Hi Jay, thanks for contacting us at DOC
My preference is a late Discovery 1 300tdi. (1997-1998)
Cheaper to buy/parts and far less complicated to fix.
Jap imports are usually far better for condition but may be harder to insure; (no idea why)
Joining our club will get you a discount from one of the major insurers which covers the cost of membership; (Adrian Flux)
Many of our club members have more than one Discovery/Land Rover so its not uncommon for one to come up for sale with history.
Keep looking but don't rush into buying.
Both the Discovery 1 and 2 have their problems with corrosion.
The D1 fairs better with chassis but bodywork is more often the issue which is why I suggested the Jap import.
Jap imports have a high spec with slightly higher BHP due to emissions but as far as I know only come in auto.
The auto is generally reliable and works well off-road.
V8's sound great but you need a filling station round every corner
2.5 tdi begins low powered but there are plenty of DIY mods to give it the power you need.
Hope this helps
1997 300TDi, Auto, LPG power modification, Ashcroft modified G/Box, Allisport ECU chip, full width intercooler, egr blank, silicon hoses, +3" Terrafirma Springs/Adjustable Shocks, castor corrected, wide angle plus double Cardan props, polybushed, Drilled/grooved brakes, HD bumper. 500w CREE LED lamps, Side-steps. Full length roof rack.
Winner of the Best Discovery trophy London to Brighton Run 2011
Discovery 4 - No mods necessary
A good Druid doesn't mind making sacrifices