The Discovery 3 has been my go-to vehicle of the LRO fleet for my various escapades up and down the country for photoshoots and to meet readers.
It’s big and comfortable, so it’s a perfect tool for such longhaul duties. The Polybushed suspension means the handling is impressively tight and precise – but the stiffer bushes do tend to amplify potholes.
Cruising at 70mph is effortless, though, and long journeys aren’t too much of a chore thanks to the DAB radio interface that I installed in the May issue.
Something that has been brought to my attention is its occasional reluctance to start from cold. It’s not bad enough to cause real concern yet, but the TDV6 is grateful for a second cycle of the glow plugs on particularly cold mornings and a second of extra cranking can be needed to wake the engine.
Another thing that will need investigation is the appearance of the ‘water in fuel’ message on the dash display. I’ve drained the fuel filter into a cup and no water is evident so it’s my guess that the wiring on top of the filter housing has corroded and the unit will need replacing. I’ve got one on order.
I must admit I was never a big fan of the manual version of the D3 until I started using our vehicle regularly, but now I‘m warming to it. Once you’re used to the short first gear and fairly numb clutch pedal feel, it’s really easy to drive smoothly.
Block-changing down gears for roundabouts and slowing down at junctions becomes second nature and I think I’m even beginning to prefer it over automatics now, if only for the marginally better fuel figures and availability of engine braking.
It may sound superficial but one of my favourite things about the Disco is the great induction noise you get from the snorkel with the window down. Hoofing the throttle from low revs – particularly if you’re in a tunnel – makes it do a fantastic Darth Vader impression. Anyway…
I haven’t had a chance to drive the D3 properly off-road yet but I’m itching to see what it can do, having only used Defenders and older Discos in the mud.
When the time comes, I suspect it may be held back slightly by its part-worn all-terrains, but I’ll be interested to see if the electronic aids really are capable of powering that much vehicle though harsh terrain.
A day out at our Tixover playground during the LRO Peterborugh Show may be in order in the near future, so watch out for it if you venture down...