2004 Land Rover Discovery Series 2 Td5 Classic Town owner review

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Liam P
Author
Published
PROS
  • Iconic Design
  • Excellent 4WD capability
  • Appreciating future classic
CONS
  • Maintenance intensive vehicle to run
  • It's a 17 year old vehicle in the youngest form

About the Land Rover Discovery Series 2

Liam P purchased this Land Rover Discovery Series 2 used for $12,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2021. Liam P would buy this car again because: “This Land Rover Discovery harks back to the glory days of solid axle safari style Land Rovers of old. With old school Solid Axles and a locking centre differential. Its quintessential boxy design looks purposeful and rugged, ready for adventure.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

This Land Rover has let me down once since March. After a day of 4WDing in the sand dunes of Lancelin, on the return trip home the power steering pump failed. Most recently the original turbo was replaced due to a loose propeller shaft diagnosed before failure.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

I’ve invested $17,000 in restoration of this vehicle, significant preventive maintenance and cosmetic restoration. It’s been a money pit although an enjoyable one, the market for these vehicles is rising as people appreciate the classic design and capability.

This vehicle has a complete Land Rover service history from new and is used on a monthly basis for 4WD duty and adventures.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

I have seen the used vehicle market reach the high teens and early $20’s for excellent examples, this is of course driven by the demand for 4WD vehicles at the moment and the rise of interest in classic 4WDs and solid axle Land Rovers.

In 2004, this vehicle was marketed as a ” Classic” edition and it really shows its inherent nature to harkening back to the 1989 design of the original Discovery 1. It features 7 seats, Alpine windows, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, locking centre differential with full time 4WD.

Compared to a modern air suspension equipped Land Rover, this vehicle feels ancient. You’re paying for that in this market though.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

The turbo-diesel five-cylinder (Td5) is the last Land Rover engine developed by the Rover Group and exclusive to Land Rover. It’s loud with a distinctive thrum and very unrefined compared to any modern diesel motor, although this for me was part of the attraction towards purchasing the vehicle.

This engine is still repairable in an old-school fashion, as long as you have a diagnostic tool such as a Nano-com.

It is slow to accelerate compared to modern vehicles although still reasonably fuel efficient, we get about 850 kilometers out a 93l tank and the vehicle weighed down with a genuine LR Brush Bar and roof racks.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

Or lack of technology. It has an excellent electronic traction control system for aiding in 4WDing that is best described by the Bush Tucker man himself! ” Like having a winch on each wheel “.

Aside from that, it retains the features of a luxury car from the era such as leather, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.

Aside from that it’s very basic.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

The Discovery has an excellent command seating position, perfectly suited armrest and room to rest both arms. The handling was fine-tuned by BMW during its ownership of Land Rover in the ’90s, therefore the vehicle actually corners much better than expected although certainly no BMW X5 in the corners.

Rear occupants enjoy the visibility all round, although legroom is not significant due to the wheelbase.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

The Discovery is an amazing family vehicle in all generations, we love our weekend trips that are only possible with a 4WD.

Just be aware that because of the age of the Discovery 1 and 2, they will require an emotional and financial investment to keep in tip top order.

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Ratings
Overall6.5
Show Breakdown
Technology 5
Reliability 5.5
Ride & Handling 7
Price & Features 7
Performance & Economy 6.5
Ownership Experience 8