I took this Disco 3 to Tunisia when it had just 1500 miles on the clock. Now it’s been to north Africa five times, the Alps several times and Portugal. Generally, it did a trip every year with the exception of a couple of years ago when the torque converter failed and killed the gearbox. It’s been remarkably dependable off-road, and the air suspension has really impressed me.
But I have had a few issues. The standard air compressor for the suspension wasn’t up to the job, so I replaced it with a Discovery 4 version – a simple swap but it does require a software update.
The original dampers also failed on my first Morocco trip (even though the car wasn’t heavily laden) so I replaced them with Koni FSD versions. Land Rover’s Genuine Parts raised air intake wasn’t keeping the Tunisian dust out of the engine either, so I had to replace it with a Safari version.
Other modifications include a secondary fuel tank, APB rear recovery point, Front Runner full-length roof rack and underbody protection. I bought a protection plate for the lowest part of the exhaust from a company in France – I couldn’t find anyone making them in the UK.
I built most of the interior storage system myself, taking ideas from existing products and using a combination of 18mm rhino board and 12mm marine ply. It’s amazing how much weight you save by taking the rear seats out. I used to have a drawer system too but the weight was just too much.
Last year the electronic module in the parking brake started feeding a bad signal, which wiped out the whole of the
CAN bus electrical system. Sorting that out involved swapping the Body Control Unit, which ended up being another expensive episode.
There was also an issue with the roof rack mounting points, which had to be strengthened from the inside when the welds for the captive nuts cracked on my first Tunisian trip.
These irritating problems notwithstanding, this has proved to be a thoroughly accomplished, extremely versatile 4x4 and it’s just a shame that Discovery 3s aren’t used to their full potential more often.
My only wish is that I didn’t have to keep taking it back to Land Rover specialists…
This owner review appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.