the pick of the bunch, but even high mileage examples start at around £12,000. The most recent Discovery 4 from 2016 with a 3.0-litre diesel engine and our favoured HSE spec will put a £30,000-sized dent in your pocket. 

If you’re on the hunt for a Discovery 5, it’s really a question of how new you want to go. Prices start at around £30,000 for a 2017 2.0 SD4 or £35,000 for a 3.0-litre engine. A good, low-mileage 2018 Discovery will cost you up to £40,000, and you’ll pay £45,000 for a 2019 model with a good engine and a high level of trim. From there you can pay anything up to £60,000 for nearly new examples from 2022.  

 

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