Used 2000 Land Rover Discovery Series II Review
There are two reasons to buy this truck: either you need incredible off-road capability or you need to show off to the neighbors. If you have different needs, buy a different SUV.
Like the Land Rovers of yesteryear, the current Discovery Series II exhibits excellent off-road prowess and distinctive, hardy styling. But it also utilizes advanced performance features that promise a more capable on-road driving experience. The success of Lincoln's Navigator and Lexus' LX 470 has convinced Land Rover to create a kinder, gentler SUV.
With 85 percent of the truck's parts replaced in 1999, the Discovery Series II is 6.5 inches longer and 3.8 inches wider than the first Discovery. Furthermore, this is the first sport-utility vehicle to be equipped with Active Cornering Enhancement (ACE), which uses a hydraulic system to control body roll on turns, and Hill Descent Control (HDC), a driver-activated feature which supplements traditional braking when descending steep, slippery slopes in extreme conditions. Other features include a self-leveling suspension, traction control, forward-facing rear jump seats and Optikool glass that reduces ultraviolet rays by 31 percent and heat transmission by 76 percent.
Just one body style is available: a five-door wagon with permanent four-wheel drive and a standard adaptive automatic transmission that adjusts to different driving styles. Beneath the vehicle's hood is a modern version of the 4.0-liter, V8 engine that powered the previous Discovery. This V8 makes 188 horsepower and 18 foot-pounds more torque than the engine in the 1998 version, at a lower rpm. This powerplant is rated for only 13 mpg in the city and 16 mpg for highway driving, though, and that's with a light foot. The previous model exhibited gear noise and other aural annoyances, but Land Rover has dramatically reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels in the current truck. The Series II's stance was widened last year by 2.1 inches at the front and 2.9 inches at the rear, making for a smoother on-road feel, and the self-leveling suspension benefits off-roaders by allowing the driver to raise or lower the rear of the truck by 1.6 inches.
Inside the Series II, both front and backseat passengers sit high for a superior view. Seating can be expanded to seven, in the form of forward-facing, storable rear jump seats. The driver and front passenger receive adjustable lumbar support and enjoy the benefits of dual temperature control air conditioning as well as a full-size glove box and four cupholders. Midway through 2000, a limited number of Series IIs will be offered with special Duragrain interiors.
Legendary off-road capabilities help make the aluminum-bodied Discovery Series II an attractive choice in this segment, augmented by safety equipment like ABS and traction control. With competitors releasing new hybrid sport-utes faster than horses can race the Kentucky Derby, Land Rover remains true to its original industry mission -- building a go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle. The Series II will undoubtedly live up to that reputation, but with the advanced suspension, powertrain and handling features available on the truck, urban driving has become a bit more enjoyable as well.
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