1998-2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 4×4 Review

Read our concise review of the 1998-2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 4x4...

1998-2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 4x4 Review

by Calum Brown |

Seven-seaters are best, thanks to forward-facing third row (Discovery 1 has side-facing jump seats). Problems with the air suspension are common. Look out for terminal chassis rot, but body rust not such a problem (unlike Discovery 1). the Many have led an easy life.

Every day use: ★★★★☆

Off-road ability: ★★★★☆

Spares: ★★★★★

Kit & accessories: ★★★☆☆

Thatcham ratings

Theft of: ★★★☆☆

Theft from: ★☆☆☆☆


Here are our top tips on things to consider when buying a Discovery 2. Discuss prospective buys on our message boards and for the definitive view, get an LRO buying guide. See below for details.


Cracking cylinder heads. A problem on Td5s with more than 100,000 miles.

Td5 oil pump bolt. This can work loose and come undone, which means the oil pump sprocket comes off and does considerable damage to the engine.

Spark plugs. Check for white deposits on the V8 – could be a sign of cracked cylinder block or liners.

Coolant leaks. Td5 water pumps can leak, causing coolant level to drop, then overheating occurs

Smoke. Look for blue oil smoke, black diesel smoke (overfuelling), heavy black diesel smoke (failing turbocharger) or white smoke on starting (water in the bores).


Rear self-leveling air suspension (SLS). Check which type of rear suspension is fitted and, if it is SLS, that the airbags aren’t cracked and the vehicle stands ‘square’ and level as it should be. If there is a problem with the airbags, you can repair the vehicle or purchase a kit to convert the rear to coil springs.


Dashboard warning lights. Are the electronically controlled functions (electronic traction control, active cornering enhancement, electronic brake distribution, Hill Descent Control etc) working as they should be?

Fuel injector wiring harness. Can leak and allow oil to travel along the loom and into the ECU, causing poor starting, misfiring and rough running.


Hub sensors. Sensor faults are common and are usually caused by worn brake pads. Check wheel hubs for play to avoid problems.


ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement). Pipes are showing corrosion on early models. Can be seen behind the off-side front wheel. The ACE filter should be replaced at 72,000 miles and is located in the bottom of the ACE valve block on the right-hand chassis rail. It’s accessed by undoing the cap and then withdrawing the filter.


The upturned section of the rear chassis immediately forward of the rear crossmember is prone to rusting. This can be welded but is structural so it’s an important MoT item – check carefully.


Headlight theft. Pre and post-facelift models command different prices because of the perceived benefit of the later models, although there has been a spate of thefts of the later headlights from facelifted models as the parts can be fitted to earlier versions – and if yours are stolen, it’ll cost you £600+ to replace.


Sunroof. Awkward to fix if it’s leaking – and it’s probably not just that the sunroof seals have failed.



For detailed pricing info see the latest issue of Land Rover Owner International magazine.



Fastest 0-60mph: 10.5sec (V8i)

Slowest 0-60mph: 16.3sec (Td5)

Fastest Top speed: 106mph (V8i)

Slowest Top speed: 96mph (Td5)

Highest Power: 182bhp at 4750rpm (V8i)

Lowest Power: 136bhp at 4200rpm (Td5)

Highest Torque: 250lb ft at 2600rpm (V8i)

Lowest Torque: 221lb ft at 1950rpm (Td5)

Best Fuel economy: 26.6mpg (Td5 manual)

Worst Fuel economy: 16.3mpg (V8i auto)


Approach angle: 31º

Departure angle: 21º

Ramp breakover angle: 156º

Wading depth: 500mm

Towing capacity: 3500kg


Length: 4705mm

Width: 1793mm

Height: 1940mm

Wheelbase: 2540mm (100in)

Weight: 2020kg (4453lb)

Load space: 577 litres

Fuel tank capacity: 95 litres


(2000MY Td5 as shown)

CO2 emissions: 262g/km

VED rate: £220

Insurance group: 13

LEZ compliant?: Yes

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