Future Classic Friday: Land Rover Discovery 3

Everything will become a classic one day (maybe...) but sometimes it's hard to see a particular car as anything other than a regular used machine. But the Land Rover Discovery 3's time has come.

Launched in 2004, the third generation of Discovery was the first to use a whole new structure - the first two models were based on the chassis of the original 1970 Range Rover and were woefully outdated.

Instead of a separate chassis, as per the original models, the Disco 3 used a modular monocoque, with the body sections still mounted on a separate chassis but in a way that contributed to the body’s lateral stiffness.

It was neither separate nor a monocoque, but an amalgamation of the two. 

The Discovery 3, or LR3 as it was sold outside the UK, was a hugely important car for Land Rover, using a new 2.7-litre V6 diesel co-developed with PSA (and subsequently proven to be a bit problematic) as well as new body and electrical architecture that was a seismic leap forward from the previous model.

In addition, the erstwhile mechanical differential lock and low-range gears were replaced by an electronic ‘Terrain Response’ system, which left Land Rover traditionalists crying into their real ale.

Then there was the styling - a huge departure from the past, albeit retaining the Discovery’s profile, but one that gave Land Rover a new family face that’s still evident in its model range today. 

To drive, the Discovery 3 was a revelation - smooth, refined and one of the first SUVs to offer genuinely impressive handling.

it was also a model that took Land Rover from being cool but crude into being cool and contemporary. Love it or loathe it, it’s a car with a great legacy and its historical importance comes without any doubt. Find a Land Rover Discovery 3 for sale

Ask HJ

Should I keep my Land Rover Discovery 3 or replace it?

I currently drive a 2007 Discovery 3 HSE with 75,000 on the clock. It has been problem-free and an excellent car (my fifth Discovery). I am considering a change at some time in the next year, and have four options: either keep it as I am retired and do approximately 8000 miles a year, buy a Discovery 4 with 20,000 on the clock, or buy a new Hyundai Santa Fe (5-year warranty), or a new KIA Sorento (7-year warranty). Any advice would be very welcome. I do a considerable amount of towing with a fairly large trailer rated at 2-ton capacity.
Discoverys have a higher braked towing limit of 3500kg. The KIA/Hyundai manuals can tug 2500kg; the automatics only 2000kg. But I'd rather have a Sorento with a 7-year warranty than a Disco with balance of 3-year warranty.
Answered by Honest John
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