1997 Land Rover Discovery Review
1997 Land Rover Discovery Review
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Used Discovery for sale
|List Price Estimate:||$3,820 - $6,166|
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Outstanding off-road prowess, available 7-passenger capacity
- Overpriced, underpowered, unreliable, and too thirsty
A diversity antenna is added, and all interiors are trimmed with polished burled walnut. The sunroof has darker tinting, the airbag system benefits from simplified operation and engine management is improved. Three new exterior colors debut: Oxford Blue, Rioja Red and Charleston Green.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1997 Land Rover Discovery LSE 4dr SUV AWD and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.32 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Compact SUV
Introduced in April 1994, this compact 4X4 builds on a couple of Land Rover legends. Designed for go-anywhere capability, the Discovery exhibits excellent off-road ability. Built in England, the Discovery also exhibits a distressing tendency toward reliability problems. We receive lots of horror stories regarding Discovery reliability via email, and Automobile magazine wrapped up a long-term test with a very troublesome 1995 model recently. Just one body style is available: a five-door wagon with permanent four-wheel-drive. An automatic transmission is optional. This year, three trim levels are available; the SD, SE and SE7.
Beneath the hood of all models sits an aluminum 4.0-liter, 182-horsepower V8 engine. Acceleration isn't bad, but is accompanied by gear noise and other aural annoyances. Worse, this powerplant is rated for 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway, and that's with a light foot. Sizable ground clearance (8.1 inches) is a bonus while off-roading, but contributes to the Discovery's tendency to lean through curves and corners, and also makes it harder to climb inside. Though firm, the sport-utility's suspension delivers a suitable ride, via 16-inch Michelin or Goodyear tires. New exterior colors help differentiate the 1997 Discovery from those that preceded it.
The driver sits high -- three feet above the road surface. Rear passengers sit higher still, for a superior view. Seating is available for seven, in the form of center-facing, stowable rear seats that come standard on the SE7, but this is a five-passenger vehicle in SD and SE trim. Though roomy enough, the Discovery holds fewer luxury fittings than might be expected in this price league. Only a handful of options are available, including leather upholstery. The spare tire resides outside. The driver and front passenger have adjustable lumbar supports, and enjoy the benefits of dual-temperature control air conditioning. A full-size glovebox and four cupholders are included.
Changes for 1997 are minimal. A diversity antenna is added, and all interiors are trimmed with polished burled walnut. The sunroof has darker tinting, the airbag system benefits from simplified operation, and engine management is improved.
Legendary off-road capabilities help make the aluminum-bodied Discovery an attractive choice, augmented by safety equipment. If you expect to drive mainly around the suburbs rather than through the woods, the Discovery's high center of gravity and short wheelbase could be a drawback. The fact that a Discovery can ford a stream up to 19.7 inches deep isn't exactly a benefit when its primary duties involve driving to the office or the mall. In urban America, the Discovery is all about prestige, and it doesn't come cheaply or conveniently. We recommend the Discovery for off-road use, but most consumers will want a different truck to haul the Little Leaguers in.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Land Rover Discovery.
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful consumer reviews
4.38 out of 5 stars
One Amazing Tank
Micheal Smith, 09/17/2008
1997 Land Rover Discovery SE 4dr SUV AWD
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.
2.88 out of 5 stars
Interesting 2nd car (truck)
1997 Land Rover Discovery SE 4dr SUV AWD
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
4.13 out of 5 stars
a real 4x4 not a SUV
It's a real 4x4, 09/14/2009
1997 Land Rover Discovery SD 4dr SUV AWD
I have a 1997 land rover Discovery SD the entry level model. It doesn't have a sunroof which is okay with me. The truck has a rugged frame and strong body. The discovery is built to withstand alot of abuse despite it's shiny exterior. The truck has been reliable what many fail to understand is that the truck is a rugged piece of machinery that require maintenance. but unlike many other … vehicles the Discovery is a straightforward truck to own with a few tool set and time. I have a five inch lift with 34" tires on mines and it puts hummers and jeeps to shame.
4.38 out of 5 stars
Fantastic all round vehicle
1997 Land Rover Discovery SE7 4dr SUV AWD
I bought mine with 100,000 kilometers on it and intended to use it as a tow vehicle for my Caravan. After the first trip, I was disappointed with the lack of power from the 3.9 V8. I took the vehicle to a performance workshop and had a "Unichip" fitted. The transformation was amazing. This Disco now flys and returns a very respectable fuel mileage.
1997 Discovery Highlights
|Combined MPG||14 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$301/month|
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalAcceptable
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
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More about the 1997 Land Rover Discovery
Used 1997 Land Rover Discovery Overview
The Used 1997 Land Rover Discovery is offered in the following submodels: Discovery SUV. Available styles include LSE 4dr SUV AWD, SE 4dr SUV AWD, XD 4dr SUV AWD, SD 4dr SUV AWD, and SE7 4dr SUV AWD. Pre-owned Land Rover Discovery models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 182 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Land Rover Discovery comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.
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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Land Rover Discovery?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
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