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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
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.