1998 Land Rover Discovery XS 3.9 V8


Fun, but so typically unreliable


Intermittent loss of engine power.

Erratic engine idle.

Failure to start on several occasions.

Engine cut out twice and wouldn't at first start.

Auto box wouldn't kick down.

Cruise control didn't work.

Rear door lock didn't work.

General Comments:

I bought this on a whim as it was a reasonably low miles Disco, with a good body and in a really nice Frost Blue metallic that you don't see much. It was one of the last of the Series 1 Disco's.

It was never bought as a main car; just something to take the dogs to the fields and have some fun!

When I test drove it, it drove fine.

However, not long after getting it home, it became apparent it had serious engine issues. It would pull away fine, start up fine, then as soon as you got up to any sort of speed, it would start to hesitate and the engine revs would become very erratic. Under any sort of load was when it did it. Driving it ended up being a case of flooring the hell out of it everywhere to try and get past the hesitation, which sort of worked, but that's not the best way to get decent MPG out of a 3.9 V8!

It went several times to my local garage who supposedly "know Landies, and especially the V8's", to have several vacuum tubes replaced and a clean bill of health after being road tested, only for the problem to start up again.

I drove it 90 miles to a mate's in Swindon once; the whole way there it was fine, and the whole way back, it did it! That's how intermittent it could be. As you can imagine, this totally did my head in, and as I had no idea how much money was going to be thrown into this black money hole of a problem, I got rid of it, sharpish!!

Such a SHAME, because it looked great, sounded like the devil roaring, even at idle, and was great to swan around in at eye level with all the Transit drivers. I would've considered doing a bit of mud plugging in it too.

When it was driving OK, I found it extremely comfortable, more responsive steering wise than I would've thought, and loved the fact it cornered like a Sealink ferry, so much fun! OK, it did about 15-17 MPG, which is absolutely terrible, and had the build quality of a child's Lego house inside, but I loved its truck like feel.

However, this just confirmed my suspicion, that I had when I bought it, that old Land Rover's are money pits and unreliable as hell.

Do buy one, it'll put a smile on your face, but... be prepared for lots of heartache too!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2014

1998 Land Rover Discovery XS 2.5 (300TDi) turbo diesel


Great if you can control the rust


Where to begin? After all, it's an old Land Rover.

First were the brake discs, then a radiator and intercooler (upgraded it at the time) all within the first 4,000 miles.

I then needed new injectors and a diesel lift pump.

After that I replaced the headlining and the front and rear sunroof seals.

Then at 170,000 miles, new steering box, drop links, front wheel bearings and diesel overflow pipes after they burst on a long journey, leaving diesel all over Ireland!

Had a seemingly endless oil leak from somewhere that I just could not find.

General Comments:

You will never break the land speed record in one of these, and don't overly expect to have too many conversations with your passengers when travelling over 70mph.

HOWEVER! If you have the patience, this will take you wherever you need to go, and I mean wherever! The biggest problem is rust, as the 300TDi engine is bomb proof.

The cabin is huge and airy, and if you are happy at 60-65, you'll get great mileage for a vehicle of its size. It will tow anything.

I live by the sea, and the salt ate the underside of the vehicle beyond economic repair, but for a utility vehicle that looks great next to the "posh" cars, and has kudos and ability off road (which my kids loved!), you won't get better, but you will have permanently scuffed knuckles and ongoing maintenance. Surely that's half the fun though eh?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2012