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The Land Rover Discovery is known as the popular sport utility vehicle (SUV) from Land Rover, a vehicle that can handle off-road adventures with ease but still be accessible to the average driving public. The Land Rover Discovery is also known for not having the best on-road performance relative to some other SUVs.
The Land Rover Discovery Is Land Rover's first midsize SUV, a departure from Land Rover's earlier, larger and more off-road focused vehicles like the Land Rover Series 3 and the Land Rover Defender. While those vehicles were popular as adventure vehicles, government vehicles and farm vehicles, their accessibility to the general public was somewhat limited. With the introduction of the Land Rover Discovery in 1989, the British Company was able to capture one of the market share that at the time was controlled largely by Japanese midsize utility vehicles. The 1989 Discovery, now known as Discovery Series 1, was available as a three-door SUV, while a five-door version became available in 1990. The Series 1 stayed in production until 1998, when it was replaced by the Discovery Series 2, which was designed to have a more comfortable interior and stylish exterior. In 2004, the naming system changed, so that in North America, the Series 2 was the last Land Rover to be called "Discovery," with the continuation of the brand known as the LR3 until 2009 and the LR4 subsequently.
The 2004 Land Rover Discovery, like all Land Rovers, was notable for its off-roading ability. It was also notable for an upgraded interior relative to earlier Land Rovers and for having a good amount of head and leg room, although cargo space was limited and boarding the vehicle could be awkward.
There were three trim levels on the 2004 Land Rover Discovery, the S, SE, and HSE. The base S model featured a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine linked to a four-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. This engine got 217 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 2004 Land Rover Discovery seats five, with 40.5 cu. ft. of cargo space, expandable to 63.3 cu. ft.
It has a maximum towing capacity of 7700 lbs. Fuel economy on the 2004 Land Rover Discovery is poor, 11/14 mpg city/highway.
The Series 1 Discovery had luxury features not typically thought of as part of a Land Rover, including power accessories, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. Initially, it featured a 3.9-liter V-8 engine which delivered 182 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. In 1996, this was upgraded to a 4.0-liter V-8 that bumped up the torque slightly. The reputation for Land Rovers as being great off-roaders but not providing the most comfortable or efficient ride on standards roads held very true with the Discovery Series I. The next generation of Discovery was somewhat better at handling standard driving.
This model came with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission and could be had as either a three-door or five-door SUV. The Discover Series 1, and all Land Rovers that followed it, had permanent all-wheel drive, a change from the original Land Rover Series vehicles, which featured switchable rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, a feature that ultimately proved a failure as far as the Land Rover company was concerned.
The Discovery Series 2 was designed to emphasize the luxury aspects of this Land Rover SUV. In 2001, the Discovery Series 2 was available in three trim levels, SD, LE, and SE. In 2002, only the SD and SE trim levels were available, and in the final years as the Land Rover Discovery, The vehicle came in the base S model, the upgraded SE, and the top of class HSE trim levels.
The Discovery Series 2 came with a 4.0-liter V-8 that provided 182 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful version was also available that provided 188 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque; this became the standard engine in 2000. In 2003, the engine received another upgrade, this time to a 4.6-liter V-8 that delivered an impressive 217 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque.
As a Land Rover, the Discovery Series 2 needed to be a powerful off-roader, and the all-wheel drive and hill descent control made sure it was, in addition to features like great ground clearance, self-leveling rear suspension, Hill Descent Control and Active Cornering Enhancement, a suspension design that prevented the Rover from leaning too much on tight turns.
Luxury features on the Land Rover Discovery Series 2 included power front seats, dual zone climate control, and third-row seating. The Final Discovery Series 2 model in 2004 had even more luxury options, like a premium sound system, a navigation system, rear parking sensors, and a rear seat DVD entertainment system.