Land Rover Discovery LR4 is actually a facelifted Discovery L319 / LR3 and it is still one of the worst cars in terms of reliability. But with the commanding presence and size it has, does it really need reliability?

Truth be told, if you come up with questions such as: “What’s the fuel economy?” or “What reliability issues should I expect?” then the Land Rover Discovery LR4 is not the car for you. In fact, make that “no Land Rover is for you”, maybe just some Evoque and that’s because the Evoque itself is an almost-Land Rover.

Land Rover Discovery LR4 rear almostcarreviews

And yet, what’s the mpg rating of this bus?

Most manufacturers try to improve their cars somehow, through sportiness, performance, fuel economy, comfort or equipment. And the Land Rover Discovery LR4 is an evolution only in terms of reliability. It very rarely happens that the facelift model is much worse than the previous model. And with the Land Rover Discovery LR4 you are close to the bottom of the barrel, but not quite there yet. There are a few more worse cars. Weak only in the reliability department, because at 2550 kg the only car that puts your life in danger in the event of a crash is another Land Rover Discovery LR4, because the Range Rover is 200 kg lighter, the Bentley Bentayga is 150 kg lighter, the Q7 is 350 kgs lighter and the Rolls Royce Cullinan and its 2660 kg is so rare and so exclusive that it does not show itself on the street like all the lesser cars for the lesser people, it is kept in the garage because the owner only travels via helicopter.

And the main culprit for the sheer weight is because the Land Rover Discovery LR4 is still built with two chassis and now you will have to remove the upper chassis for most of the maintainance operations that are more complex than an oil change. The second culprit for the sheer weight is the size of the balls of the owner because this car is as manly as it gets and if you’re looking at the LR4 then you probably already are a fertile man with 10-15 children and only an Discovery can fit them all in. And now not only the gearbox is single-use, the engines are also single-use. This is the price you pay for being the biggest elephant on the street. You would think that the BMW X6 is the pinnacle of the official cars of the mobsters who measure their biceps in square meters and who need a car that can fit as many people as possible, but the Land Rover Discovery LR4 is THE next level. And the heaviest X6 ever is still more than 200 kg lighter than the Discovery LR4, and that translates roughly into the equivalent of another fine, tatooed, machete-wielding gentleman that you can take with you at the next clan fight. There was also the Land Cruiser, but that too is 100 kg lighter, i.e. the equivalent of the swords of a small posse of mobsters. Basically, if you need an intervention car for your company that collects protection money, then the Land Rover Discovery LR4 is definitely the tool for the job. When it works atleast.

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Land Rover Discovery LR4 Engines


  • 3.0 V6 Supercharged AJ126 of 380 horsepower – I never thought I’d say this, but a 3.0 V6 Turbo 380 horsepower is simply not enough for the Land Rover Discovery LR4. However, this engine developed by Jaguar and used by Ford has only occasional turbo fails but overall an reliable unit.
  • 4.0 V6 Cologne of 216 horsepower – Carried over from the LR3, this Ford sourced engine was modified from the regular Mustang engine, in order to accomodate this behemoth. Sure, there are some timing chain stretching issues every now and then, but it stands true as an sturdy, naturally aspirated freedom-aint-free-no-replacement-for-displacement american engine.
  • 5.0 V8 AJ133 of 375 horses – You might be tempted to laugh because it has less horsepower than the V6 version, but the torque is in the area of ​​506 Nm and thus makes the Discovery LR4 driveable. It’s an adequate engine because if you’re going to blow up your bank account, might aswell do it in style, because a 5.0 V8 petrol Discovery is the ultimate insult and represents the pinnacle of SUV monsters. We won’t see animals like this again anytime soon, so enjoy it while you can. As for the mechanical and reliability side of things, it’s basically the V6 engine with 2 extra cylinders added. Actually, the V6 engine is the same as the V8 engine, but with 2 cylinders removed, because the V8 version came first.


3.0 TDV6 AJD of 258 horsepower – Aaah, the single-use 2.7 TDV6 engine updated and stretched to 3 litres. First of all, it no longer has a single turbo the size of a hot tub, but two turbos the size of a 5-liter beer keg. Except that if you have to work on the turbos, you will have to remove the upper chassis. But that’s not your biggest problem. Just like in the Santa Fe II or Passat B6, the oil pump can suddenly fail (Passat B6), the engine runs without oil and then you are left with a seized engine (Santa Fe II). Basically, it’s a single-use engine which I would personally avoid because the petrol engines offer enough torque and fuel economy doesn’t matter on a Discovery.

Land Rover Discovery LR4 interior almostcarreviews

Land Rover Discovery LR4 Common Issues

  • Because it’s even heavier than before, the air suspension is even more demanding and fails even more often than in the previous generation. Personally, I would remove the air suspension and replace it with leaf suspension instead, because you won’t find regular coilovers anyway at this class of weight.
  • Being a British product, you still have more problems on the electrical side than if you borrowed money from loan sharks. The funniest thing is that this also affects the sensor for the oil level, because you no longer have a dipstick like all the “regular” people cars. Basically, you will never know how much oil you have in the engine. That is if this information has any sort of relevance to you.
  • Automatic gearboxes are still disposable items for the diesel engines, so you should expect to replace them every 150,000 kms / 100,000 miles.
  • The electromechanical parking brake returns and actually stays still in the parking lot, stuck. Basically, it’s a financial protection mechanism, because the maintenance costs for a Land Rover Discovery IV are somewhere around 10 pounds/mile, so if you stay put in the parking lot, you save money.
  • It’s a very heavy car…excuse me, the heaviest (after the Rolls Royce Cullinam) so the tires, suspension and brakes have a shorter life than the Boondocks.

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Land Rover Discovery LR4 Verdict

With the Discovery LR4 it’s obvious that the folk from Land Rover they took the joke much too far, just to see how far it can go. And that was also supported by the market and the sales figures because Discovery LR4 was far from being at the top. A car in which everything is in excess and which was one of the first victims of the 2008-2010 crisis, the car being launched right in the middle of the crisis. However, there are some people for whom money is just toilet paper and so they chose to spend their life in traffic standing in a shipping container. It looks like a shipping container, weighs like a shipping container, drives like a shipping container.

Which engines do I recommend? If we’re talking petrol then there is no point really in getting anything other than the 5.0 V8 375 horsepower monster, and for diesel you will have to get along with the over-stressed 3.0 V6 and slowly die behind the wheel. Out of boredom. Because there’s no way you’re gonna die in a car crash, not behind the wheel of this shipping container. They might’ve just called it the Land Rover Maersk.