Used Land Rover Discovery buying guide: 2004-2009 (Mk3)

Since arriving on the finish of the 1980s, the Land Rover Discovery has carved out a distinct segment because the go-to automobile for households desiring one thing giant, tricky and flexible, and there’s no debating this large SUV’s in any of the ones respects.

The Discovery is massive – it’s longer than many parking areas and too tall to slot in maximum garages and lots of multi-storey automobile parks. Its sheer dimension, regardless that, provides it some of the flexible interiors of any SUV, with seating for seven and much of room. The Discovery could also be ready to with a bit of luck take on nearly any terrain you care to indicate it at – it’s a Land Rover, in any case.

While the most recent Land Rover Discovery has now stolen the limelight, its predecessor continues to be as succesful as ever and nonetheless exudes upmarket enchantment in spite of having graced British roads since 2004. It brought about slightly a stir when first introduced, when it used to be extensively noticed as a quantum soar forwards from its reasonably agricultural Mk1 and Mk2 ancestors. The Mk3 used to be complex sufficient to stick in manufacturing for 14 years, morphing into the Mk4 all through a 2009 facelift.
We’ve produced a separate information to the Mk4, however learn on for the lowdown on choosing the proper Discovery Mk3 for you.

Land Rover Discovery Mk3 historical past

The third-generation Land Rover Discovery arrived in August 2004 and used to be to begin with introduced with a Four.Four-litre petrol engine or a 2.7-litre V6 diesel. Four trim ranges had been to be had: Discovery three, S, SE and HSE, with XS and GS changing the S in September 2006. There used to be a delicate beauty replace in July 2008, ahead of a extra concerned facelift resulted within the Discovery Four identify being followed in September 2009. We quilt that fashion in a separate purchaser’s information.

Which is the most productive Land Rover Discovery Mk3 for me?

The Discovery three used to be to begin with to be had with a Four.Four-litre petrol engine (which used to be dropped in 2007) or a 2.7-litre diesel. The petrol engine is costly to run – when you organize 19mpg you’ll be doing smartly – regardless that some automobiles had been transformed to run on LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), which pulls a decrease charge of tax than petrol – so don’t cut price a petrol-engined Discovery out of hand.

Most other people selected the two.7-litre diesel engine, regardless that, which returns round 27mpg. The petrol engine will get the Discovery three from Zero-62mph in eight.five seconds, whilst the diesel engine does the similar in 11 seconds. A six-speed handbook gearbox used to be same old with the diesel engine, with an automated gearbox not obligatory – regardless that maximum specified the latter. Petrol-engined Discovery 3s got here with an automated gearbox as same old.

Entry-level automobiles had been merely referred to as Discovery three. All had 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning and electrical home windows and had been to be had with 5 or seven seats. Five-seater automobiles had been the one fashions to get standard metal suspension, whilst seven seaters were given the artful adjustable air suspension gadget, in addition to parking sensors.

S trim added 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise keep an eye on, roof rails, xenon headlights, whilst SE automobiles got here with a normal computerized gearbox, all-round parking sensors and leather-based seats (heated within the entrance). HSE automobiles have 19-inch alloy wheels, all-round heated seats, sat nav, Bluetooth and a wide ranging sunroof. The S trim break up in two in 2006. GS automobiles were given adjustable suspension and rear parking sensors, whilst XS fashions got here with leather-based seats, cruise keep an eye on and sat nav.

There’s an enormous variance in used Mk3 Discovery values, however there may be additionally an enormous vary of ages, mileages, specs and histories. Prices start at round £five,000, however a Discovery at this value will normally have a reasonably top mileage. In itself this is not essentially an issue, however make doubly positive that the upkeep historical past is so as and the auto is in just right mechanical situation.

Running prices, upkeep and portions

The Mk3 Land Rover Discovery is an excessively giant and heavy automobile, and all engines have a reasonably thirsty urge for food for gas. The 2.7-litre diesel may push 30mpg, however you can be fortunate to peer greater than 18mpg from the petrol V8. It’s price noting that almost all Discoveries offered after 23 March 2006 will probably be chargeable for annual avenue tax of £515.

A provider is needed each 12 months or 15,000 miles and trade between minor and primary. Diesel engines require a cambelt trade, and as that is a pricey operation, it is price checking that any automobile you imagine lets in you quite a lot of time or mileage ahead of that is is due.

What to appear out for

The maximum basic fear pertains to the two.7-litre TDV6 engine, whose crankshaft can snap – an excessively expensive fault to mend. Unfortunately, there is no method to expect this taking place, however it is a very uncommon incidence.

The air suspension gadget can expand leaks and electric issues – make sure that any automobile you investigate cross-check rises and falls correctly when the gadget is in use, and that the auto sits flippantly in any respect 4 corners. The air-conditioning gadget can expand issues, too – specifically misguided sensors, refrigerant compressors and corroded pipes.

It’s price noting that Discoveries are steadily made to paintings arduous for a dwelling, towing heavy lots and crossing tough terrain. This can put really extensive pressure on a automobile’s mechanical make-up, so test each instance you take a look at completely, having a look out for oil leaks beneath or being worried noises from the engine or gearbox. Walk clear of automobiles that display glaring indicators of a difficult lifestyles.

If the digital parking brake does not grasp the auto securely, this may simply be because of a build-up of brake mud and dust within the mechanism. Check the auto’s inner electrics completely, too – central locking, electrical window and rear wiper faults are not unusual.


A complete of 11 remembers have affected the Discovery Mk3 up to now, 5 of which relate to attainable gas leaks, with basically automobiles constructed ahead of 2007 affected. Defective seatbelt buckles and brake servo problems have additionally been reported, whilst a November 2005 marketing campaign recalled automobiles that were provided with the fallacious form of jack.

You can use the DVSA’s recall software to be informed about remembers in additional element, ahead of checking the forms to peer if the essential paintings has been finished.


Many seven-seat SUVs had been introduced through the years, however now not all have the real off-road talent the Discovery can boast. If this can be a must-have, the Mitsubishi Shogun and Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon are the Discovery’s closets competitors. Both Japanese fashions usually are turn out extra dependable than the British automobile, too, however neither are as spacious or as sumptuous in really feel.

The Volvo XC90 is an out of this world automobile, however is extra road-biased and its 0.33 row of seats is reasonably at the cramped facet. The identical is correct of the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GL, in addition to seven-seat variations of the second-generation BMW X5. All 3 of those German choices are trendy, sumptuous fashions, however their working prices may just simply eclipse even the ones of the Land Rover and none can problem the Discovery for talent in tough terrain.


When the Mk3 Discovery arrived, it used to be a enormous step ahead from the Mk2. With a variety of affect from the then-new Range Rover, it used to be classier, extra trendy and way more technologically refined than its predecessor. The biggest praise ever paid to it used to be the truth that the next Mk4 used to be mainly the similar automobile with a complete suite of upgrades. The form, structure and spirit of the Mk3 wasn’t damaged, so they did not repair it.

Today, the Mk3 has been at the avenue for a decade and a part and a few early examples are reasonably scruffy. However, the appropriate one could make a great-value circle of relatives SUV, so long as you select properly. If you keep away from automobiles that have not been maintained with the care they require, this mythical SUV is a discovery price making.

Used Land Rover Discovery buying information: 2004-2009 (Mk3)

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