I’m considering buying a 1998 Land Rover Discovery LSE within the next couple of weeks. I test-drove the car and absolutely love it, in spite of the relatively crappy gas mileage.
I’ve been doing online research, and am a little surprised at how vastly different the reviews are. They seem to be in two camps: “Land Rovers are the greatest vehicles ever; very reliable!” and “Land Rovers are money-sucking hell on wheels. The best thing about this car was the day I sold it.” There isn’t much middle ground.
I went to the JD Power & Associates site, and the Rover got a 2/5 for mechanical quality, but then again, so did the Audi A6 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, which aren’t bad cars.
So, I’m thorougly confused. What are your personal experiences with the mechanical reliability of Land Rovers?
Thanks for the link, Wysiwig. The forum itself seems to be down right now, but I’m browsing the site.
Most of the reviews deal with problems at the outset of owning the car. This one is a bit older, with 60k miles. I’m trying to convince myself that the kinks have been worked out, but I really don’t know. I’m sure there’s a dealership in Oklahoma City (where I’ll be going to college) but I don’t know what kind of package we’d have to buy to get a warranty of some sort. I’ll be talking to the car guy today, so maybe I’ll be slightly less clueless later this evening.
Buy the extended warranty. Seriously, you would be foolish not to. I had a 1993 K Land Rover 90 Defender TDI 3 Door Estate. Loved it. it would go anywhere, and I mean anywhere. I wasn’t using it for daily living as you may be, but I used it for MUDD’IN. I’d recommend knowing the car inside and out. Like going to the dealer and having the mechanic show you all the potential problems he/she sees in a year, and some simple fix its for future knowledge. They are not that hard to work on, but they can get a bit ornery. Know the car in and out before you get it. Otherwise you could have a money pit…
Kody, the late model year will keep some of the really bad boogeymen away (Lucas Prince of Darkness electrical system), and BMW was heavily involved with LR at that time.
I would go for it. We have two, a 2002 Disco II and a 2000 Range Rover. We also had a 2000 Disco II, that saved our lives and the life of my unborn child in a hellacious accident last year. So I’m biased.
Extended warranty is a must. Any car with 60K+ miles on it is going to have things breaking down and falling off with some regularity. Add this to a higher-than-Japanese-cars parts and labor cost. Only have it serviced at a Land Rover dealership- most mechanics have never worked on one, ever.
All the above comments are very true, if the LRE forum comes back it’s a great place, very busy great folks.
In USA it does not matter but cos of petrol prices @ $5.98 per UK gallon which is smaller than US! We tend to go for Diesel and LPG as the old Buick V8 are very thirsty.
A 60K unit is only just run in…loads left, watch out for dash boards cracking, (design fault) and rear side windows leaking as well as everything else. Hope I have not made you paranoid about your future purchase…enjoy
Ok, know this going in- there is no LR dealership in Oklahoma City, OK. That could be a problem. There is one in Tulsa, and in OC there is an “authorized service center” which boils down to a Cadillac dealership with a couple of guys who are certified to work on your car. Could go either way.
Are you buying the car from a private citizen or a dealership?
I still think they’re the best vehicles around, period.
Phlosphr, I will definetly be looking into the extended warranty. I really do like the car, and, from what you said, if I don’t get the warranty I’ll be running a serious chance of having my enjoyment of it ruined by paying for maintenance out-of-pocket.
EJsGirl: Actually, I didn’t recognize your screenname at first, but the thread about your accident is one of the things that inspired me to look at the Rover in the first place.
The dealership in Tulsa shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I’ll have to go past Tulsa to get to my hometown, so even if out of the way, it is on the way.
We’re buying it from a general used car dealership. They’re mostly higher-end trade-ins, and it seems relatively reputable. Have you had any serious mechanical problems with yours?
Thanks again, Wysiwig for the link. Visions of Discos will be dancing in my head for quite some time.
No major problems at all, even with the one we had rebuilt after the accident. We traded it in on the Range Rover, and I saw it the other day! The new owners had it at the dealership for something, and I recognized my door dings!
When LR was owned by BMW, things really started looking up mechanically-speaking. Unfortunately, with the really old ones, let’s just say that for a while, the English built cars about as well as they cooked.
A good dealership has been a real asset for us. You will get to know them, as our cars have had a bunch of little BS things that needed to be fixed (many of which will probably have already been done to your car)- the wiper fluid jets ALWAYS leak on the new models, sometimes things stick or don’t close right, etc. But it’s not a big deal.
And if something IS a big deal, LR will do whatever it takes to fix it, up to and including putting a whole new engine in a car.
Also, the service is great. Out here, they really pamper you at the dealership- free rental car any time the car is serviced, free car washes anytime forever (every day if you wanted to), cool toys.
Ask your dealership if they offer Offroad Events for customers. Ours does, so every few months they take people out to an approved offroad course and teach them how to safely and intelligently drive their cars off pavement. It’s part of the Tread Lightly program. I loved it.
Good lord, am I a freak about these cars or what? Sorry about that.
EJsGirl, that’s good to hear. The car was well taken care of; I get the impression that it was an elderly person who just wanted the space. I’m hoping that the kinks have all been worked out.
The auto dealership I’m buying it from isn’t actually a Land Rover dealership; it’s just a generic used car lot. How do I go about buying whatever it is I need to get all of that service? Since I’m going to be away from home, the thought that I can get a rental car while the LR is being serviced is comforting.
No apologies necessary! I’m glad you’re so knowledgeable about them. I’m feeling quite a lot more confident about the purchase hearing more owner experiences.
As soon as I sell my current car, we’ll be buying the Rover. Yay.