Toyota Guy Considering Land Rovers...

JSimmons

Observer
Howdy folks,


Well...I guess the title of the thread gives you a good idea of where this is going. I've done quite a bit of reading in the vehicle articles on this site, DiscoWeb and a few other random LR sites I've found through Google searches, so I think I know what I might be getting into. Also, I used to daily drive a '65 Austin Healey Sprite, so I'm fairly well accustomed to some of the unique qualities of English vehicles. That being said, I've always had Toyota 4WD rigs. All of them have been 4Runners as well. However, the Land Rovers have always just had some sort of intangible allure to me. Maybe it is from reading all those National Geographic magazines when I was a kid and seeing some LR Defender all decked-out in some remote land and they just looked, well...ready for the apocalypse.


So, where is this rambling going? Well, I made a bad car selling/buying decision and got rid of my '08 4Runner about two months ago. The gas bill was killing me along with the monthly payment on it. I ended up trading it for a 2013 Impreza STi (this is where you can whack me over the head with the nearest solid object), which isn't known for its gas-sipping qualities but the 4Runner makes the STi seem like a Prius. Anyhow, I've come to realize that I just don't want a car payment of any sort and don't mind having a bit of a gas hog if I don't have a car payment. Plus, I just moved to Arizona and driving on the tarmac past all of those inviting hills and canyons is driving me bananas. Oh, and, no...I will not take the STi "off-road" because they really aren't setup to do that unless it is nicely graded dirt/gravel/etc. I'm not into rock crawling but a Subaru is just not going to get me to the more remote places where I'm likely to be attacked by a jaguar/javelina/rattlesnake/etc. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.


What can fit the bill then? I don't want to spend the money that some 80-Series or 100-Series Land Cruisers are fetching these days and the 60-Series a just a bit too Spartan for the wife. So, how about a LR Discovery I/II? There's a huge community dedicated to Discos and plentiful technical support, parts warehouses, aftermarket goodies, etc. But, I have to admit that I'm afraid of Land Rovers. I have a 50 mile round-trip commute each day through the Sonoran desert. How will a 10-15 year-old Disco deal with that commute? I realize there's a litany of things to R&R prior to heading down the road but this would have to be my daily driver as well as adventure vehicle. I'm no stranger to working on cars and I don't mind getting dirty or turning a wrench, but I'm somewhat past the days of constantly working on my car/truck every weekend because it's dead-lined. Plus, rather than watching me curse inanimate objects, the wife would rather be going wine tasting on the weekends or similar activity.


Help this Toyota guy take the plunge. I've already had one co-worker (a hardcore Land Cruiser guy) see me looking at Discos during my lunch break and he staged an intervention. He has flooded my email with Craigslist postings of Land Cruisers for sale in the Tucson area. I know all the reasons in favor of buying a Land Cruiser...but the Land Rover still has an allure. Similar to when driving the Sprite, it felt and sounded like I was going 100mph when I was really going 45mph and getting passed by mini-vans on HWY 101.


So, that being said...do you think buying a LR Discovery I/II will be a good decision for a Toyota guy like me?
 

JSimmons

Observer
BTW - I apologize for the spacing in the above post. I tried putting double-spaces between the paragraphs but it still came out all bunched-up.
 

Green96D1

Explorer
if you dont mind a little wrenching every now and then A Disco will do everything your yota has done just as well. "maybe" not as often. Its not often a yota guy wants to go to a rover. You must really want a rover?.:coffeedrink: :)
 

JSimmons

Observer
I guess I am just wanting to go to something a bit different. I've always had 4Runners and I am definitely considering some older Land Cruisers, but the mileage on some of the Land Cruisers is amazingly high for the price.

Would I, as a Toyota guy, be fooling myself if I expected the Land Rover to just do what I take for granted in a Toyota? I've heard all the jokes about Land Rovers leaking coolant (if it's not leaking, it's empty...), wacky design aspects like driveshafts you cannot lube, catalytic converters next to said driveshaft, etc. etc. I am aware of these things, but these are also things that I would not expect to deal with on a Toyota (not that they don't have their own set of ticking time bombs). Would I just be setting myself up for disappointment in a Disco?
 

shogun

Adventurer
Go talk with Alan at Falconworks.

Personally, I'd be afraid of a Disco, but I dont know much about them. I'm more concerned with unreliability of things I cant fix on the trail than pure unreliability.
 

JSimmons

Observer
Go talk with Alan at Falconworks.

Personally, I'd be afraid of a Disco, but I dont know much about them. I'm more concerned with unreliability of things I cant fix on the trail than pure unreliability.
Is Falconworks a local shop in Tucson? Good point on the "fixability" on the trail.
 

KyleT

Explorer
Discovery is fine with some maintenance. Heck you could keep. Using them and throwing them away for a couple years for the cost of an 80. Or more for a 100.
 

Ronct110

Adventurer
Hey JS,

I have an 04 DII; I'd suggest it but you'd get about the same mpg as your 4runner. My 04 DII when it was stock got 12 City/16 Hwy mpg. Now I am getting worst mpg w/larger tires, roof rack, etc.... That's ok since I only drive it to take the family camping, and have a Subaru as my daily driver.

Should find 04 DIIs in $6-$8k range at least where I like in the SF Bay Area. Make sure to get the complete maint history records and list of repairs including head gasket (HD) from the seller. If HD has not been done, subtract $2k from the price.

Next one I'd suggest you test drive is an 05-07 LR3s, seeing them for sale in the $10-15k range. In stock form, should get about 18 mpg on hwy. Also make sure to get the complete maint records. if the control arm bushings, etc.. and alignment have not been done, subtract the cost from the price.

Also reach out to the AZ Land Rover Club and see if you can talk to members w/DII and LR3s: www.azlro.org

Good luck, and welcome to the green side!
logo-landrover.gif
 
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JSimmons

Observer
Ronct110,

Thanks for that link to the AZ Land Rover Owners website. I'll check it out and see if I can link-up with a few of them to check out their rigs.

As for the gas mileage, I'm not too worried about it as long as I don't have an accompanying car payment. I was probably spending almost $800/month on the 4Runner for the payment, gas and insurance. My wife and I also have another Subaru (2005 Outback) that I would probably end up using as a daily driver and/or when she doesn't plan on using it.

So subtract $2k for any Disco that hasn't had the head gasket R&R done? I'll make sure of that if I decide to make an offer on one.
 

JSimmons

Observer
Discovery is fine with some maintenance. Heck you could keep. Using them and throwing them away for a couple years for the cost of an 80. Or more for a 100.
Kyle,

I'd really like to keep whichever rig I end up buying, whether it be a Disco or a Land Cruiser, for the long haul.
 

Rovertrader

Supporting Sponsor
Define your initial budget, as that would help tremendously.
Next define build parameters- lift/tires, or more aggressive?

Head gaskets on a D-II, definitely. On a D-I, not so much, but still a consideration, unless pre '96. Still possible, but less likely...
The list can go on, but as RonCT mentioned, an LR3 can cure many woes, and make an enjoyable leap into the green abiss. The answers to the above will narrow things down considerably.
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
You are a toyota guy?

Go buy a GX470. Problem solved. Problem staying solved.

If you are dead set on a rover, LR3 with the V8 engine. Once again, problem solved.
 

mtnbike28

Expedition Leader
I was going to add, (never owned a D1 or D2) but I have read they get LC80 mileage not 4Runner mileage, if you hated the 4Runner MPG, I think the LR will eat at you....
 

Howski

Explorer
You will get bad mileage in a D1 and worse in a D2, especially if you plan on lifting it. Maybe search around for a D1 with a TDI swap; best of both worlds.
 

rcharrette

Adventurer
My experience

Ok, I'll admit it, I seem to like the more "difficult" vehicles. It all started with a 87' VW Vanagon Syncro that we had for 12 years before I threw a rod in the middle of nowhere! It was 12 years of tinkering and constant "minor fixes". That set me up great for my first LR. Next we moved onto a 01 Disco, we bought it with about 70K on the ODO and withing the first year had to replace a leaking radiator and the ABS module. We had a list of other "minor issues along the 6 years we had it finally finishing up with a new water pump then head gaskets. I gotta say though, we LOVED the truck.
Now we have moved onto a 08' LR3. We thought the DII was nice. This thing is on a whole new level, no leaks and very comfy. However, with age I've gained wisdom (I think?). We picked up our LR3 from the dealer with 50K on the clock. Got the service history and it was one owner, the service manager at the LR dealer. When we purchased it they offered us a extended warranty. It covered about 30K and 3 years (I think) and was not cheap, I think around $4K?
So within the first 6 months the suspension compressor, 2 height sensor, one air bag and one front wheel bearing all go. Took it to the dealer paid the $100 deductable and back on the road. Next up was the MAF sensor and the windshield washer system. Again $100 and all fixed.
All of this is stuff I probably could have dealt with but as I get older I'm getting less excited about crawling under my truck. I changed the plugs out a while back and that was enough fun to last me a while.
My point is, if you plan to use it as a daily driver I'd spend a bit more and go LR3 with and extended warranty. You won't have time to leave it in the driveway and deal with it on the weekend if there is a problem and when you drop it for repairs they cover the rental car. Of course this is just my opinion but we love our LR3 and the extended warranty for has has more than paid for itself. We are about 3K from running it out on milage and I'm hoping we've replaced most of the big ticket items.
Good luck,
 
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