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.
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