Thinking Of Buying A Land Rover Discovery 3? Read This First!

One of my favorite SUVs (sports utility vehicles) to date is, without a shadow of a doubt, the Land Rover Discovery 3.

There are many reasons why this is so; for example, it’s just as useful in off-road situations as the Land Rover Defender, yet it’s just as comfortable to drive as a Range Rover Sport (and somewhat cheaper to buy than the Range Rover too).


It’s also a pretty practical vehicle, regardless of whether you live in the suburbs or at some remote farm somewhere! Although there are loads more benefits to owning a Land Rover Discovery that I could probably spend all day writing about, there are also some things that can catch new Discovery owners out.

I must admit; although I’m a Land Rover fanatic, I don’t claim to be an expert on this fantastic British marque, so I’ve spoken with some folks who are experts (Saxton 4×4) and in conjunction with them I have come up with a handy guide that tells you what you need to know about buying a Land Rover Discovery 3, so that you are fully informed about what you can expect to pay out for or check before and after you buy.

 Engine choice

There are three engine choices available for the Land Rover Discovery 3:

  • 2.7-litre TDV6 (diesel);
  • 3.0-litre SDV6 (diesel);
  • 4.4-litre V8 (petrol).

 I would recommend going for a Discovery with the 3.0-litre as it is the most refined out of all three engines; the 2.7-litre is a bit gutless, and the V8 is great if you are extremely wealthy and can afford to keep buying petrol for your car every couple of days!

 Trim levels

 Pre-facelift models came with three trim levels:

  • S – this base model comes with air conditioning, alloy wheels and a CD player;
  • SE – a mid-range Discovery that also includes leather seats;
  • HSE – the top of the range model, also includes sat-nav and Bluetooth.

Facelift models had different trim levels:

  • GS – base model, includes climate control, electric windows and Bluetooth connectivity;
  • XS – same as the pre-facelift HSE and also includes cruise control;
  • HSE – same spec as XS and additionally features a reversing camera and better stereo.

 Recall notices

 It’s no secret that car manufacturers sometimes issue recall notices for models that have problems serious enough to impede vehicle operation, and Land Rover is no stranger to issuing recall notices as the following explains:

  • 2004 to 2005 – fuel leak problems, which require replacement fuel tanks;
  • 2005 to 2009 – brake issues (diesel models only);
  • 2005 – faulty automatic transmissions (‘Park’ doesn’t probably engage on some models);
  • 2006 – fuel leak problems due to faulty fuel pumps.

Most of these issues would have been resolved by now, but it’s worth checking with your local Land Rover dealer by giving them your Discovery’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or registration number details.


As with any car, corrosion (i.e. rust) can affect the Land Rover Discovery. Make sure you carefully check the bodywork of the car before you buy it, in particular the sills, inner wheel arches and underneath the car.

Article by emily

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