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Land Rover launches Discovery 3 Down Under - six months before its official release

11 Nov 2004

LAND Rover's third-generation Discovery has been launched in Australia, just a few weeks after its international release, but it's not officially on sale here until late April. It's not soon enough for the struggling local arm, which sees Discovery 3 as the perfect model at the perfect time for SUV-mad Australia. The all-new model heralds a new construction method that sees its car-like monocoque bodyshell mounted onto a traditional four-wheel drive ladder chassis - a system that will underpin many future Land Rovers. While it's a given that the famed British brand has instilled the new Disco with all the off-road know-how it can muster, what may surprise is just how competent the new one is on the road. Offering X5-like levels of bitumen handling, with a choice of V6, V8 and turbo-diesel power, and the option of seven seats, Disco 3 offers enough versatility, performance and all-round ability to make it well worth the small price rise over its forebear, which now seems positively archaic in comparison.

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Model release date: 1 May 2005 to 1 September 2009

Previous model

Land Rover Discovery

Released: November 2002
Ended: April 2005
Family Tree: Discovery

Discovery 3 replaces the Series II Disco that appeared here in March 1999 and received its final facelift - spelling the first significant change to the model's trademark look in more than a decade - in November 2002. While the 2002 upgrade brought mainly cosmetic revisions, the 1999 car was bigger, more commodious for seven occupants, offered far better on-road handling and better turbo-diesel performance. Discovery 3 improves on both iterations on all counts.

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