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Since its launch in the U.S. in 1994, the Land Rover Discovery has operated
on the muddy banks of the sport-ute mainstream. While Explorers and Pathfinders
became plusher and more powerful, the Disco grew more off-pavement capable — and
somewhat less urgently, it grew more user-friendly.
gets the good press. And that’s why, for those who worry about high-centering
only in the changing rooms at Nordstrom’s, the Disco has mostly been relegated
to the second stage. Other utes have had better power or more flexible seating
or a smoother ride — or bigger rebates.
2003 model year, Land Rover is making the kinds of changes that don’t spoil its
backwoods talents, but just might raise its profile in the sea of soft-utes
spoiling our suburban nation.
thumbnail, the ’03 Disco gets the former Range Rover powertrain, new front-end
styling and interior improvements. It also adds free maintenance for the first
four years or 50,000 miles of its life, which could convince fence-sitters that
a Disco with loads of character might be the equal of a Pilot with clinical good
looks and performance.
Discovery models cover a broad price and equipment range. The $34,995 Discovery
S has vinyl Duragrain upholstery, power front seats, 16-inch wheels and rear
foglamps. The $38,995 SE gets leather and wood trim, a premium audio system with
12 speakers and a CD changer, dual sunroofs, 18-inch wheels and a Class III
receiver hitch. The top-grade $40,995 HSE adds a 320-watt Harmon Kardon audio
system with Becker’s GPS navigation system, park distance control, and distinct
six-spoke alloy wheels.