I have had my Disco for almost 7 years now, and have had less repairs done than any vehicle I have ever owned. The only thing I had to do was replace the rear air suspension with springs, as the bags did not last in our sub-arctic conditions.
I have 200 miles of Northern Canadian gravel road to travel to the nearest paved road. I use it for camping and exploration in extremely remote areas. It has never left me stranded. Just look at what people drive in Africa and the Outback! They are easy to work on and parts are no more expensive than any other import.
Its a shame Land Rover chose to target their marketing at city drivers, as it is NOT the vehicle for them.
This vehicle is all around unreliable. The Discovery I had broke down once a year, and I didn't even drive it that much. My vehicle had 71,000 miles on it. Usually you expect those kind of problems in a car that has more than 120,000 miles. The transmission went out twice, the water pump had a leak. The car would over heat even though I always watched the coolant.
The worst thing is that there's only one place around me that fixes land rovers! Any other place that I've tried talking to about it say they don't want to touch the thing. The car is way too expensive and difficult to fix. I'm so glad I traded this car in. Don't buy anything from Land Rover.
Bought new, worst vehicle I have owned as far as repairs. $20,000 in repairs in ten years. Radiators, hoses, front drive shaft, both axles, abs system repair, main seals, engine rebuild. Currently drivers side heated seat doesn't work, rear wiper broken, two doors locks not working. Too bad the body still looks new, should have sold years ago. Don't but one.
Off road capabilities, great in snow and ice. To bad it is always in the shop.
Everything under the body. Being able to switch to two wheel drive to help poor gas mileage.
I am the third owner of a 1999 Discovery II. I knew exactly what to look for and what parts to replace, which I did. No issues from that day forward. If you are not willing to invest from the beginning in genuine LR parts, don't bother because cheap doesn't work. Take care of the vehicle and it will reward you with unlimited capability. To those who complain about reliability, perhaps you should have been proactive and not reactive. Avoid the ACE system at all costs, & get Waxoyl treatment.
Full time permanent 4WD; visibility; capability; durability; interior materials; ease of maintenence (simple to fix with regular tools if necessary); ground clearance; genuine parts support from Rovers North (look at a genuine oil filter & aftermarket- totally different); and OK offroad accessories.
Less transmission noise; more readily available tire size; and the education of both prospective and current owners who have no clue as to how to maintain the vehicle and then complain how unreliable and how terrible it is. It is designed for severe use, and should be maintained that way.