Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Land Rover Discovery Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Land Rover Discovery Overview

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On the Verge of a New Discovery

For those who truly use an SUV for its intended purpose—off-road roaming—there are few if any midsize models that can provide the kind of world class capabilities found on the Land Rover Discovery. Long a favorite of world rally racers, the rugged Discovery has been cleaned up for sale here in the states, giving it a dual personality as both a luxury SUV and a tenacious off-roader.

The Discovery is offered in three trims: S, SE and HSE. The base S is nicely equipped and strikes a nice balance between affordability and premium content. The SE ups the ante a bit more, offering as optional many of the features found standard on the top-of-the-line HSE. For 2004, the S model gets a standard in-dash single CD player and a manually-locking center differential is now standard on all trims. Also new for 2004 is the G4 Limited Edition, a unique trim package designed to commemorate last years transcontinental G4 Challenge. The G4 includes Tangiers Orange paint, a larger roof rack system dubbed the Aero roof, front brush bar, rear access ladder and rear lamp guards. Inside, the G4 is trimmed in Black Mogul cloth and comes standard with power seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an in-dash CD player. Only 200 G4s will be produced, making this a very special edition indeed.

The Discovery is one of the heavier Midsize SUVs on the market. A fully-loaded Discovery SE tips the scales around 4700 lbs.—compared to a Buick Rendezvous for example, which weighs 4024 lbs. Last year, Land Rover improved upon the Discovery line by adding a new 4.6-liter aluminum V8. This engine is leaps and bounds above the old iron block found in earlier models, and its 217 horsepower finally gives the Discovery the acceleration and passing times it needs to stay competitive. The new V8 also produces a fair amount of torque—a bonus for those who need to tow heavy loads or venture off-road with confidence.

The Discovery's tall profile and extended rooftop create a generous amount of headroom. Legroom, on the other hand, is only average, especially in the rear seat. A great Land Rover feature is the dual-sunroof option, which places one glass sunroof over the driver and another just behind the second-row seat. The Discovery also has an optional third-row seat, increasing its passenger complement to 7. The driver and passenger front seats are very comfortable and there is a very clever second-row center headrest that disappears from view when the armrest is folded down. The dash is well laid-out, with the radio and vent controls within easy reach of both driver and passenger.

On the road, the Discovery's ride is noticeably harsh with little road-feel from the steering wheel. But this is an SUV, and a rugged one at that. Off-road, the Discovery exhibited near gravity-defying poise climbing steep hills and then creeping down the other side. No mud puddle was too deep, no amount of muck or snow too slippery. The Discoverys combination of locking center differential, self-leveling suspension and Hill Decent Control (HDC) simply trump whatever mother nature can offer up, instilling a feeling of near invincibility in our driving staff.

The Discovery allows you to escape the burdens of civilized living, yet still maintain some of societys more pleasing virtues. It is, in a sense, the best of both worlds.

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