History of the Land Rover Discovery

September 23rd, 2019 by

1998 LR Discovery II

The Land Rover Discovery, called the “Disco” by Land Rover fans, was first released in 1989, about four decades after the release of the first-ever Land Rover model in 1948. The Discovery was the first new model series from the company since the release of the Range Rover model in 1970, and it has been making headlines throughout the years to this day. Learn more about the Land Rover Discovery history at Land Rover San Antonio near San Antonio.

Land Rover Discovery Release

The Land Rover Discovery is first released in the U.K in October 1989. It used the same chassis and four-wheel drive system as the Range Rover model but offered smaller engines and a lower price point to appeal to a wider market. Things to note about this initial model:

  • It was only available as a 3-door model, a 5-door model became available in 1990
  • Two jump seats were available behind the second row
  • It won a 1989 British Design Award
  • It included unique design elements aimed at branding the vehicle as a lifestyle accessory, from the designated magazine holder to the Land Rover-branded removable cloth center console bag

Learn more about the Discovery generations and offerings throughout the years below!

Land Rover Discovery First Generation

Discovery Series I — 1989-1998

  • Body styles — 5-door, and a 3-door van option in certain countries
  • Engine options — Gas engines included a 2.0L, 3.5L, 3.9L, and a 4.0L. Diesel engines included two different 2.5L engine options
  • Transmissions — 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission

Discovery Series II / L318 — 1998-2004

  • Body styles — 5-door
  • Engine options — A 4.0L gas engine, a 4.6L gas engine, and a 2.5L diesel
  • Transmissions — 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission

1998 Land Rover Heritage Discovery 2

Land Rover Discovery Second Generation

Discovery 3 (marketed as the LR3 in the U.S.) — 2004-2009

  • Body styles — 5-door
  • Engine options — A 4.0L gas engine, a 4.4L gas engine, and a 2.7L diesel engine
  • Transmissions — a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission

Discovery 4 (marketed as the LR4 in the U.S.) — 2009-2016

  • Body styles — 5-door
  • Engine options — A 3.0L gas engine, a 5.0L gas engine, a 2.7L diesel engine, and a 3.0L diesel engine
  • Transmissions — 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic transmission, or an 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Land Rover released an armored version of the Discovery called the Sentinel, which has been used to shuttle UK government ministers.

Land Rover Discovery Third Generation

Discovery / L462 — 2017-present

  • Body style — 5-door
  • Engine options — 2.0L gas engine, 3.0L supercharged gas engine, 2.0L turbodiesel, or a 3.0L turbodiesel
  • Transmission — 8-speed automatic

Test Drive a New Land Rover Discovery in San Antonio

Learn more about the latest Land Rover Discovery model by checking out its towing capacity, and by exploring your Land Rover vehicle options near Corpus Christi and Laredo. Find your new Land Rover Discovery for sale at your local authorized Land Rover retailer today!


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  • 2020 Land Rover Discovery Towing Capacity

    The 2020 Land Rover Discovery can tow up to 8,201 pounds, which means that if the five- to seven-passenger SUV is full or you’ve used up the 83.7 cubic feet of cargo space, your Discovery will still have plenty of hauling power on San Antonio roads. Learn more about the towing specs, engine options, and towing-friendly…