Land Rover Discovery 3

Years built: 2004-2009 Prices: £11,500-£30,000 Our pick: TDV6 HSE

A fourth year at the top cements the Discovery 3’s dominance in the large SUV category. Without question, it’s the most rugged, capable car on these pages, and its incredible off-road ability is matched only by its superb practicality. The huge interior provides seating for up to seven and a big boot.
Reliability hasn’t always been a strong point for the Brit manufacturer, but the arrival of the Discovery 3 is what kick-started Land Rover’s improved status. Still, when considering such a complicated vehicle, it pays to check the car’s history thoroughly. Models sold under the company’s used approved scheme are the safest bets, and come with a good level of aftersales protection.
The 2.7-litre diesel is the engine to have, and HSE trim adds a host of standard equipment. Cars fitted with the petrol V8 are cheap, powerful and sound great, but they are very thirsty.
With the later Discovery 4 in its second year, prices for the 3 continue to tumble. The earliest, highest-mileage models are now approaching £10,000. That’s a huge amount of car for the money, but the most affordable are typically low-spec S versions, so it’s worth paying a bit extra for a later example with fewer miles and more equipment.

Driver Power 2011

What you said: “The Discovery 3 is three cars in one: a very comfortable family runaround with bags of practicality, a capable 4x4 with great ground clearance and a prestige model that never looks out of place wherever it’s parked.” 

Value choice

The earliest Lexus RX400s are real bargains, as they can be picked up from around £4,000. Watch out for imported vehicles, as their specifications differ to those of official UK models. Reliability is assured from Toyota’s luxury brand, which means you can buy with confidence.

Nearly new

2007 to date
A brilliant all-rounder, the BMW SUV is great to drive, economical and comfortable. It runs the Land Rover Discovery 3 close for the top spot, and early examples are now available from around £20,000. Diesel 
X5s offer impressive running costs and handling considering their size.

The Categories

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New Bowler Defender Challenge review
Bowler Defender Challenge - front
Land Rover Defender

New Bowler Defender Challenge review

The new Defender Challenge is the first Bowler under JLR ownership, and it’s a cracker
28 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021