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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
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