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2003 Land Rover Discovery Photo
Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$31,259
BASE MSRP
$34,350
Quick Take
GET CURRENT PRICING GET AN INSURANCE QUOTE Since its launch in the U.S. in 1994, the Land Rover... Read more »
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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.

Progress 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.

In the 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.

Little big changes

In a 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.

Three 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.

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