The Sport fulfils the fast premium 4x4 segment with style. It shares the same platform as the Discovery 3/4 and is just as impressive off-road.
The sporting 4x4, even in 2.7 TDV6 diesel form. It purrs limo-like, but wind up the engine on twisty, undulating roads and it becomes a fast GT car. The Sport has similar underpinnings to Discovery 3 and shares the concept of a rigid monocoque body mounted on a separate chassis. Sharper suspension tune than Discovery 3 helps the Sport handle well, especially when fitted with the Dynamic Response anti-roll bar system. The TdV8 engine gives similar performance to the early supercharged petrol, with a fraction of the fuel consumption, but it’s a tight squeeze in the engine bay, reducing maintenance access and requiring the body off for such as a turbo replacement.
WHAT TO CHECK
Listen for bearing noise from the transmission on the overrun, which suggests the car has been driven hard. A good service history is vital, showing that the cam belt and fuel pump drive belt has been changed at seven years or 105,000 miles, whichever is earlier. Worn suspension joints and bushes will be heard over bumps and during gentle braking, and illustrated by uneven tyre wear. If suspension needs work, you’ll also need a four-wheel alignment done afterwards. Check suspension rises from access to off-road height within a few seconds to confirm compressor is fit. No corrosion issues but check for rusted suspension fixings.
REASONS TO BUY
Sports tend to have been well looked after and many early models still have a full dealer history. And although dearer than a Discovery 3, the difference is not that much when you consider most Sports are HSE spec. A real drivers’ car, and a good level of refinement.
Oversize aftermarket wheels will spoil the ride quality because there is insufficient flex in the low-profile tyres’ sidewalls. Steer clear of vehicles with a dubious service history or that show signs of being abused.
2005-2009: 2.7-litre V6 turbo diesel,
4.4-litre V8 petrol,
Supercharged 4.2-litre V8 390 bhp,
406 lb-ft. 2009-on: 3.0-litre V6 diesel,
3.6-litre TDV8 diesel,
5.0-litre V8 petrol engines.
Poor: £10,000 – £12,000
Average: £1200 – £14,000
Good: £14,000 – £16,000
Excellent: £16,000 – £50,000