At $2,900, Is This 2004 Land Rover Discovery an Amazing Find?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The joke about the Land Rover Discovery is that its name is extremely apropos since owners are always discovering new ways that it can break down. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Disco is said to run well, but let’s find out if its price is what turns out to be the joke.

How much to you think you could get for a Mickey Dees Big Mac that you had previously purchased from the fast food outlet drive-thru and which you had then taken a bite out of? I’m going to guess that the value of that mass-market burger is going to be significantly lower than its original purchase price. Also, don’t try and re-sell old burgers, that’s just plain weird.


Not so weird, but also facing incredibly steep depreciation in the marketplace are limited range electric cars. We had just such a short-hauler on Friday, a 2013 Fiat 500e. That model has the unique distinction of suffering the worst depreciation of any electric, a fact reflected in our candidate’s modest $7,900 asking price. Despite that precipitous drop, and no promise that it wouldn’t devalue further, the little Fiat electrified the vote, coming in at a laudable 55 percent Nice Price win.

If Friday’s Fiat, with its modest proportions and environmentally-friendly drivetrain, represented the future of personal transportation, it’s a pretty safe assumption that today’s 2004 Land Rover Discovery SE7 represents its past.

As evidence, consider this—the platform upon which this 21st Century Disco rides can trace its roots all the way back to the late 1960s development of the OG Range Rover. The 4.6-litre, 217 horsepower V8 under its hood goes back even further, being an evolution of an engine bought from GM that first debuted in the Buick lineup back in 1961.


Okay, it’s old school, but it’s also a seven passenger wagon with amazing off-road capabilities and cool windows in its roof. Come on now, admit itjust like those of the Olds Vista Cruiser, the funky windows in the Disco’s roof are one of its prime attractions. Here those stream sunlight down on three rows of leather-clad seats in what appears to be a remarkably well preserved interior.


Land Rover takes great pride in building their products but they are far too British to let such ostentation show in areas like build quality and durability. This interior looks better than most Discos of this age, but there are still a few boogers in here. It just wouldn’t be a Land Rover otherwise. The most noticeable issue is the snood on the hand brake, which looks like a loincloth stolen off some medieval beggar. Another problem is evidenced by the horn buttons on the fat steering wheel center. Those appear to be attempting an escape. Owing to the airbag that lives underneath them, that could be a tricky repair.


This being an SE7, there are seven seats in total, with a pair of jump seats added to the load area and really suitable only for the tots. Everything save for the front pair folds everyday to Tuesday so you have your choice of people and cargo carrying options. Not so your beverages however, as the two cupholders in the center console are there as an afterthought and make it look like Wall-E is staring at you while you drive.


The exterior is Chawton White, and looks to be a solid citizen. There are some issues with the rear bumper, but other than that it all looks reasonably tidy and the headlamps don’t seem to have clouded over. Factory alloys wearing massive meats underpin, and there looks to be plenty of rubber on the latter. The seller says that the truck ‘runs good’ and offers ‘cold AC.’ That’s pretty much it for the description, although it’s also offered that there’s 140K on the clock and the Texas title is clean.


There is one bit of the ad’s description that is a bit puzzling, and that is the truck’s age. The seller posts the Disco as a 2005, however this is a Series II and those ended production in 2004. The completely redesigned LR3 replaced the Discovery that same year. This one does have the teardrop headlamps and extended rear-end of the Series II so we know it’s at least a ’99. We’ll give the seller the benefit of the doubt and say he’s just a year off, making this a 2004. After all, what’s a year here or there?

More important is the price. In this Disco’s case, that’s just $2,900. A low entry cost for a Land Rover may be a good thing seeing as you may be dropping some coin on keeping it in running condition going down the road. You most certainly will be doing so at the pump as these things get a mind-bendingly poor 11 MPG. Less if you suffer from a heavy foot.


Still, there’s something interesting about these old Discos and it’s a rare opportunity to find one that hasn’t been beat to hell or worse, given up on. Could that be worth $2,900?


Yes, there are a ton of more rational choices out there at around that much. Whoever said being rational was any fun? What do you think, is this Disco worth a dance at that $2,900 asking? Or, is this a Discovery you’d just as soon not want to make?

You decide!


Houston, TX Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Bob M for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.