2004 saw the launch of the Discovery 3 which was radically different to it's Mk1 and Mk2 Discovery predecessors. Available with a TDV6 2.7 litre engine, the 4.4 AJ V8 petrol or (uncommonly) the 4.0 V6 petrol engine, and a choice of either automatic or 6 speed manual gearboxes.
Previously un-Discovery-like levels of comfort were achieved via four corner independent wishbone suspension with anti-roll and stabilizing bars; most vehicles came with (EAS) Crossed Linked Electronic Air Suspension, although a few base spec models were coil sprung. The excellent and versatile Terrain Response system allowed the Discovery 3 to be a market leader in off-road and extreme weather conditions, whilst being wonderfully smooth and responsive on the tarmac.
TDV6 engines are generally extremely robust, but frequently suffer from EGR (Exhaust Gas Recurculation Valve) failure, causing power loss and fuel consumption issues. The complex nature of the suspension system calls for frequent attention; suspension arm bushes, link rods and steering joints take a great deal of punishment and wear out often, leading to uneven premature tyre wear if neglected. Failure of the electronic handbrake module can lead to expensive workshop bills if not regularly attended to. Brake pads and discs commonly wear as the vehicle is very heavy.
Unlike the earlier models, the Discovery 3 offered comfortable seating for 7 passengers with plenty of space for the third row of seats, which fold flat into the good-sized boot floor when not in use; the Discovery 3 became a serious contender for an all-round multi-use vehicle for private family use, whilst a good many Commercial Discovery 3 exist for business use, offering a cavernous rear loadspace area for a vehicle which can be run as a van for tax purposes, without rear seating.
Fuel consumption reaches a respectable 30mpg, and service intervals of 15,000 miles are better than previous models. Timing belt replacement is required at 105,000 miles or 7 years and can result in a hefty bill, but the consequence of a snapped timing belt is a replacement engine, so it is always good practice to follow Land Rover's service schedule.
Complex CANbus electrics along with a myriad of ECU-driven on-board systems call for a specialist and experienced workshop when servicing and diagnosing Discovery 3 vehicles; Famous Four have worked on this model since it's launch, and have a huge amount of specialist technical expertise in the field, as well as a comprehensive and user friendly online spare parts website offering worldwide delivery.