1997 Land Rover Discovery SE 4.0 Rover from North America


For the money, it's hard to beat


A lot of little things went wrong, but the first 180,000 miles were without any problems.

At 180,000 the fuel pump went out in Estes Park in Colorado. That was $800.00.

At 220,000 miles the head gasket went... $1,400.00. That is the biggest problem I have had to date.

Normal tires replaced every 80,000 miles.

I replace the front brakes twice as often as the back brakes.

The air conditioning went out at about 200,000, and that was a $800.00 repair... but it works fine now.

General Comments:

All in all, it is my second most reliable car I ever had.

My most reliable car was a 1981 Camaro; I sold it after 20 years with 265,000 miles on it.

The Land Rover is a very comfortable vehicle; I have been in snow up to the door handles and never got stuck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2013

1997 Land Rover Discovery 2.5 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


Unreliable and expensive to repair


It did three heads in 4 years, with no warning on the temperature/cooling system.

The first head went 2 weeks after purchase at 172500 k's. The second was 12 months after that when just out of warranty. The third head went at 287500; again with no warning. By the time the temperature gauge indicated there was a problem, the damage was done.

The manufacturer wasn't helpful at all. Expensive to replace, and many mechanics did not want to do the job, as they are apparently 'notorious' for doing this.

Map holders in the front doors fell off at 200000.

The speedo only works intermittently, and mechanics and auto electricians cannot find why; this started prior to my purchase.

Coolant leaks into the cylinders at 285000.

Back door hinges dropped and let dust into the vehicle at 250000.

General Comments:

A comfortable vehicle that is economical to drive. It tows like nothing else I have driven, but the lack of reliability outweighs its performance when towing.

Good vision, and compact for every day driving for a 4x4.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st November, 2010

4th Aug 2011, 09:20

Drove a Land Rover Discovery 1997 300 TDI for fourteen years on and off road for 260,000km. Frequently towed a Larson bowrider boat - 2 tonnes.

Only "major" repairs required - replaced worn out fuel pump and vacuum pump. Simple jobs I did myself, occurred at ~200,000km mark. Changed oil and filter at 10,000 km intervals. Changed engine coolant and had the auto transmission serviced every 40,000km.

RAC auto check report at sale of car found the car to be in very good condition. Never broke down.

1997 Land Rover Discovery from Australia and New Zealand


Best value for money


After fitting the 3.9 engine with new engine mounts, and then fitting a Range Rover exhaust manifold, the left side manifold touches the chassis, and when the vehicle goes over a bump, a knocking noise travels through the vehicle. Obvious problem is using the Range Rover manifold, just assumed it would not be a problem.

General Comments:

Solid, roomy, still a tad underpowered, but overall very good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2009

1997 Land Rover Discovery SE 7 V8 from North America


OK, if you have a surplus of money to keep it up and running


Hmmmmmm let us see:

Oil leak from day one.

Sun roof leak in heavy rain.

Passenger door window broke.

Back Passenger door window broke.

Driver's seat motor quit.

Heated seats become too hot.

Check engine light is on and will not go off no matter how much money I throw at it.

ABS system is malfunctioning with new brake pads and rotors.

Sometimes scares me and won't start.

Heater switches off at the highest mark and then comes back on when it feels like it.

And now the engine is smoking and smoke is coming out of the tail pipe.

General Comments:

It is awesome in snow! It is comfortable like riding in a luxury car. However, as soon as I paid the thing off, everything started to break. It handles well in the city as well as in the country. Very versatile vehicle. I love the way it looks, and I love to show it off. But it is a nickle and dime away from breaking me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th March, 2008

15th Jun 2015, 19:42

I have a 1997 Land Rover Discovery. The SUV is running great. The only problem is the brakes get hot or overheated when going downhill for 30 minutes or longer. Can someone help me?

12th Sep 2015, 21:25

30 minutes downhill under braking - no wonder they got hot and overheated. Try being in the correct gear to avoid riding the brakes downhill.