Discovery 2 (1998-2004) buying guide

The Discovery 2 retained the stepped-roof looks and basic shape of it's predecessor, but got an imporved chassis, bodyshell  and suspension, along with new engines and axles.

The Discovery 2 retained the stepped-roof looks and basic shape of it's predecessor, but got an imporved chassis, bodyshell  and suspension, along with new engines and axles. It was the best-handling Land Rover in it's day and there are plenty too choose from.

The choices

Discovery 2 is a wholly different vehicle to Discovery 1. Engine choice includes the Td5 five-cylinder diesel with electronic engine management, or the 4.0-litre V8 with auto drivetrain as found in the P38a Range Rover. There’s a choice of 5- or 7-seater versions, with the latter having self-levelling air suspension on the rear axle. D2’s handling was transformed by the optional Active Cornering Enhancement (ACE) which controlled cornering roll, allowing spirited driving through twisting lanes.

What to check

Unlike Discovery 1, the chassis is rust-prone. Check it all over, but especially poke behind the rear springs and along the rear extensions. The R380 manual gearbox should be trouble-free but, as always, check all gears and selectors. A high-speed harsh roar from the front is usually worn front wheel bearings which are replaced as a complete, and expensive, hub assembly. Whistling from the engine bay may be a warped exhaust manifold, especially if there is extra heat from tuning. Fix it quickly, before the studs snap. Engine misfire is likely to be caused by oil seeping into the injector harness and working across to the ECU connector – easily unplugged to see if oil is visible. Starting issues may be caused by leaky injectors, while failed injector seals can allow fuel into the sump, detected by smelling the dipstick.

Reasons to buy

The Td5 and 4.0 V8 pack more performance than their predecessors, and the V8 auto gives super-smooth cruising. Long-lasting body and paintwork.

Problems

Long and low front and rear overhang suffers damage off-road, though aftermarket steel bumpers are available to delete the valance assemblies. Chassis is rust-prone and needs wax protection. V8s with coolant problems are a big risk and may need a new engine block if the cause is a crack behind a cylinder liner. V8 is thirsty, though an LPG conversion redresses the balance, but it must be a competent and certified job.

Specifications

Td5: 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel, 122 bhp, 221 lb-ft torque V8: 4-litre V8 petrol, 185 bhp, 235 lb-ft torqueR380 manual or ZF four-speed autoPermanent four-wheel drive.

Price guide

  • Poor: £1200 – £1800 
  • Average: £1800 – £2500 
  • Good: £2500 – £4000

Recommended

New Land Rover Discovery 2021 review
Land Rover Discovery - front
Land Rover Discovery

New Land Rover Discovery 2021 review

A mild facelift and mild hybrid tech helps to lift the Land Rover Discovery
17 Mar 2021
Land Rover Discovery review
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery review

The fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery isn't cheap, but it's one of the best all-round family cars money can buy
26 Feb 2021
Best SUVs to buy 2021
Best suvs
SUVs

Best SUVs to buy 2021

We name the top 10 best SUVs and 4x4s you can buy on the new car market today
4 Jan 2021
New Land Rover Discovery facelift gets hybrid help and updated tech
Land Rover Discovery

New Land Rover Discovery facelift gets hybrid help and updated tech

The new seven-seat Land Rover Discovery now features the latest Pivi Pro infotainment system and a range of mild-hybrid engines
10 Nov 2020

Most Popular

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe
Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD - front
Vauxhall

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe

The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD EV reboots the iconic Manta coupe for the electric era
20 Apr 2021
Stellantis maps out future EV platforms with up to 497 miles of range
Stellantis battery
Peugeot

Stellantis maps out future EV platforms with up to 497 miles of range

Four new EV platforms for Stellantis Group, the first of which we’ll see in 2023
20 Apr 2021
Volkswagen ID.4 named World Car of the Year 2021
Volkswagen ID.4 - front static
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

Volkswagen ID.4 named World Car of the Year 2021

Volkswagen reigns supreme with all-electric ID.4 SUV taking top World Car of the Year honours
20 Apr 2021