Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Great performance on and off the road
- Good size and high level of comfort
- Running and servicing cost is high
The Discovery 3 (04- ) 4x4 is a stylish and versatile vehicle that is great to drive both in the city and off the road. Compared to its predecessors it offers an increased comfort and despite the clean image, hasn't lost its 4x4 credentials. Unlike the first generation cars, this Discovery has finally lost the body-on-frame construction ‐ it's now a unibody vehicle with independent suspension.
Exterior and Interior
You cannot really fault the new Discovery's design. Those who are familiar with the original Discovery designed by the in-house team back in 1989, will definitely recognise the most distinct features like the increased roof height at the rear, irregular shape of the tailgate and the appealing crease on the flanks.
The 3rd generation has increased in length. In fact its wheel base has been stretched by whopping 13 inches.
The interior of the Discovery 3 4x4 is outstanding. The design of the cabin is stylish and elegant. It has sufficient space to let even seven passengers be at comfort. The Standard trim, however, only includes 5 seats and the overall execution and materials are slightly inferior, so it's probably a good idea avoiding used Discoveries with the Standard trim. Seating is quite flexible and offers a good visibility and a decent level of equipment.
Performance and Economy
All three engines provide excellent dynamics. The 3.0-litre diesel and the petrol engine are capable of accelerating the car to 60mph in under 9 seconds which is a great achievement for such a big car. Although, modern Discoveries are rarely driven off the road and you don't see many of these entering off-roading competitions, the owner has the peace of mind that if he ever needs to get out of sticky situations the Discovery has a full set of kit to perform well.
It is quite a big and heavy car so fuel efficiency is not really expected from it. Nevertheless, it keeps its appetite within reasonable amounts and the diesel engines are capable of delivering 30mpg. The petrol engine is thirstier ‐ it will provide 20mpg at best.
The car is expensive to buy, regardless of whether you buy new or used. It's not cheap to run and maintain ‐ the Discovery 3 requires the best when it comes to lubricants and service. However, the car provides an amazing value for money and it is slow to depreciate.
Insurance is normally cheaper than with other high-end 4x4s. The Discovery is insurance group 33, while the BMW X5 starts at group 40.
Like to Drive
Although it has retained some visual features of the classic Discovery, driving the new car feels nothing like the old Discovery. Due to the longer wheelbase, upgraded suspension and new body construction, it is much smoother. The car has lost the body roll that was so characteristic to the older generations.
The independent suspension and high-tech air springs make it smooth even on bumpy roads. In the corners it is capable of turning sharply despite its long wheelbase. It is a mechanically sound car and performs extremely well both on and off the road.
The new Discovery is very comfortable and those who like big cars are bound to enjoy every minute behind its wheel. The most sensible and low-maintenance option is a 2.7-litre diesel with a fine-tuned 6-speed manual gearbox.
Faults and Repairs
The earlier generations of the Discoveries has been known to have reliability issues. However, things have improved since introducing this generation. The major parts are consistent and rarely break down. Being such a complicated car, electronics and ancillary devices are prone to failures, but these tend to be individual occurrences rather than regular faults.