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Land Rover Discovery 3 2005 review

It's good, very good, especially the V6 diesel, the subject of our review. Some people aren't too keen on the chunky, slab-sided urban assault vehicle look (my sisterin- law, one-time Disco owner among them), but then some people will always have a different opinion ? otherwise we'd all be driving the same car. Truly functional design does not date, Land Rover reckons.

2.7-litre TDV6 replaces the old TD5 straight five-cylinder diesel. Develops 140kW of power at 4000rpm and 445Nm of torque at a low 1900rpm, more torque in fact than the hero 4.4-litre V8 at 427Nm and arriving lower down the rev range too. Apart from the extra performance, most surprising about the new engine is how smooth and quiet it is. The back room boys have done a brilliant job of insulating passengers from the traditionally harsh diesel rattle.

You can chose between a sixspeed manual or automatic. Our test vehicle was the six-speed sequential auto which means you can change gears like a manual anyway. We noted some initial lag off the line before the engine responded. Manual accelerates from 0-100km/h in 11.7 seconds (11.2 for the manual). It feels faster than this though, however, with a top speed of 180km/h. Full-time four-wheel drive, traction control and dynamic stability control deliver maximum traction in all conditions.

Claimed fuel economy from the 82-litre tank is not stated. But we got about 12.4L/100km out of ours which gives the diesel a range of about 660km. Still a tinsy winsy bit of body roll evident in corners around town, but nothing we couldn't forgive, given its off-road credentials.

Our test vehicle was fitted with air suspension which gives it 240mm of impressive ground clearance when jacked up. With low range, hill descent control and a variety of settings for different terrains, it makes short work of even arduous rock descents. In fact, it's so confident there's a danger that drivers could become a little too cocky.

Safety is aided by six airbags (blows out to eight if you chose the seven-seat option). Seats five with an optional seven seats, but the extra two are kiddie-sized. This time they fold snugly into the floor, instead of taking up valuable luggage space ? and separately if desired. Seven seats and air suspension are standard on all but the base S models which get coil springs.

Maximum tow rating is 3500kg.

Interestingly, this is the diesel that is reportedly destined for Ford's best selling Territory. From there, we may even see it flow down to other models, maybe even the Falcon eventually. Now that's something to think about!

Verdict: We want one. It's big, smooth and powerful and it won't cost an arm and a leg to run. Smooth around town and a force to be reckoned with when the going gets tough. Prices for the diesel start from $64,650.

Pricing Guides

$13,490
Based on 18 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$7,333
Highest Price
$19,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
HSE 4.4L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $8,913 – 19,985 2005 Land Rover Discovery 3 2005 HSE Pricing and Specs
S 2.7L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $9,999 – 19,990 2005 Land Rover Discovery 3 2005 S Pricing and Specs
SE 2.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,333 – 15,990 2005 Land Rover Discovery 3 2005 SE Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$7,449

Lowest price, based on 15 car listings in the last 6 months

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