If you are in the market for a Landrover Discovery then hopefully you will already have a good idea as to what it is and what a disco is all about. Some things to bear in mind, a disco has all the aerodynamic properties of the rock of Gibraltar and probably weighs pretty much the same. Regardless of which model you go for it will not be fast and will not be particularly economical, it's all relative though. The lofty and commanding driving position is definitely a good thing, it gives you an excellent view of what's ahead. This means that you should have plenty of time to 'plan'. The laws of physics means that 2 tonnes of pig iron travelling at 'speed' in a straight line is going to try and continue in a straight line regardless of how much steering you input, the steering is particularly light by the way which could lead you to believe that that 90 degree bend that is approaching is going to be taken with ease. If you have not 'planned' that 90 degree bend in advance then the amount you move the steering wheel will only dictate the angle that the wheels will be after you have continued in a straight line and demolished whatever was in front of you. the disco will probably be fine though.
If properly maintained, these things are capable of galactic mileage, a disco will get you there an back again regardless of where 'there' happens to be. Be that on the local school run (with the 7 seat option you could take most of the football team), to the shops, across the muddy field with a bale of hay or up the side of your nearest mountain. It will get you there in comfort as the ES spec in particular has more bells and whistles than you could ever need. All of the controls are accessible, well, all the ones you need anyway even if they do have an element of 'fisher price' about them. Providing you have one that has had the sunroofs sealed properly then no nasty wet stuff will creep in and play havoc with the electrics. This means that when you mash the monster size buttons with whatever part of your anatomy reaches, an electrical charge will be present and the particular function that you have selected will, with a lot of mechanical jiggery pokery, begin to move.
A disco is not especially difficult to work on yourself, please bear in mind the point about weight, those nice shiny yellow axle stands that you bought locally will not be up to the task. They may have been perfect for your family car but your family car is not a disco. I don't care what your personal best in the gym for the bench press is, if your axle stands fail then best your life insurance is up to date because you won't be shifting the disco off you anytime soon. There are plenty of independants out there who will know your vehicle inside and out without the need to pay over the top prices from a main dealer. As with any vehicle, to get the best out of it you will need to look after it. The engine you choose is purely a matter of what works best for you, the noise that they make will increase the further you mash your right foot into the carpet, the speed won't necessarilly increase proportionally. As I said though, it's about getting you there, not getting you there at warp speed. Keep an eye on your fluid levels and always check where you've parked for signs of any leakage. Service it regularly, don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because it's pretty agricultural that you can use it, abuse it and that it will continue on forever. All the usual rules will apply when it comes to maintenance.
This may all sound that I regret my purchase, nothing could be further from the truth. Everytime I get in it and fire it up it puts a smile on my face. I am safe in the knowledge that whatever the great british weather can throw at me the disco will laugh at it. It will get me, my family and as much luggage as I like there and back again in absolute comfort. The auto box and cruise control will make for an effortless lazy drive (it will never be in the gear you want but you'll get used to that), the light steering will ensure that I don't drift off to sleep because I know that I will have to be alert to prevent inadvertantly wiping out half of Suffolk. If it gets too stuffy then I can open two sunroofs and all the windows (heated front, rear and side screens mean that ice soon gets the heave-ho), if it get too warm then the aircon and climate will feel like I've just opened the freezer door. If we get adventurous then 2nd gear and low ratio will mean that the disco will go pretty much anywhere and if you really want all your home comforts then just hook a towrope around your house and the disco has enough torque to drag the whole thing along with you.
It could also be a potential money spinner in the winter when you'll be able to drag all your neighbours cars and pseudo 4x4's out of the various ditches that they may find themselves in. All in all, a fantastic piece of kit, go in with your eyes open, do your research on the known quirks, look after it and you'll grow to love it. Things to look for in the service history will be engine work, timing belts, headgaskets, gearbox / transfer box and suspension. Some will be converted to springs to avoid the potential of a costly repair if the suspension air bags fail. Landrover did a recall on the diesels due to oil pump issues. As mentioned earlier, sunroofs are prone to failure and /or leaks. It's not a major job to get them sealed properly and this relatively small outlay can reduce the chances of more costly electrical failures later on due to water ingress. There is plenty of information out there regarding some of the more common 'issues' but if you choose wisely or don't mind getting your hands dirty then there are bargains to be had.
Do it, you know you want too, go on, go on, go on. I should probably end with a nice cliche or two now about "one life, live it" or the best 4x4xfar or something but seriously, it will do everything you want it to and then some.