Published on August 8th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Land Rover Discovery TD5 is a 7 seat bargain today used review

For those who cannot come up with the RM450,000 TODAY to acquire a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Look at buying a used one with its RM285,000 plus original selling price. This 4×4 luxury vehicle offers an enticing alternate path to step up to the realm of Land Rover ownership. Today the viability of a used Discovery TD5 seems interesting as having higher residual values than its competitors means quick and easy ownership. Also, the bottom is starting to sag from beneath the used 4×4 market due to oversupply, high fuel and maintenance costs where even an immaculate 2003 Discovery TD5 will only fetch RM32,000 to RM40,000 which is a fraction (1/7th) of its new car selling price some 14 years ago. This is however good news for motorists who love its rugged good looks and superb interior space for 7 passengers.

The Discovery’s strong points include good occupant space, a comfortable ride on soft, long travel suspension, off-road ability and the convenience and safety of full-time four-wheel drive. Weaknesses include some reliability, restricted load space, body roll when cornering and overly firm seats. Obviously, a used Discovery like any other car should be approached with some caution. The basic mechanical package is sound, and engineered to take very severe treatment on the rough beaten dirt road, and the aluminium panels are rust-resistant, but there are many potential sources of inconvenience and expense for the inexperienced.

A comprehensive inspection is money well spent; even so, the extent and nature of the Discovery’s woes can be rewarding if a good example is found. Once fixed they can be reliable and hardy. Remember, these cars are made to be abused and for city driving they will outlast most owners. The Discovery rides on the same rugged steel boxed ladder frame, which carried the former Range Rover. It stands tall, due to its high clearance, which permits travel over big bumps, logs and boulders. Also, its long-travel coil suspension allows each wheel to reach high or low over such rough stuff for surprising agility.  Further, a big disc brake connects to each wheel, and all link via a 4-channel anti-lock system designed to operate across all types of terrain. Comfort becomes another important commodity carried by Discovery, beginning with twin front bucket seats that recline and support your back with an adjustable lumbar. The rear 3-person bench splits in 60-40 proportion and folds in various configurations for cargo hauling in the rear storage bay. Also, two stowable rear jump seats will extend the Discovery’s people count to seven. Then come the comforts of a luxury sedan, such as central door locking, power windows and outside mirrors, quartz halogen headlamps with power wash element, along with the electric rear window defroster and rear window washer plus wiper. Storage spaces show up throughout Disco’s cabin, in the center console, at the dash with its full-size glove box, on each door with handy map pocket, at front seatbacks in the expandable storage pockets, even above rear seats in overhead net storage units. There is also leather upholstery, rear air conditioning and dual electric sunroofs.

Look out for underside damage from off road abuse; electrics can be a major problem. Engine maintenance records should be complete (even better if all from Land Rover Malaysia) and make sure that you are ready for the fuel bills and high running costs which are compatible in pricing with its German rivals.

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