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.
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.
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.
With 90K km on it, we've had it for 2 months now and, so far, we're pretty happy. It looks great, is very comfortable, and drives well. The gas milage doesn't seem as bad as it's cracked up to be (no worse than my 3L '89 Pathfinder). The only problem, so far, was an unreliable gas gage right after we bought it which required a gas float replacement, about a $600 repair, which the dealer agreed to pay half for.
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