2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II

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2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II Review

Perfect for serious off-roading or serious showing off.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II is a big sport utility vehicle (SUV) meant for buyers who have serious off-road needs or really want to impress. There aren’t many other reasons to buy this full-size SUV, except maybe the interior luxury or the quirky and distinctive looks. It has a V-8 that is not very economical and barely competes with rivals’ V-6 engines in terms of power. The feature list is what one expects in this price range, but if it wants to be a class leader, the Land Rover Discovery Series II needs to improve its ergonomics, build quality, interior space, and engine power.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed-automatic
Models: Land Rover Discovery SD, Land Rover Discovery SE

What's New

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II gets new alloy wheels, along with a standard 300-watt Harman Kardon sound system, and an optional factory-installed navigation system.

Exterior

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II comes in two trims: SD and SE. The SD comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and a full-size matching spare tire, rear wipers, intermittent wipers, rear defogger, power door mirrors, heated door mirrors, roof rack, privacy glass, and delay-off headlights. The SE trim adds front fog lights, headlight cleaning, and a trailer hitch receiver. Skid plates are optional for both trims. A power moonroof is standard for the SE and optional for the SD. Other options for the SE trim only include an air-spring self-leveling rear suspension and Active Cornering Enhancement that stiffens the suspension to reduce body lean in turns. The exterior has the classic squared-off Land Rover look to it.

Interior

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II is a luxury vehicle, and the SD trim starts off with enough standard appointments and amenities to back that classification. Included are air-conditioning, automatic temperature control, power locks, power steering, power windows, cruise control, remote keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tilt steering wheel, premium audio system with AM/FM, cassette and steering wheel mounted controls, power front seats, and leather steering wheel trim. The SE adds leather upholstery, wood trim, more leather trim, remote CD player, and the option for rear audio controls. Options for both trims include rear HVAC, heated front seats, and a third row of seats.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II uses an under-powered and all-aluminum, 4.0-liter, V-8 engine that produces 188 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. The 240-horsepower, V6-equipped models, like the Infiniti QX4 and Acura MDX, put its fuel-sucking eight cylinders to shame. The only available transmission is a four-speed-automatic. The permanently engaged four-wheel drive splits power as needed and employs a two-speed transfer case that incorporates a low range for extreme off-road conditions. Four-wheel traction control is standard. Standard Hill Descent Control activates on steep downgrades to help keep the pace safe for the terrain. As noted earlier, acceleration is not what one expects from a V-8 nor is there enough power to justify the fuel use. It does the zero-to-60-mph run in 10.2 seconds and that’s not bad for a heavy SUV. Mid-range power is lacking and that will make some passing situations tricky. The transmission is a high point with quick and smooth shifts.

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II has improved handling in terms of grip and agility. The tall Land Rover design makes it feel tippy. The brakes are good for its response and stopping power, but the pedal effort required is high. The ride is okay with the regular suspension that takes most things in stride. The performance package suspension handles everything well, except for choppy pavement. Noise levels are unacceptable for all forms of sound: wind, engine, and tire, even at lower speeds.

Safety

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery Series II has a solid list of standard safety equipment including all-terrain anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, dual front impact airbags, child seat anchors, anti-theft alarm system, rear door child safety locks, rear center three-point belt, front seatbelt pretensioners, and traction control. Side impact airbags are not available. The NHTSA awards four out of five stars for driver and passenger crash safety but only two stars for rollover safety. In IIHS tests, it earns the second highest rating of ""acceptable"" for frontal offset crash safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

Land Rover Discovery Series II all trims: 12/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Off-road ability
  • Unique design
  • Advanced handling features
  • Cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Peculiar Land Rover ergonomics

Sum Up

Perfect for serious off-roading or serious showing off.

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