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DISCOVERY 2 (1998 - 2004) buying guides

DISCOVERY 2 (1998 - 2004)

10th August 2016

Looking to buy a Discovery 2? Read our comprehensive Buying Guide first.


The Discovery 2, launched in 1998, answered every possible foible and criticism of the D1. Although identical in essence and similar in design and construction with the same 100 inch wheelbase and a longer body, D2 was a technically re-invented vehicle. The body was bigger all round, giving more occupant space and more load space. The Tdi diesel plant was replaced by the superior Td5 engine, and the V8 petrol versions were stepped up to 4.0-litres (also found in some late Discovery 1s). In this second incarnation, the Discovery evolved into a luxury vehicle that almost rivalled the P38 Range Rover. Optional Active Cornering Enhancement (ACE) gave car-like handling on tarmac. Self-levelling rear air suspension on seven-seater versions improved the already acceptable ride quality and offered a remote lowering facility for trailer hitching. There’s a choice of 5- or 7-seater versions, with the latter having self-levelling air suspension on the rear axle.


Unlike Discovery 1, the chassis is rust-prone. Check it all over, but especially poke behind the rear springs and along the rear extensions. The R380 manual gearbox should be trouble-free but, as always, check all gears and selectors.
A high-speed harsh roar from the front is usually worn front wheel bearings which are replaced as a complete, and expensive, hub assembly. Whistling from the engine bay may be a warped exhaust manifold, especially if there is extra heat from tuning. Fix it quickly, before the studs snap. Engine misfire is likely to be caused by oil seeping into the injector harness and working across to the ECU connector – easily unplugged to see if oil is visible. Starting issues may be caused by leaky injectors, while failed injector seals can allow fuel into the sump, detected by smelling the dipstick.


The Td5 and 4.0 V8 pack more performance than their predecessors, and the V8 auto gives super-smooth cruising. Long-lasting body and paintwork.


Long and low front and rear overhang suffers damage off-road, though aftermarket steel bumpers are available to delete the valance assemblies. Chassis is rust-prone and needs wax protection. V8s with coolant problems are a big risk and may need a new engine block if the cause is a crack behind a cylinder liner. V8 is thirsty, though an LPG conversion redresses the balance, but it must be a competent and certified job.
The sunroofs like to leak, and they’re difficult to cure, so check for tell-tale stains around the headlining,
and for dampness in the load bay and front centre console.


Td5: 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel, 122 bhp, 221 lb-ft torque.
V8: 4-litre V8 petrol,
185 bhp, 235 lb-ft torque.
R380 manual or ZF four-speed auto, permanent four-wheel drive.


Poor: £1200 – £1800
Average: £1800 – £2500
Good: £2500 – £4000

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