Land Rover Discovery V8 ES

While there's no denying the Discovery's status as one of the finest full-size SUVs, even the biggest successes can get it wrong - as in the case of the range-topping 4.0-litre V8 ES. Sure, it's fantastically well equipped, has a lusty engine note and is peerless in the rough, but why anyone would buy it is a mystery.

The V8 Disco makes sense in its US target market, but here the diesel is a far better option. Un-less you need the extra performance, stick with the oil-burner.

While there's no denying the Discovery's status as one of the finest full-size SUVs, even the biggest successes can get it wrong - as in the case of the range-topping 4.0-litre V8 ES. Sure, it's fantastically well equipped, has a lusty engine note and is peerless in the rough, but why anyone would buy it is a mystery.

The engine itself is ancient, and while it's refined and lively, it's also filthy, chucking out nearly 400g/km of CO2. Worse still, it's incredibly thirsty: Land Rover claims it will return 17mpg, but around town that drops to less than 12mpg. All of which makes owning a V8 Discovery an expensive business - an experience made worse by crippling depreciation. While Td5 diesel versions retain more than half of their original value after three years, V8s struggle to match a third of their purchase cost.

If you can afford this kind of thirst and residuals, chances are you can afford a Range Rover. So what's the point buying the Disco? It may be nice to drive and luxurious to wallow in, but the V8 is impossible to recommend. It is the weakest link. Goodbye!

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