2003 Land Rover Discovery SE 4WD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I bought my 2003 Disco with 98k miles for $6000 in September 2013. Have a Land Rover specialist (preferably not a dealer) do a thorough inspection before you buy. Get a service history.
Expect a lot of work to have been done. The only red flag is a history of overheating associated with a very loud engine knock/tap.
In the last 10k miles I have replaced the power steering pump and done regular maintenance, about $1200 total. I'm not bothered since I paid so little up front. It's a fantastic truck with an old-school feel. I average 11mpg city and 15mpg highway. If you love it and treat it well, this truck will get to 200k miles and beyond.
I love the interior.
It's comfortable on long and short trips, you sit high, there is no 'hump' in the back row, and there is a ton of cargo space. Last Christmas we put an entire 8ft Christmas tree inside, with the back seat folded up. It feels spacious thanks to the high ceiling. I currently have basic all-season tires and they do great in wet and dry conditions, but only decently in snow. I'm looking to upgrade the rubber soon.
My model has a coil sprung suspension that performs well on and off road and is thankfully more 'maintenance-free' than the rear air suspension (ACE). The V8 has ample power, so long as you aren't expecting sport car performance. Everything just feels solid.
It handles like a heavy vehicle because it is--not a drawback in my opinion but it must be kept in mind.
In the snow, for instance, you have to go slowly because even snow tires with antilock brakes will skid without proper technique.
Overall, the biggest negative the Disco has for a lot of people is its maintenance demands.
You can't skip anything. You have too keep an eye on the temp gauge.
You have to listen for unusual noises. You have to beware of any sign something is going wrong. If not, your driveshaft may snap and take out your transmission, or your oil will get so low you'll junk your engine.
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