Land-Rovers not what they were? - Cliff Pope
Friends of mine have a Discovery, currently off the road (!) again owing to cooling faults. This seems to be a regular occurence, and it lets them down about every other long journey.
I gather from HJ's comments that this is pretty normal.
I thought Land-Rovers used to be rugged vehicles that would put up with abuse and third-world levels of servicing, and keep going reliably for years.
What has gone wrong with this traditional British product?
Land-Rovers not what they were? - Armitage Shanks{P}
You are thinking back to the times when they were rugged utility vehicles, built for one purpose. Now they are urban posing machines, in the main, and are just another Rover product and of no great merit!
Land-Rovers not what they were? - DavidHM
Cliff - Discovery? Quality? If I could find a way to get those two words into one sentence without causing a violent reaction like matter meeting antimatter, that would be the very embodiment of an oxymoron.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - mj
Landrovers defenders go on for years discoverys would not touch one. Freelander reputation just as bad, fail to see why people need 4x4 if you do then why not defender county wagon?
Land-Rovers not what they were? - DavidHM
The Defender is great at what it does, but it's not a road car for most people. It's too agricultural, which is good off road and for the people who buy them, but the Fulham mummies want 4 wheel drive to be big and intimidating, which a Defender is, as well as light steering, a quiet motorway cruise with enough power to get away from the lights and a luxurious interior with 64 million airbags.

The point is that the people who buy Freelanders and (to a lesser extent, Discos) almost invariably don't need four wheel drive other than occasionally to drive across a muddy field - and even then, the benefits are mainly psychological.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - Steve S
"What has gone wrong with this traditional British product?"

Errr, let me see, let's think Land Rover of old. Poor reliability, shocking build quality and shoddy service all coming as standard.

I don't think anything has gone wrong recent reports confirm it continues on new models like the Freelander. Boss's new RR has been in and out of the dealer since October and still isn't right.

Yep I'd say that things were pretty stable there.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - Morris Ox
Things are getting better at Solihull, but Ford insiders will tell you that ingrained attitudes are the difficult nut to crack.

When BMW went there Wolfgang Reitzle was apalled by the place. Real belief that they were the best there was simply because they'd got no idea how far the rest of the automotive world had moved on.

What is a Disco anyway? A Series I RR platform which only gained anything resembling state-of-the-art kit in the last couple of years or so.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - M.M
>>What is a Disco anyway? A Series I RR platform which only gained anything resembling state-of-the-art kit in the last couple of years or so. miss the point. All a proper off-roader needs is a strong chassis, supple suspension, decent engine and suitable transmission. Perhaps add to that a basic body style that doesn't look ruined by the odd ding.

The Series 1 Range Rover and the earliest Discovery had these from the start and those elements still stand up well when the going gets tough.

It's the chrome cup holders and CD players bit that seems to let the modern ones down...a sad corruption of an excellent 4WD design.

An eight year old Discovery is possibly still "the" vehicle to stand in the middle of a muddy field servicing a broken plough one moment and nipping you to Tescos for the lunchtime sarnies afterwards.

The handful of middle aged Discos I look after aren't unreliable, they just need regular preventative maintenance.

Land-Rovers not what they were? - Morris Ox
I think we're both missing the point!

The Disco may have the design fundamentals of a proper off-roader, but the true market for 'proper' off roaders is small, and not where most Discos end up. And a chassis which can trace its origins back to 1970 is plain old, whichever way you look at it.

In that context, a separate chassis is old, wasted technology (in this day and age, the need for a separate chassis even off road is questionable - modern design and construction methods mean monocoques can be very stiff and are usually lighter, which leads to greater efficiency).

You raise an interesting point about perceptions of unreliability. By 1970s and 1980s standards I suspect the Disco isn't that bad on this front, but in an era where people exepct nothing more than routine servicing with long intervals in between it fails the test. I bet you lavish a lot more mechanical TLC on your Discos than the average punter does.

Most owners do not expect to have to carry out preventive maintenance and that's why the Disco has a poor reputation.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - Steve S
Good points Ox. But as a LR customer myself we also don't want engine replacements at 40k and less, see car by car and various forums.

Nor do we want flimsy trim, rubbish air conditioning systems, numerous oil/ps fluid/coolant leaks, heater problems and other minor niggles none of which, belong in any modern (i.e. post WW2) vehicle! Let alone one that is designed to get it's feet dirty.

Most don't get enough time to worry about the 20 year old chassis, they're too busy worrying about the other stuff.

Being a fan of the damn thing when it works doesn't blind me to the woeful quality.

If Ford sort it, like they have Jag - they will really clean up in that market. But I wonder if it's a bridge too far.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - Morris Ox
Ford will sort it, and I suspect it will be by introducing vehicles designed in whole or part outside Solihull, probably using platforms shared with other brands in the Ford empire and drivetrains based on modular designs also found in Fords/Jags.

There's no point Ford basing LR's future on better ways to build a Disco; some of its problems stem from the way it was designed. These days, you build quality in at the design stage (which is why so much of the RR originated in Munich!).

Land Rover purists won't like it, but these changes merely reflect the fact that LR's are sold mostly to people who use a fraction of the vehicle's capability.

Be interested to know what they'll do with the Defender's replacement
Land-Rovers not what they were? - M.M
Sorry guys but I have to stand my ground here but it may be I'm viewing the Disco and RR as just comfortable Land Rovers...not high street and motorway cruisers.

If folks who actually need a family hatch buy a vehicle with chassis design dating back to the 70s giving it awesome off road capability...well more fool them.

I do not expect to see "my" discos between 6K services, and the preventative maintenance is merely inspection, timing belts, greasing fluids etc etc.

Land-Rovers not what they were? - Steve S
Glad to hear it MM. If I were you I'd advertise your "preventative maintenance" services more widely.

The many LR problem forums, warranty claims surveys (regular top 5) or JD Power type reliability surveys (regular bottom 5), would be good places to start.

You may have the midus touch - if so there will be no shortage of hapless LR owners beating a path to your door! (If they don't break down on the way of course).
Land-Rovers not what they were? - colinh
Given the above comments, why does the Freelander have the highest residual values of all "popular" cars after three years? (Source - Alliance & Leicester depreciation survey - Jan 2003).
Land-Rovers not what they were? - T Lucas
There are a lot of sad people that don't realise just how bad Freelanders are and are taken in buy the supposed 4x4 ruggedness.The MGF is apparntly the top selling softop in the UK,they are so bad as to be unbelieveable,but still punters keep on buying them.
Mazda,Toyota and Mitsubishi beat them for quality and durability everytime.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - Flat in Fifth
"I do not expect to see "my" discos between 6K services, and the preventative maintenance is merely inspection, timing belts, greasing fluids etc etc."

So MM seeing as you are far too modest and won't blow your own trumpet, re these Fenland Landies that you maintain in your inimitable Fenmeister fashion.

Is the preventative maintenance success down to your own system and methods, or just according to the LR book. Except that, if the latter, you actually plan the time needed correctly and do the work properly where the dealers maybe just charge for it albeit half done or not at all?

Just a thought.

PS I asked Old Badger if he would blow your trumpet for you as the riverbank has been somewhat quiet recently. However he tells me it appears Paarp Paarp! (but with only one a) is a word still not allowed by the spell checker! No further comment made sadly as it would only result in deeper water than even Landies can wade.
Land-Rovers not what they were? - mellowman
Well, I bought one of the first Freelanders and well remember chatting to LR staff at the Motor Show, and a salesman about how BMW had delayed production to get the quality 'just right'. They made all the noises about premium product - long waiting lists and no discounts - nice free cup of coffee though!

The reality was somewhat different, with an amazing number of fault corrections and recalls - I spent over £1700 on parts and servicing on my Freelander in just over two years and had had enough when LR customer service refused to pay the labour charge for fitting a full new exhaust after only 18,000 miles - the old one had simply rotted away due to a design fault.

I know a few Freelander owners, and they love the vehicle, and quality has improved, but once bitten twice shy.


Value my car