1998 Land Rover Discovery XS 2.5 (300TDi) turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


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

1998 Land Rover Discovery LSE from North America


Will take ALL your money to fix


Leaks: can't tell where the oil is leaking from, it's everywhere. Can't really tell where anything is leaking from, even when clean. The front sun roof leaked for the longest; finally found that leak after having to take the whole top of the ceiling apart.

Overheating: Can't find the problem. Replaced the radiator twice, all hoses. I have to fill the reserve up every day, and I only drive 28 miles to and from work.

Gas guzzler: man does it eat up gas. Again, I only drive to and from work, and I have to fill up at least twice a week.

Repairs: I am a single mother, and had no idea that this thing would cost so much in repairs. It cost more to fix this than it's worth. I can't afford the maintenance on it.

I will never own a Land Rover once I can sell it and get something else. If I can even sell it.

I will buy a Honda.

General Comments:

Love the view, I can easily see out of it. Not much that I can say good about it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th June, 2012

26th Jun 2012, 12:36

Oh my, it sounds like the head gaskets are probably bad on your car due to the overheating, even with the new radiator and hoses.

My advice is find an independent import mechanic (if you have not already done so) who has some Land Rovers parked out front. Mine keeps people going in their Land Rovers for a lot less than the dealers, or other shops that don't specialize in them, although even my friend cannot do it super-cheap.

These are expensive cars to keep, no matter how hard you try, so do try to sell it. There are people out there who will love to have it, and will be willing to spend the money on it.

Buy yourself a used Santa Fe or Highlander if you want comparable space, better gas mileage, and much more livable reliability. Even a brand-new Santa Fe would be cheaper than having to make unexpected monthly repairs or pay for the gas in the Land Rover, and I say that as a huge Land Rover fan!

1998 Land Rover Discovery LSE 4.0 from North America


The truck that will get you divorced


Radiator gone at 100K, head gasket gone at 106K, wheel sensor, coil packs, fan clutch, oil pump at 86K and at 130K, belt tensioner, battery, brakes, windshield leak (can't seal it without removal and replacement of windshield), lock actuators (driver's side, then left passenger side), rust through wheel wells, alternator, power steering pump (leaked like it was shot), brake lights, ignition lock.

General Comments:

This car is like the hot supermodel you know is going to mess you up in the end. You fall in love with it, people tell you it looks and rides good, and your head blows up. Then the pain starts.

When the truck worked, it was like no other vehicle out there. Cut through snow like a hot knife through butter. But you better be using snow tires, because the Michelin 4x4 XPCs that came standard on those trucks are 3 season tires. In snow, those tires are like ice skates.

In five years, there was only a period of about 5 months where there was no problems. The truck was constantly in the shop. I found a local Land Rover specialist who did the work at a fraction of what the dealer would have charged. Also saved money buying used parts off eBay and Internet sources, then having my mechanic put them in. But I still spent thousands of dollars, almost as much as the purchase price of the car. It seems as though the LR philosophy was to replace every part in the car, and then the car would be solid. But after the oil pump failed for a second time, I knew it was time to call it a career.

My wife still doesn't fully know how much was spent in repairs, and I'm not sure I do either. I do have a large envelope full of receipts. It came down to a choice between an unreliable truck, or a marriage. My wife is a good cook, so...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th November, 2010

11th Jan 2011, 23:14

A vehicle that can get you divorced, what will they come up with next?

19th May 2011, 09:02

I have a 98 Land Rover and I hate it.

I am a single mother of two kids and so I wanted something a little sturdy. It is a great vehicle if you are rich and don't care about cost. I have had to replace the radiator twice, the thing leaks oil like no other, and the sunroofs leak. No one ever carries the parts that I need so it costs so much for them to order it and put it in. I agree with you on the divorce thing (if I was married, it would cause a divorce). The Land Rover is not worth it to me.

I would not recommend it to anyone.

5th Oct 2013, 21:46

Fantastic review!

Good sense of humor and articulate.

Be glad the oil pump failures on your (realistically) Buick V8 didn't take out the bottom end (rod and main bearings).

29th Oct 2014, 23:13

Buy a Toyota Land Cruiser. The price is higher, but you have no worries. The level of comfort is almost to my Range Rover. My Land Cruiser is never in the shop except for the basics. Best choice I made.