Written on: 05/10/2013
Bought my Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE directly from Land Rover at 6 months old. Maintained a very expensive full main dealer service history (last service at 72 months cost me £850). Paid for LR extended warranty (which isn't LR - a fact you will discover when you call them for help with issues which you will have).
The car has had something major go wrong at least twice a year (wheel bearings, egr valves, suspension, turbo, tracking arms, universal joint, etc...). Had a £6000 repair bill this summer for the turbo. It's just failed its MOT as its brake pipes were too dangerous corroded. A bit galling after it's spent 2 of the previous 3 months in the Land Rover main dealer in Tonbridge, and having had its brake hoses changed at its last service.
Have had a year long dialogue with LR customer service. Their modus operandi is to appear to be very concerned when first contacted. Then spend several weeks saying they are discussing with their dealers. Then say it's not their problem and the dealers have done nothing wrong. If you catch them out then they say they are just go betweens and you should speak to the dealer.
So for the review. Great car to drive and use when/if it's working. Costs a lot to run (27mpg extra urban, £450 tax, £500-£850 services) but you expect that; it's a big car. Great service when under warranty. LR always return a nicely cleaned car and some put a tin of boiled sweets in the cup holder. Don't expect it to last much past its warranty period without considerable expense though - even if you fork out £900 for the extended warranty. The services the car received at main dealers were probably done badly so things really go wrong after three years. Expect your 3 year old car to be regarded as an old banger by LR dealers and its age used as an excuse for endless problems (even if the same dealer is selling same car for £30k).
I would advise against buying one second hand and out of warranty. I would also advise that you don't hold one past its warranty period (3 years old). The extended warranty isn't great. Since it came out of warranty I've had bills in each 12 month period of £3,000, £4,000 and £10,000.
If you do buy one and keep it get it serviced by a good local garage that you trust and not a main dealer. The few thousand you might lose on its resale is dwarfed by the costs of poor oil changes (I've had 2 sets of EGR valves and a turbo replaced in last three years - which has cost in excess of £8,000).
When it starts going wrong sell it - it doesn't get any better. I should have sold mine three years ago but didn't for reasons that seemed sensible at the time but seem utterly stupid with hindsight!
It is a very nice car to have when it works though...
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