2008 Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6 SE Road Test
Recommended Retail Price: $64,990.
Options fitted: Premium navigation ($7,300); beige leather interior ($NCO).
Impressive off-road; styling; fuel efficiency.
Weight; some options pricing.
CarAdvice rating: (4.25)
Disco fever has hit and I thought I’d join the party by road testing Land Rover’s Discovery 3 TDV6 SE. I spend a lot of time on the road and see plenty of Discovery 3s (or D3s as they’re also known) and I’ve always wondered why. After spending a week with Land Rover’s popular model, it became quite clear why it’s such a popular vehicle with the punters.
The boxy design gets straight to the point, there are no swanky lines or curves to interrupt the vehicle’s main purpose – climbing big hills and trekking through muddy tracks. The Discovery 3 is very driveable. Although it weighs around 2.3-tonnes, the car feels quite agile and somewhat nimble. The turbo-diesel V6 gels nicely with the vehicle.
Off-road is where the D3 is most at home. Height adjustable suspension, a low-range gearbox and intuitive 4WD mode selector head the D3’s off-road equipment. The torquey V6 diesel packs plenty of pulling power for steep inclines and muddy ruts.
A maximum wading depth of 700mm makes the D3 extremely capable when it comes to river crossings. If towing is also your thing, the maximum towing capacity of 3.5-tonnes means that the Discovery 3 will tow pretty much anything with wheels.
Seven-seats are standard fitment. They are suitable for kids but a squeeze for adults. The rest of the cabin is quite roomy though. Front and rear passengers receive plenty of leg room, along with head room.
The Land Rover Discovery 3 is available with three engines and three model grades. You can either buy the V6 petrol, V6 diesel or V8 petrol. The three model grades – S, SE and HSE offer unique options. Prices start at $64,990 for the V6 SE and end at $90,990 for the range topping V8 HSE. The model being tested – the TDV6 SE – is priced at $74,990. The D3’s pricing point is quite reasonable when you take into consideration its off-road credentials.
Standard safety features include: Dynamic stability control; ABS brakes with ESP and BA; hill descent control; engine immobiliser; driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger side airbags; rear passenger curtain airbags and active roll mitigation.
It’s pretty easy to see why Land Rover’s D3 is so popular. The features, price point and to-the-point styling bode well with buyers who don’t mind spending the odd weekend away in the bush or at their holiday house.
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Top speed: 180km/h
Safety: Electronic stability control- front air bags - side airbags - curtain airbags - front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.
EuroNCAP rating: 4-stars
Turning circle: 11.45m
Fuel tank: 82.3-litres
Fuel consumption : 10.4 litres/100km (claimed)
Fuel type: Diesel