I have three Discos, one in the US and a 95 Tdi & 2002 TD5 in Europe.
The 97 V8 just keeps going. Bought this one with 60K and now have 165k on it.
Only repairs that have been needed are the gear shift switch (under brake - $25), starter ($180) and the large ball joint behind the hub ($600). Vehicle has been maintained but not babied.
This is a real 4 x 4 and will go almost anywhere.
Towing is no problem.
The 4.0 litre engine is a bit underpowered in these years but it is a heavy vehicle and not a sports car.
Ride is more like a truck but has a very solid feeling.
Now that the 97's are getting on in years you can find some that are fairly inexpensive.
Ride height and view.
4 x 4 capabilities, interior finish (no squeaks or rattles even now), exterior finish very good for 16 yr. old vehicle.
To be honest almost all vehicles can be improved upon and it really doesn't pertain to a 16 yr old vehicle.
In my opinion the best thing that Land Rover NA could do is import the diesel versions to the US.
If they offered a diesel Disco they would absolutely kill the competition.
My 2002 TD5 in Europe is a 2.5 litre 5 cylinder automatic. I average about 26 mpg on the highway at 75 mph.
The new diesel Discos have a 6 cylinder Tdi motor with loads more horsepower and get about the same mileage due to better technology.
I bought my 97 DISCO to tow my 24' sailboat about a year ago. so far, the only thing I had to replace was the catalytic converter. The dealer wanted $700 for repairs!!! I went to a local mechanic who did just as good of a job for $150!! So dont go to the dealer. It looks great on the road, although it feels a bit top-heavy sometimes, and a ton of fun off road!! I use it sparingly, mostly for towing my 3500 lb sailboat around and it does the job very very well. Switches do go bad, but if youre looking for a fun beater, not a daily driver, this is the truck for you.
exterior, towing ability, off road ability, fun to drive
I am the happy second owner of a '97 Disco. All I can say about this vehicle is that it is a tank. Goes where you point it without complaint. It chews up trails, scales steep hillsides/mountainsides with ease, and carves a path in deep snow. Gas mileage is average for an SUV of this size, so if gas is a concern,look elsewhere. And on-road manners are something to be desired. In addition this is the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. Got it with 75K and it now has over 240K on it and it's still chugging along. Granted there were repairs now and again, but in true Rover style, whatever broke or failed this truck always got me to my destination.
Bought new 12/1996. Never stranded or failed to start. Oil leaks repaired free at dealer as was intake manifold gasket and retorque. EEPROM for gas gauge fixed in Canada at dealer in Vancouver. At 50,000 miles rough running due to bad O2 sensor and speed sensor. Ripped off at $1,200 for parts/labor at local San Jose independent Rover repair facility. Replaced both window regulators. Replaced fuel pump to prevent it going bad at 80,000. Always changed oil at 3,000 miles and have changed transmission oil twice, diff fluid twice, transfer case once and brake fluid twice. Now at 117,000 miles. Never changed water pump or alternator as did not go bad yet. All in all, super value for the buck.
Classic Design. Two sun roofs. Subwoofer. Very classy and the Beluga black paint w/ tan interior. The fact that all Land Rover parts, even though they cost a fortune, are the best parts and will each last 100,000 miles for sure. High up driving position and stunning off road ability. But, not used.
More power to the engine. A strong Diesel engine for US models to allow better response and MPG. Better window regulators. Digital temperature that allows dial in temperature and keeps the cabin perfect with feed back from measuring air in cabin. Like Mercedes and some BMW's. Transmission more resp
bought my 1997 Discovery in February 2007 with 99k on it for $3800 from a charity auction on Ebay. The rear view mirror has a little burn out mark on it; the rear window controls from the front seat aren't working; and the spare tire cover was broken off. Oh well. I bought the Land Rover Discovery so I could get through snow and rain when my rear wheel drive Lexus would have problems. I also got it so I could bring my bike and all the beach stuff to the beach. My wife didn't want a pickup at the house and the Discovery is perfect! It feels like a truck, I can tow stuff if I need to, and it is strong enough to cart anything inside or outside the vehicle. The Discovery's will run a good 200k
Strong engine and 4 wheeling capability; height of vehicle; good for a part time vehicle
Premium gas; parts fall apart too frequently; parts hard to find