Land Rover Discovery

The Journey of the Land Rover Discovery: 1989 to Present


No matter where you are in the world, Land Rover is synonymous with luxury SUVs. Originally made by the Rover Company, the car is now manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover. The Land Rover Discovery is a landmark car among Jaguar’s Mid-Size Luxury SUVs which was first introduced in 1989. Moving away from its initial perception of a regular day use 4-wheel drive car for families, it has progressively moved upmarket during its life, evolving into a luxury vehicle sold at a much higher price point while offering more panache, power and handling. It has been a tough competitor to the Nissan Patrol, Mitsubishi Pajero, and the Toyota Landcruiser. Let’s look at the Land Rover Discovery’s journey through the years from the first generation to the current third generation.

First Generation

The Series II Discovery was launched in 1998. In the US the car was available in three trim levels: the S, SE, LT, and HS. The SE, LT, and HSE all have seven-seat options. Its upgraded 4.6L Rover V8 engine is combined with a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. A new crankshaft, larger bearing journals with cross bolted caps, and new connecting rods and pistons made the engine quite different from the previous version, even though they looked the same on the outside.

Second Generation

The Discovery 3 launched as LR3 in North America and is equipped with full independent suspensions (FIS) along with a 4.4-liter gas V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission producing 300 horsepower. The 4.0-liter SOHC Ford V6 gas engine option produces 216 horsepower.

The Discovery 4 or the LR4 is an updated version of the Discovery 3 with major mechanical changes including upgraded engine, gearbox, brake and suspension, as well as major interior upgrades offering superior luxury and technology levels. The new engine provided better fuel economy than the previous generation diesel engine. The car’s power, torque, and diesel NVH also improved drastically. The D4 is equipped with either of two Jaguar Land Rover’s third generation range engines.

The third generation TDV6 is a 3.0-liter upgrade of the 2.7-liter engine used in the D3. This system provides increased output of 241 horsepower whilst significantly reducing CO2 emissions. In 2014 its power was pushed to 252 horsepower. The V8 gas engine was upgraded to a 5-liter Direct Petrol engine producing 385 horsepower and 380 lb ft of torque. In 2014 an upgraded version of the ZF six-speed automatic gearbox was introduced with 8-speed transmission.

Third Generation

The third-generation Discovery was unveiled in 2016 as Discovery 5 with several significant changes as compared to the previous models. The model enjoyed a weight loss of up to 1058.22 lbs owing to its aluminum chassis and body panels which are based directly on the aluminum architecture first employed in the Range Rover L405. This shedding of overall weight combined with improved aerodynamics helped achieve a significant jump in fuel efficiency as well as reduced carbon dioxide emissions by almost 17 percent. The new Discovery is available with a choice of V6 gas and diesel engines.

Last Words

Apart from the aforementioned generational models, several special edition models were also produced by Land Rover. If you wish to own one of the best luxury SUVs available on the market but haven’t been able to due to budget constraints, browse through our salvage Land Rover Discovery auctions. Salvagebid is a trusted IAA broker bringing you an extensive inventory of salvage and repossessed vehicles from all leading manufacturers, including Land Rover Discovery. If you have any questions about our salvage auto auctions or would like to discuss your requirements, simply call +1 (360) 347-1300 between 6:00 AM and 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday, or email

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