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Looking to buy a LR

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#1
ndamico

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Hi,
We live in Sacramento and have a cabin in the mountains with snow, ice, and a steep driveway plus dirt roads. We sold all of our 4runners and have full size pickups. We are looking for a SUV again and the 7 seater LR sounds interesting. I also like the adjustable suspension and lockable diffs.

Someone on lrrforums suggested I post here for advice. We aren't looking for new. I was originally going to get an old defender and make it a project but it wouldn't be practical for our family so this will be something much newer.

I am very familiar with Duramaxes and tdi vws but not LR.

What do you suggest? Reliability is important as our cabin is not a good place to poop out.

Thanks very much

Nick

2010 LR4 HSE-Lux/HD. Compos w/ Toyo Open County AT2 265/65R18, IIDTool, Baja Rack.

1995 RRC LWB.  3" RTE Lift/Bumpers, 7100SB Shocks, 255x85R16 Toyo MT's, Mantec Snorkel, Ashcroft Lockers/Axles/CV's/4.12 Gears, GBR Driveshafts & Thrust Bolts, LT230, QT Diff Guards, Voyager Rack, Winch, Sliders, Dual Batteries, ARB Twin Compressor, Kenwood D710G HAM Radio, Xantrex Inverter, Swing Away & Sliders.

 

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#2
DHappel

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Welcome!

My first question is which model did you have in mind? I'm guessing you are thinking about the LR3 or LR4, though there are other models that have 3rd row seats as well.

The LR3/4 is the current version of the Discovery I / II. They changed the name only in the US, likely as a way to change an image of unreliability. This platform came out in 2005 as the LR3 and ran through 2009 basically unchanged. (most of what I'll say here also pertains equally to both the LR3 and LR4, though I'll address a few LR4 details at the end) It's a full time 4wd with a 300 hp 4.0 liter Jaguar V8 and a high/low transfer case. There were a very few gas V6 trucks imported to the US but you're unlikely to find one as they were quite rare. The diesel, while very popular in other parts of the world, was never sold here.

Over all, the LR3 platform was a quantum leap in reliability for Land Rover. They have proven to be very dependable vehicles, though they do relatively high maintenance costs/schedules compared to say the Toyotas you came out of. Not ridiculously so, but typical for a more luxury oriented vehicle. In general, I would recommend staying clear of the '05 models as they tend to have a few more bugs as the first year offering though by now I would expect those to have all be worked out.

The biggest technical advancement with this platform was the 'terrain response' multi-mode traction control system. It was truly cutting edge when it came out and is still very good today. It is still in use, though they have updated the software algorithms over the years. Today you'll find similar systems on top tier examples of other trucks like the 4Runner or the Grand Cherokee, but they are only just now starting to catch up while LR is expected to step up their game yet again in the next year or two with the LR5 (again to be renamed the Discovery 5 to match with the rest of the world).

This traction control system, along with the adjustable air suspension and the low range transfer case make the LR3/4 among the most capable off-roaders on the market. OK, they aren't in the same class as a Jeep Rubicon, but you may be shocked at just how good they are. But since you didn't mention off-road capability in your opening I'll leave talk of that for another time.

The air suspension is generally the weakest system on the truck and the one most likely to cause you a major issue. They have been generally pretty reliable, but there have been some changes over the years on that front. The biggest is the change to a different vendor for the compressor. It can be retrofit into an earlier truck as well. It's an expensive part at nearly $1000 from a dealer (cheaper online) and yes, plenty of people have had to replace them. The new compressor has been better, though I've read a few stories of people having to replace them as well. The rest of the air suspension system has been fairly reliable. The various components can fail, such as a wheel height sensor or a distribution block, but they are relatively inexpensive and not highly common, at least not in a catastrophic failure mode that would stop you from driving. The air struts themselves are quite reliable - my '07 is on it's stock struts at 115K. I'm getting ready to replace them not because the air bags are a problem but because the shocks are getting soft after all this time and it's easier/cheaper to do the whole strut as an assembly. The most common failure for the air suspension system is a small leak that lets the truck 'settle' overnight. A good test for this is to park it on level ground in normal ride height then come back and check it the next day. If one corner has sagged, you likely have a leak in the system somewhere. This is usually checked with a bottle of soapy water and looking for bubbles, much like looking for a leak in a tire. The individual components aren't too expensive, and a slow leak won't stop the truck from being used.

Assuming you are running stock or nearly so size tires, even if the air suspension fails totally the truck will still be drivable. It is designed such that it will drop to the bump stops but won't drag anything or rub the tires. The ride will be awful, but you won't be stuck.

I can talk more about the reliability items (for most people first looking at LR, that's always a big concern given some of the history), but I've only go so much time this morning so I'll move on.

The air suspension has 3 standard heights it runs at. Normal is just that - the regular on-road driving height. It can also be lowered appox. 2" into 'access height'. This is nice for loading stuff in the truck or if you have a shorter inseam, or also if you need to get into a low garage. You also have 'off road height', which raises it approximately 2" form normal. This is limited to lower speeds (about 30 mph?) as the truck is slightly less stable at freeway speeds in this mode, though many people run their trucks at this height full time with the use of some aftermarket parts with no problems.

The truck is a dream on the road. The air suspension is very nice, and the vehicle is very composed feeling. Despite 300 hp it's not a rocket as they are very heavy. Nearly 6000 lbs stock - that's up there with full size pickups like the F250 or a Suburban. That also means they are not so good on gas mileage. My truck is far from stock and I don't recall too much of what I got from it when it was, but expect around 16 mpg in mixed driving.

The trucks are also good tow platforms as they have decent power, good size with plenty of weight/wheelbase, and the air suspension keeps them level even with a heavy tough weight.

Important for you to note, not all of them are 7 seaters. The rear seats (along with rear HVAC) were an option. It seems like most of them have it, but some may not so double check as that sounds important to you. The 3rd row seats are actually pretty decent size for this sort of thing, though I have to admit I don't use mine at all since I don't have kids.

There are a few basic packages you'll find on the trucks. The SE, HSE, LUX, and the HD package. SE is the base trim package. Next up the line is the HSE, where it seems most of the vehicles on the market fall. The LUX package (no badging) is an upgrade to the HSE and includes things like xenon headlights (very nice) and upgraded leather as well as a center console refrigerator. All of these have the same mechanical specs with the exception of 18" wheels on the SE and 19 on the HSE. For on road use mainly, that won't matter but if you want to use the truck off road the smaller wheels are preferred as there are more tire size/brand options for AT/MT tires in the 18". The HD package is the hard one to find - this was the rear locking dif and a full size spare. Not too many trucks were ordered with it, so you may have to look a while to find on the used market. To be honest though, if you aren't planning to do heavy off roading you won't need it. The standard terrain response system is VERY good and will get you through almost anything you'd ever encounter. Even off road it's all 90% of people will ever need unless you really push the truck and let's be fair, these things are never going to be rock crawlers anyway.

In 2010 the LR4 came out. It's the same body with a few differences. The biggest is the engine, which was upgraded to 375 hp, and the next was the interior which got a major re-work. (to be fair, the LR3 does look pretty dated by today's standards though for a luxury vehicle). I believe the gas mileage stayed about the same despite the big power increase as the more powerful motor doesn't have to work as hard to achieve the same results. You have the same basic option packages between the two, but the LR4 also got bigger brakes which means you can't easily go down to the 18" wheel for off-road tire sizes. It can be done - several people in the club do this, but it requires using spacers or relatively expensive aftermarket wheels from England.

For 2014, the V8 motors were finally axed for a V6 turbo. To be honest I don't know anybody who's driven this motor, though in general it has been met with some trepidation by the faithful; we see it as a downgrade but I have to admit that's just our American caveman instincts showing (Argh, V8 good!). It may well be an excellent motor, it's just an unknown at this point. They also made the 2-speed transfer case an option (now part of the HD package) as a lot of owners never use the trucks off-road. All of this was done to help with gas mileage and because of CAFE standards. As I mentioned earlier, we expect a totally new Discovery (LR) in a year or two, so the V6 is seen as something of a stop-gap measure. The new truck is rumored to shed a great deal of weight, which will hugely benefit it.

Compared to your Toyotas, the LR3/4 offers a lot more room inside. The boxy design really give a lot of usable space. They also have much nicer seating and visibility out. The V8s are also much smoother and nicer sounding (though quiet) than the Toyota, and the rear tailgate/hatch combo of the LR is far more usable than the 'yota. Last month I had a new 4Runner as a rental in Alaska. While it was perfectly adequate, and to be honest the v6 was every bit as fast as my Rover, it just wasn't as enjoyable to drive for some of these reasons.

Price wise, the LR3 will run roughly between $10-$20K. At the bottom end you would expect to find 05s with fewer options/higher miles, and at the top the latest model trucks with everything and low miles. About the middle of that spread seems to give plenty of options. The LR4s are holding their value pretty well. I haven't paid as much attention to them, but I would expect to be $30-60K depending on year/options/condition. For more on pricing for LR4s, you might contact Erinrr on this forum as she just bought a '12 LR4 (and between her and her husband they now have 3 Rovers, so they're well afflicted with the bug).

The community is very active and there are many forums covering Rovers. Our club is based in the bay area but we have plenty of members all over, including the Sacramento area. I happen to live in Walnut Grove, a little south of Sac. We have small outings at least once a month as well as bigger trips every few months. We just came back from our Lost Coast 3-day trip, and we're now planning our annual snow run for the end of January to Shaver Lake in the Sierras. The club has a good mix of stock to highly modified trucks and everything in between, and I have never met anybody who wasn't more than happy to help out a new guy.

If you are interested in seeing some of the trucks in action, we'll be at Hollister Hills this Saturday. You're welcome to come join us, though be prepared for some mud! I expect Erin will bring her '12 stock LR4, and I'll have my built '07 LR3 and we usually have a couple other LR3/4s show up as well. It's a good way to see different models all at one time and talk shop about pros and cons of each. And there's always an open seat. Heck, I'd even let you drive mine if you'd like to try it off-road a bit. Hollister is a bit of a haul from Sacramento, but it's easy enough to get there. I usually leave Walnut Grove around 8AM and meet up with the club at the park gates around 10. You could easily drive down in a car and just meet us there to pick up a seat in a Rover if you like.

I better wrap this up - it's 9:00 and I still have clients waiting! Feel free to ask specific questions if you like.

Oh, one last thing. The newly launched Discovery Sport is a 7 seater as well. Nobody has yet driven one as they only just brought it out but the pricing is very aggressive, starting at $38K I think. It won't match the LR3/4 off road, but if you're looking for a 'bad road' instead of 'off road' truck, it may be a solid option. It also gets far better mileage. Maybe double the LR3/4! I don't know much about it but there should be plenty on the web as it's brand new.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#3
DHappel

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Now that I wrote that long winded reply, you're going to tell me you wanted a DiscoII, right? ::bigsmile::

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#4
ndamico

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Thanks for the info. that is very much what i was looking for. i do want this for off-road, but not so much Rubicon-style. i used to do that years ago but i don't see getting a LR for that purpose. we have a lot of off-road trails near our cabin so Lo range is a must and lockers would be helpful when they get muddy/snowy/slushy.

as far as diff locks, do all years of LR3 have that as an option? i know you said avoid the first year of it. i see a lot of 06-09's around and the 10-20k price range is fine.

i know you said the HD gets you a rear locking diff. do any of them have front lockers as well or are they all open?

i would like to take you up on your offer but we have a toddler and time is sparse. i'm going to go take a look at a couple locally at dealers (although i don't buy from dealers) as i haven't ever driven one and neither has the misses. she loves her lifted duramax although she did like the 4runner- we only sold it due to lack of room for us plus our 3 dogs.

regarding the packages, does HD include lux & hse, or are they exclusive? i know BMW was that way when i owned you.

thanks again

#5
RedRover

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WOW Don, best write-up of the 3rd & 4th generation Discos I've read! I don't own one and you got me excited about your LR3 ownership experience... I need a bigger yard ::bigsmile::

-Jared

Jared (KJ6MQI)
1992 Range Rover Classic - Portofino Red
2012 Range Rover HSE - Santorini Black

 


#6
RedRover

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Hi,
We live in Sacramento and have a cabin in the mountains with snow, ice, and a steep driveway plus dirt roads. We sold all of our 4runners and have full size pickups. We are looking for a SUV again and the 7 seater LR sounds interesting. I also like the adjustable suspension and lockable diffs.

Someone on lrrforums suggested I post here for advice. We aren't looking for new. I was originally going to get an old defender and make it a project but it wouldn't be practical for our family so this will be something much newer.

I am very familiar with Duramaxes and tdi vws but not LR.

What do you suggest? Reliability is important as our cabin is not a good place to poop out.

Thanks very much


Since Don left no stone unturned, all I'll say is 'welcome!' and hope you can make it out to a Monthly off-road gathering (MORG) some time.

-Jared

Jared (KJ6MQI)
1992 Range Rover Classic - Portofino Red
2012 Range Rover HSE - Santorini Black

 


#7
Guest_Pedram_*

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Welcome to the forum::lr::..... My eyes hurt,::blink:: thanks Don. I'm thirsty for some reason

#8
erinw.rrc

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WOW Don, best write-up of the 3rd & 4th generation Discos I've read! I don't own one and you got me excited about your LR3 ownership experience... I need a bigger yard ::bigsmile::

-Jared


What do you mean you don't own one?! We own one LR4 together you silly man!

Erin W.
"Jack Sparrow" 2012 Ipanema Sand LR4 HSE LUX; 18" LR3 Wheels, Johnson Rods, 30mm spacers, LT275/65R18 Cooper Discoverer A/T3, Baja Rack, Custom rear Kaymar bumper, factory Warn Winch kit for LR4, factory brush guard, Iron Man rear light, Hi-lift jack (recently mounted :D)
IMG_1172.JPG


#9
RedRover

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We don't have an LR3... I'm on the "Collect them all" plan...

-Jared

Jared (KJ6MQI)
1992 Range Rover Classic - Portofino Red
2012 Range Rover HSE - Santorini Black

 


#10
erinw.rrc

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We don't have an LR3... I'm on the "Collect them all" plan...

-Jared


Ha!

Erin W.
"Jack Sparrow" 2012 Ipanema Sand LR4 HSE LUX; 18" LR3 Wheels, Johnson Rods, 30mm spacers, LT275/65R18 Cooper Discoverer A/T3, Baja Rack, Custom rear Kaymar bumper, factory Warn Winch kit for LR4, factory brush guard, Iron Man rear light, Hi-lift jack (recently mounted :D)
IMG_1172.JPG


#11
Guest_Pedram_*

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I bet you can't wait for the LR2?

#12
DavidW

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Welcome to the forum!

Wow, I can't really add much to Don's amazingly informative post. He has touched upon most of the important aspects of LR3/4 ownership.

I have a 2013 LR4 and it has been rock solid. It is an HSE Lux, Fuji White with black design package, and heavy duty package. I also had a 2011 LR4 and had almost 30,000 worry-free miles. My LR4 is similarly equipped to Don's LR3. The LR3 and LR4 are very similar, with a few updates to the LR4 including a bigger engine, some refreshed styling, and a more refined interior.

There are now a few of us in the club with LR3s and LR4s, so we are always happy to help.

Let me know if you have any specific LR4 questions. I will say it is pretty difficult to find LR3s and LR4s with the heavy duty package, especially on newer models. Many dealerships just did not order them unless it was a cancelled customer order.

Looking forward to meeting you sometime.

Regards, David
Posted Image
2013 LR4 (Discovery 4)
Full-sized Baja roof rack, ladder, front skid plate, tail lamp guards, 18" Compomotive PD1880 wheels with 265/65R18 BF Goodrich A/T KO2 tires, Tactical 4x4 rock sliders with steps, gas tank and transfer case skid plates, ARB front bumper with WARN XD9000 winch, RIGID Dually off-road lights, Kaymar rear bumper with custom tire swing-away, and a bunch of other stuff.

#13
DavidW

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I bet you can't wait for the LR2?


They are actually going to be making the LR2 and Discovery Sport concurrently in 2015. My guess is they have a bunch of left over LR2s and dropped the price.
Posted Image
2013 LR4 (Discovery 4)
Full-sized Baja roof rack, ladder, front skid plate, tail lamp guards, 18" Compomotive PD1880 wheels with 265/65R18 BF Goodrich A/T KO2 tires, Tactical 4x4 rock sliders with steps, gas tank and transfer case skid plates, ARB front bumper with WARN XD9000 winch, RIGID Dually off-road lights, Kaymar rear bumper with custom tire swing-away, and a bunch of other stuff.

#14
DHappel

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Thanks for the info. that is very much what i was looking for. i do want this for off-road, but not so much Rubicon-style. i used to do that years ago but i don't see getting a LR for that purpose. we have a lot of off-road trails near our cabin so Lo range is a must and lockers would be helpful when they get muddy/snowy/slushy.

as far as diff locks, do all years of LR3 have that as an option? i know you said avoid the first year of it. i see a lot of 06-09's around and the 10-20k price range is fine.

i know you said the HD gets you a rear locking diff. do any of them have front lockers as well or are they all open?

i would like to take you up on your offer but we have a toddler and time is sparse. i'm going to go take a look at a couple locally at dealers (although i don't buy from dealers) as i haven't ever driven one and neither has the misses. she loves her lifted duramax although she did like the 4runner- we only sold it due to lack of room for us plus our 3 dogs.

regarding the packages, does HD include lux & hse, or are they exclusive? i know BMW was that way when i owned you.

thanks again


To answer your questions, all years have the HD (rear locker) package as an option. It's not a locker like you might be familiar with; simply on or off. It's actually a variable locker controlled by the computers. There's no way to manually control it unfortunately, but on the plus side the computers do a pretty good job.

The center will fully lock as well, but again you can't control it manually. It's all up to the computer.

There is no option for a front locker, so you have to make due with the traction control doing it's thing.

There is an ARB locker for the trucks front and rear that would be better for the hardest trails but actually the computers handle things pretty well up until you start pushing limits. I haven't actually seen one in person but allegedly it's out now but quite expensive. The variable locking from the computers works well in situations where you might want something in-between open and full lock, such as a slippery side slope or on a snowy/icy road.

The SE is separate from the HSE, and the Lux is a subset of the HSE. HD could be had separately and wasn't dependent on the trim level, though I don't think I've ever seen it on an SE.

The most important thing to look for is a good set of maintenance records. Staying on top of maintenance is the most important thing in keeping these things reliable. The factory service routine is OK, but some parts of it are a little light. For example they claim the transmission doesn't need serviced (much like BMW started doing a few years back) yet ZF, the maker of the unit, says it does. If you want an example of an aggressive service schedule, you can check out the one put out by Atlantic British.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#15
Guest_Pedram_*

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I didn't know Don was the official spokesman for LR3 and LR4's . So much info.

#16
GraemeWare

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I didn't know Don was the official spokesman for LR3 and LR4's . So much info.


That was an extract from his book on LR3 and LR4 ....

Regards,

Graeme

Graeme Ware -- San Carlos, CA

1990 Range Rover Classic - LT230 Transfer box, Warn winch, 2" lift, 235/85-16 Dunlop MUD Rovers, "Blue Submarine"
1996 Discovery 1 (R380 Manual Transmission, Ashcroft under-drive, RoverWare rear bumper, 33x12.5-15 BFG ATs) -- we call her "Katrina" -- Fordyce 7.5 mile survivor
1999 Discovery 2 (D1 CDL Linkage, 265/75-16 BFG A/T KO, RoverWare front and rear bumper)
1993 Jaguar XJS convertible; 1971 Triumph GT6; 1959 Morris Minor convertible, Tesla Model 3,
other assorted British pot metal ...


#17
Guest_Pedram_*

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Don wrote the Holy Rover Bible.

#18
TomOwen

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Hi,
We live in Sacramento and have a cabin in the mountains with snow, ice, and a steep driveway plus dirt roads. We sold all of our 4runners and have full size pickups. We are looking for a SUV again and the 7 seater LR sounds interesting. I also like the adjustable suspension and lockable diffs.

Someone on lrrforums suggested I post here for advice. We aren't looking for new. I was originally going to get an old defender and make it a project but it wouldn't be practical for our family so this will be something much newer.

I am very familiar with Duramaxes and tdi vws but not LR.

What do you suggest? Reliability is important as our cabin is not a good place to poop out.

Thanks very much


Guilty ;-)

Welcome!, These LRx folks will/are take good care of you.

Best, Tom



NCLR Board Member
Director of Affairs

:lr:
Tom Owen
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__________________________________________________________________________
'96 Discovery I, 122k, 5sp, RoverWare Bumper, Winch, ARB, BFGs, LEDs, OMEs, SD, etc...

On a slow transition from Carpool to Trail with the help of this Club

Y2K Toyota Land Cruiser Series 100
; Cooper A/T3s, PacaSport, glitter, hair-bows, jolly ranchers and juice box stains...

@TomOwen


#19
ndamico

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I read that 08 an 09 hse's come with 19" wheels. Did they increase the brake rotor size or can you still run 18" wheels if desired?

Nick

2010 LR4 HSE-Lux/HD. Compos w/ Toyo Open County AT2 265/65R18, IIDTool, Baja Rack.

1995 RRC LWB.  3" RTE Lift/Bumpers, 7100SB Shocks, 255x85R16 Toyo MT's, Mantec Snorkel, Ashcroft Lockers/Axles/CV's/4.12 Gears, GBR Driveshafts & Thrust Bolts, LT230, QT Diff Guards, Voyager Rack, Winch, Sliders, Dual Batteries, ARB Twin Compressor, Kenwood D710G HAM Radio, Xantrex Inverter, Swing Away & Sliders.

 

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#20
ndamico

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What maintenance should have been done based on mileage? I believe there is an accelerated list that some people use? I want something to check service records again.

Nick

2010 LR4 HSE-Lux/HD. Compos w/ Toyo Open County AT2 265/65R18, IIDTool, Baja Rack.

1995 RRC LWB.  3" RTE Lift/Bumpers, 7100SB Shocks, 255x85R16 Toyo MT's, Mantec Snorkel, Ashcroft Lockers/Axles/CV's/4.12 Gears, GBR Driveshafts & Thrust Bolts, LT230, QT Diff Guards, Voyager Rack, Winch, Sliders, Dual Batteries, ARB Twin Compressor, Kenwood D710G HAM Radio, Xantrex Inverter, Swing Away & Sliders.

 

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