1999 Land Rover Discovery TD5 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


Fantastic value, second-hand, semi-luxury, serious off-roader


Rear left wheel-bearing/hub assembly needed replacing after a seal started leaking - needs replacing as a unit.

Passenger seat-belt pre-tensioner went on the fritz, setting off the SRS warning light - replaced with a second-hand one.

Bizarre fault - locking coded wheelnut socket split when trying to change a wheel, trapping overtightened wheelnuts on the car! Man, does that drive you crazy! Managed to borrow one, then decided to ditch the locking wheelnuts altogether. More the fault of some gorilla overzealous with a rattle-gun at a tyre centre, but still worth checking before you head off on that remote trip.

Slight oil leak from transfer case -- haven't bothered fixing this, seems like a pretty common thing for all Land Rovers.

Clutch spigot bearing noisy when cold -- ditto.

General Comments:

I was told not to get one of these (by friends who hadn't had one, mind you) because of a reputation for 'unreliability'. But they are class-leading for the comfort, off-road ability and economy combination, and that was the appeal.

The 'unreliability' reputation has resulted in strong depreciation, making these things unbeatable value on the 2nd hand market.

I have to say that so-far, that reputation seems unfounded. Sure, a few little things have needed attention, but it's 10 years old - it's no worse than any other (Japanese and European) cars that I have owned, and better than a few. The interior has stood the test of time well, and mechanically, it drives like new, and the engine/drivetrain is terrific.

I expected big things from this car off-road and on, and it hasn't disappointed - it's quite-simply the best standard thing I've ever been in in terms of off-road capability, including much newer Japanese commercial competition. Capable, and luxury-car comfortable too. I'm getting 9l/100km without trying too hard. Not bad for a big heavy car.

They definitely require a bit of specialist attention to keep them happy, so it's definitely worth shopping around for one with a complete dealer service history. That's what I did, and it seems to have paid off - so far. The downside is that the ongoing dealer services cost a packet. Not something I'm used to, but I'm not interested in servicing it myself these days.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2010

1999 Land Rover Discovery TD5 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


This should be a great 4x4, but..


My list is an almost identical set to a posting from Australia on your site in 2006.

ABS, TC HD warning lights come on intermittently. Shuttle valve blamed by dealer. Shuttle valve replaced and the problem not solved. Advised whole modulator must be replaced. I am not convinced, as it appears to be electronic and not mechanical fault, as it is intermittent. Can drive 40 Klms with no warning, then it comes on.

Wiring loom replaced, as oil had entered the system.

Rear air compressor replaced.

Starter motor overhauled as it failed.

Alternator overhauled as it failed.

Water pump replaced as it started to fail.

Fan system replaced as it failed.

Leaking water - still unknown problem to solve.

Adjustable seat belt height drivers side has failed and cannot budge.

I have to admit some of these components are wear and tear, but it seems like 250,000klms is the magic replacement number. I agree the ABS, TC HD warning lights appears to be a design fault.

These repairs have become very expensive. I am now at the stage of wondering to keep her of sell. I am hesitant as I love this vehicle; it's excellent to drive, comfortable, easy to see, and my children's safety was paramount in the purchase s/h decision. They love her.

I am very sad as this could be a superb vehicle, but fails the reliability test time and again. Could I trust taking the vehicle on a long serious 4x4 trip? No.

General Comments:

Vehicle handles very well - I used to race and feel comfortable and safe in her.

Well thought out design inside.

It is mechanical/design issues that let the side down on her. Very sad as she could be a great designed vehicle. This vehicle should win the competition hands down, but with my direct experience I would not feel confident now to say that.

I drooled over buying one for years, and wanted this model. With the high expense of keeping her on the road, I would have to rationalise my thoughts more clearly if I would buy another.

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

Review Date: 5th October, 2009