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Baked Alaskan
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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about a 2000 Disccovery, any opinions?

I'm looking for a real 4x4 to tackle Alaskan winters and the backcountry, not some AWD car with a tall roof that rides high.

I like the size and the capabilities of the Disco, even with some of the British quirks.

My other fave is a Nissan Pathfinder from about the same year with the VQ motor. Great power and an excellent 4x4. A bit of a nicer ride too.

For me a mid-size SUV is the way to go. Not a fan of the 4-Runner or anything American. Thanks in advance.

chris
 

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Premium Member
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No, but I drive a land rover recovery vehicle, aka a Toyota Landcruiser :D Seriously, the disco has serious reliability issues, on the order of $2000-10,000 year in maintence. Even on the Landrover groups they will tell you get a Landcruiser if you want something reliable. Also, unlike the landrovers with their open diffs, pre 1998 landcruisers can be had with factory lockers front and rear, 1998-99 cruisers had optional rear lockers, and all still have a locking center diff. After 1999 the landcruisers went to a traction control system that the hardcore guys swear works as well as the lockers did. Check out www.ih8mud.com for more information.

The Pathfinder is also a great reliable vehicle. Note that after 1996 the Pathfinders became unitbody designs, which limits lifts and larger tires. I know you say you don't like the 4 runner, but they are a slightly better off road vehicle. Also the 4 runner will get better gas miliage than the pathfinder (about 2-4 more mpg).
 

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I have been in the automotive biz for over twenty yrs.

Both in service and sales, run away as fast as you can from any Land Rover!

What a piece.
 

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jkittlesen said:
I have been in the automotive biz for over twenty yrs.

Both in service and sales, run away as fast as you can from any Land Rover!

What a piece.
My 3 year old Freelander has been 100% trouble free,Though it probably benefited from being designed during BMW's reign at Landrover. My cousin however has few good things to say about the Disco he used to own.
 

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Pudgy Old Guy
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Well, I love my 96 disco!

Of course, I'm going more for personality than off road prowess. They seem to sell a lot of discos no matter how bad they are. They do require TLC. If someone has a problem with their disco it is probably because they are not being kind enough to it.
 

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I used to drive an older Range Rover... I loved the truck, but I would never buy one again. First off, compared to anything US or Japanese built, they are drastically underpowered. My Rangie had good torque and towing capacity, but was slow as poo. It was also a gas guzzling whore! I was getting 12 miles per gallon on good days and without running the A/C (a feat in central Florida) and you need to use premium fuel in them. So gas gets really expensive in them. Also insurance is rediculously high and for no real reason in them. I was paying about $125 a month for mine with it listed as a secondary vehicle. I now only have one car, a Honda Accord (most stolen car in US) and I now only pay $41 a month. HUGE difference. Oh, and the $125 was just for my Rangie...not for 2 cars.

If you do buy one, I hope there is either a dealer near you, or a specialty shop you trust. For me, the nearest dealership was 80 miles away in Jacksonville. Breakdowns aren't as bad as some people make them out, but it's not breakdowns you need to worry about...it's all the other little things that will go wrong that you just learn to live with. For example I couldn't roll my windows down from the center consule, but only from the switches on the doors for the rear windows, but vice versa for the front. Weird things like that. All Rover vehicles have bad problems with heater cores failing, so since you are in Alaska, you will have some issues there. I would tell you if you get one to have the entire radiator and heater elements and A/C replaced at an aftermarket custom shop as soon as you get the chance. Also, make sure you buy a Rover with coil over shocks. The air-ride suspension is great when it works, but when it fails, don't spend the money to fix it. Just replace it with Bilsteins and Rover Tyme springs. You will have a better ride for half the price.

Those are just some of the more common things to look out for, but if I were you (and remember, I have been down this road) I would tell you to get something domestic or Japanese instead. If you want a daily driver, don't go Rover. If you want the best off road truck you can buy and you don't mind basically stripping yours and modifying it to an off road truck, they are fine, but if that's the case buy a used pre-95 Rangie SWB with the 4.2L in it. Replace the suspension with coil overs and have it entirely rewired and have a custom radiator installed.... all that would probably be less than a newer Disco and be a better truck anyways.

Like I said, I loved my truck when I had it, but I wouldn't buy another one anytime soon.
 

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WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE!?!
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Personally Id go for one of these, but you want a nonamerican suv.
Are they going to make those? I thought the new Wrangler was due out pretty quick too, but then they just introduced the "Unlimited" version of the old one.
 

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MTB aficionado
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LRs are nice but.....

Hello Chris,

Another Alaskan here...living in Anchorage. You know what they say about Land Rovers right?? "LRs will get you end of the earth, but Toyotas will get you back." I have to agree with some of the others here on this topic... you'd be better off with a Toyota or a Jeep if you're looking for a proper Alaskan vehicle.

I know they aren't all that unique, but there's a reason why you see so many Toyota trucks around here. They are just that much better. I'd recommend a 4 door Taco with the TRD package. It's relatively "cheap" and “simple” in comparison and extremely fun to drive off road. I have a 2003 Tacoma Quadcab with equiped with the TRD package which includes Toyota's famous rear-locking differential.... we're talk'n full spool when activated... this is why I bought this truck... it's a real off-road vehicle. If you do your research, you'll discover that most trucks and SUV's only have limited slip diffs which if you do any off-roading aren’t adequate. With the rear-locker, this little truck will go almost any where the big ones do.... no problem.

The LR group makes excellent off-road systems (center locking diff with solid front axel I believe), but they just aren't very dependable in the long run. Besides, I don't know about you, but I'd rather put my muddy MTB gear in the back of a truck rather than on fine grain leather and kashmir carpets... but I have to admit they do have a certain "cool" factor about them.

Good luck with your choice... whatever it is.

EndUser
 

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Test one, you'll see...

My wife loved the Disco truck. We looked at a 2000 model with the rear jump seats. Seemed plush enough inside for her and she liked it very much until she drove it. Gutless!! She drives a 2000 Trooper with a V6 and it is much faster than the V8 Disco. My wife dropped the Disco idea because of this power issue. I can only imagine the gas mileage can be worse, as well. They did improve the V8 on the newer models in the last few years but I don't know if it is still underpowered or not. Also, look at the value of the trucks after a few years. Significant price drop! This should give you an indication of their value.

On the oposite end of the scale, the Landcruiser's hardly drop at all in price. Should tell you something about value.
 

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Baked Alaskan
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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, I didn't know it was that bad...

steve3 said:
Had one. Key word: HAD
I just saw a Disco for sale the other day and when you see the commercials with all they do it got me curious. Now I'll look elsewhere, thanks.

I already know I'm not gonna buy new, I'm looking in the 2001 range give or take a year, with low mileage and so forth.

Probably aren't going to go over $20k, I'm going to start traveling a lot in the next few years and I really don't need something that costs twice that just sitting around for half the year.

I've been loosely considering a Grand Cherokee or a Pathfinder. I prefer those to the Toy's because they are wider inside, the Taco/4Runner is a little narrow for my liking, feels a bit cramped.

Been thinking Tundra too, but I would rather have something I can sleep in for weekend biking trips without one of those bed/tent things. Who knows.

The search continues... I'm buying a sports car next summer, that'll be even more of a pain. Ugh.
 

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parts are rare too

Also, if you live in Alaska, you definitely don't want a vehicle that does not have parts redily available. If something goes wrong with the Disco, you may have a long wait for a part to arrive from the lower 48. Probably even more of a concern in Alaska vs. in the lower 48.
You probably can't go wrong with a Toyota. My wife's other choice is the Sequoia. Although I'd rather have a Landcruiser, because it's a Toyota, I'm not going to complain too much.
If you want dry sleeping, the Nissan may not be long enough to stretch out all the way. You could alway get a big ol' suburban. I can lay the seats all down and stretch out completely along with a little bit of gear around the sides. But it does drink some gas.

I would have recommended the Isuzu Trooper....cheap 4x4 that is bigger than the Jeep GC, however mine is drinking oil (4 Qts per 3000 miles) and the dealers are limited...especially in AK.

The suburban can haul quite a bit of stuff!
 

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Cars like Laro Disco, Defender and even the luxorious Range Rover and the various Land Cruiser´s are definetly the most serious all wheel drives you can buy. Of those the Toyo´s are the more reliable.

Ever seen a Grand Cherokee in Africa? I would be suprised if so. What cars can be seen on CNN if they are covering Afghanistan? Yep, Toyo´s.

If the 4Runner is a bit to small for you, you could consider the Customwagon. For more moderate off road and on road use a VW Touareg would be a sufficient and good choice, but unfortunately that is a quite new vehicle.

Melvin
 

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50K is much, sure.

I am from Holland. Here we have to pay at least 57.000 euro (about $70.000) for the 3.2 litre. Lucky americans! A Grand Cherokee and a TrailBlazer will do at least 52.000 euro. Those two will probably cost 35k or a bit more in the US, so I can conclude that the Touareg is a bit more expensive in the US.
 

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Obviously Single
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I like mine ...

AK Chris said:
Thinking about a 2000 Disccovery, any opinions?

I'm looking for a real 4x4 to tackle Alaskan winters and the backcountry, not some AWD car with a tall roof that rides high.

I like the size and the capabilities of the Disco, even with some of the British quirks.

My other fave is a Nissan Pathfinder from about the same year with the VQ motor. Great power and an excellent 4x4. A bit of a nicer ride too.

For me a mid-size SUV is the way to go. Not a fan of the 4-Runner or anything American. Thanks in advance.

chris
I have a 2001 Disco, and I like it. I had a Jeep b4 this, and I certainly like
everything about the Disco better than the Jeep, except maybe the gas mileage.

It's true that my Disco has required TLC and a few bucks to keep it up. If
you're looking for cheap, don't get a LR.

But if you want the best (IMHO) stock ORV around, then get a LR. Mine can
take me places I'm way too scared to go.

And a bike fits, upright, in the back, plus all my gear and two other people.

Here's my baby ...
 

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All I have to say is that Landcruisers are much more reliable than the Disco's and much easier to make extreme off road capable. Here are a couple, one on the Rubicon and one at Moab. Landcruisers are also very comfortable and solid feeling. I have one (a 96 80 series) but my Wife takes it everyday. Only downside is Gas mileage stinks. BTW, the 80 Series LC is the official vehicle used by the UN.
 

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Actually power on them is fine. People look and say oh, it has a six, but they fail to note that it is a 4.5L, 300 foot pound of torque six that pulls like mad. If you really feel defecient, TRD sells a blower that takes the power to 300hp and 400 ft/lbs of torque. Bottom Line is that power is in line with Expeditions and Tahoe's with the standard engines. The newer LC's get an additional 20 horsepower and 30 ft/lbs of torque with the v-8, and improvement but not that much. They do get better mileage however.

P.S.- The LC's that went across antartica are built by a company called arctic trucks from iceland. They were turbo-diesels. Here is a pict of one of their LC's with 44" tires.
 

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Don't believe the propaganda

Pay attention to the comments from people who actually owned/drove the vehicle you are looking at. Land Rover, like Jaguar, still has some of the stigma associated with English car quality from past decades. Their vehicles have come a long way since then and if you test-drive them against the competition you'll see the difference in drive/handling/features. The model year you are looking at was heavily influenced by BMW, who owened Rover for a while, in terms of quality and fit-and-finish. The Land Rover side of BMW was going OK its the Rover car division that tanked and forced the sale.

I had a 96 Disco... ran it right through the end of a 3-yr lease with no problems... upgraded to a Range Rover and drove that for 3 years... my wife and I actually liked the Disco better so we leased another one about a year ago. We live in Minnesota and are no strangers to harsh winters... I have NEVER worried about it failing on me. It drives like a tank through pretty deep snow and keeps you toasty inside... one of its features is a heated windshield which works great and eliminates snow build-up around the wipers.
 

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Looks as if this thread is a bit divided in two camps now. One in favor of Land Rover and one in favor of Toyota.

I stick to my opinion that Toyota makes the more reliable offroader. So the question appeares to me: Why is it that there are so many people in favor of the Laro? It could be that is because they simply don´t agree with me on the reliability issue, but I guess it is more likely that it has something to do with a comparative advantage that the Laro has: Character ! Probably it´s the character of the car that make the people forgive (or even forget?)the faillures of their car.

Honestly: It would be damn hard to swap my current car, a Saab, for a Toyota. I really can imagine I would go for the Disco and simply accept spending more money on maintanance and even face some reliabiltyissues. Nevertheless I also won´t exclude the Customwagon from my shortlist, cause it it such an impressive vehicle.

The above is only my personal view, but it proves chosing a car is more than adding up some cold facts.

Melvin
 
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