Land Rover Discovery (1997)

Land Rover DiscoveryAn interesting vehicle. It's the cheaper little brother (gee, I've got oneof those!) of the Range Rover. The Discovery is a mere $29,000. Of course,that's the base price--you know, without the wheels and other extraneousadd-ons. The one we drove, with leather interior, CD player and all thatstuff was more like $35,000. (This is about what a Montero costs.)

I loved driving it. It sits VERY high and it's pretty comfortable. It hasthe usual British ergonomics--like the window controls are in the centerconsole: the most forward controls are for the-- you guessed it--the rearwindows. The ignition key takes a contortionist to operate it. But nothingserious.

What makes it interesting are things like the fore and aft sunroofs! Andall the little nooks and crannies for storing stuff. (Don't forget, this isthe vehicle that rhino hunters use.) The body is al-u-min-i-um.

Here's their positioning strategy: The Discovery is designed to be a REALoff-road vehicle. In fact, every Rover dealer must have an off-road "track"so you can learn how not to tip over. This is fine, but don't they knowthat nobody who buys off-road vehicles ever drives off-road? One of themanifestations of what a bad idea this is appears in the suspension. Forexample, it has springs with an exceptionally long travel (i.e., they'revery long, so they have a long way to go to compress; like if you shoulddrive over a rhino carcass). I drove my wife and kids to school the otherday and by the time we got there the three of them were ready to puke. Ifyou drive it's fine, but don't passenge (new word, just invented by me) inthis thing.

Another possible drawback to some is that it's not very big. All the spaceis taken up by the front seat. You'll swallow your knees sitting in theback and there's not much room in the way-back, either.

But I like it. And my pal Richie who just got out of the slammer--he likesit too.

View cars.com model report on this vehicle.


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