After receiving some customer feedback mentioning the lack of appeal of the Discovery 1300Tdi I had bought a year ago for my adventure tours business, it was clear I needed to get my hands on a better alternative.
A Td5 110 Defender station wagon seemed like the perfect option, but the prohibitive prices of 110s here in Portugal at the moment made me think about the more civilised Discovery 2.
After searching on classified ads and browsing the web, I found what would become the new addition to my Land Rover fleet in Leiria, north of Lisbon.
With just over 100,000km (62,000 miles) on the clock, a full service record and very good overall condition, this proved to be a good option and so a price was agreed.
After the obligatory reading of James Taylor’s book on the development of the Discovery 2, it’s easy to see why Land Rover advertised this vehicle as a revolution when compared to the previous generation.
Despite the marked similarities between the two – just take a look at the dashboard! – it was obvious from the first minute this was truly a far better car in all aspects.
After a second examination, some minor issues such as a broken front headlamp height adjustment motor, a seized turbo wastegate and a cracked rear indicator light were all easily fixed at home. But when everything looked so perfect and I was enjoying my new daily driver, a heavy rainfall showed a considerable amount of water coming from near the rear-view mirror.
Having surfed a few blogs and forums, it looked like a new windscreen was needed so I ordered a new genuine item and asked a specialist to fit it and to attend to some minor rust around the base of the wipers.
A few days later – just when I was beginning to think the leaks had been banished – more drops appeared, so I’ll now have to remove the headlining for further examination. I’ll do this as soon as the forecasters promise a few consecutive sunny days.
In the meantime, after being asked by LRO’s Adventure Club to help prepare a Portugal recce trip in April, the Disco 2 was immediately put to the test on the Algarve mountain tracks, where it proved to be a perfectly capable off-roader as well as a very comfortable drive.
At the time of writing I’ve just returned from a wet but fantastic 1400-mile trip around some of Portugal’s remotest and most beautiful places, so now it’s time for a short break and a service for the Disco to get it ready for the next adventures. Better fix that water leak first, though…