If you’re look­ing for 4x4 ad­ven­ture on a bud­get, the first Disco of­fers on-road com­fort and off-road practicality in one de­sign

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

If you're look­ing for off-road practicality on a bud­get, you've found it.

As Land Rover’s an­swer to the on­slaught of Ja­panese 4x4s in the 1980s, the Dis­cov­ery is fast be­com­ing the de­fault choice for bud­get off-road en­thu­si­asts . In­tro­duced at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in 1989, the Dis­cov­ery made use of Range Rover sus­pen­sion, axles and drivetrain while power choices were be­tween the beloved 3.5-litre Rover V8 or a torquey 200Tdi diesel en­gine. Ini­tially avail­able only as a three-door model, mainly to avoid con­flict with the Range Rover, the Dis­cov­ery was aimed at a younger, less-con­ser­va­tive driver with Jasper Con­ran-penned in­te­rior trim. A five-door ver­sion ar­rived for 1990.

The de­sign was crit­i­cally ac­claimed and im­proved Land Rover’s rep­u­ta­tion. Sales boomed, with the five­door 200Tdi in par­tic­u­lar prov­ing pop­u­lar. With seven seats, the Dis­cov­ery be­came a fash­ion state­ment for young fam­i­lies and by the time the se­cond-gen­er­a­tion model ar­rived in 1998, the Dis­cov­ery had es­tab­lished it­self as a class-lead­ing SUV with a cult fol­low­ing.

WHY YOU WANT ONE Cheaper than grand­daddy De­fender yet just as ca­pa­ble in the rough stuff, it’s ar­guably bet­ter look­ing than the con­tem­po­rary Range Rover and far more DIY-friendly. There are plenty of spe­cial­ists, sourc­ing parts isn’t tricky, and own­er­ship means you can go off road with the scores of Land Rover clubs across the UK. Above all, it’s good fun and if you find one that’s been well looked af­ter, you’ve got a prime in­vest­ment and a de­pend­able Bri­tish work­horse.


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