Land Rover DiscoveryLand Rover Driving

Which Land Rover to take off roading? Discovery 1 & 2

The Discovery makes a good off road vehicle with the comforts of a car200Tdi Discoverys are cheap – very cheap!

They combine the off road ability of a Defender with the interior comforts of a car. The only problem is they rust, which is part of the reason early ones are so cheap.

But if you find a good one, you’ve got the basis of a very good off roader that will give Defenders a run for their money. The only real drawback is their overall size – they will sometimes make contact with items which a Defender could easily avoid.

Like Range Rovers, Discoverys with off roading damage look like battered and neglected banger racers. If thats the look you are after, then thats cool, but if you want a vehicle for presentable trips to impress the in-laws, then it’s not so good!

That said, sometimes Discoverys can out-negotiate a Defender. A better turning circle allows tighter turns to be made, but the cost of this is tyre size.

If you fit the “standard” off road tyre size of 235/85/16, your steering lock will be reduced, but perhaps more importantly, you will have to modify the vehicle.

Land Rover Discovery 2 TD5At the very least, it will need a slight lift and then trim the rear wings to clear the tyres if you want to follow in the path of the Defenders.

And when you start modifying if, you can quickly get carried away, especially as there are nearly as many bolt on goodies available for Discoverys as there are Defenders.

The Discovery 2 has worse approach and departure angles that the earlier model and the front valance is particulary vulnerable to damage, but at least those fitted with air suspension can raise the back up to improve the departure angle slightly.

Land Rover Discovery summary

  • Pros: Value for money, ability
  • Cons: Don’t look good with panel damage, need thorough cleaning to prevent rust
  • Off roading rating: 9/10
  • Price guide: £500-£15000
  • Advice: Discoverys with the Tdi engine are great performers, but watch out for rusty rear floors and inner wings. Air suspension on the Discovery 2 can fail through damaged pipework.

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