What’s the Best Overland SUV for under $7,000? Land Rover LR3 vs Discovery 2 (Video)

LR3 with air suspension or Disco 2 with solid axles?

What’s the best affordable overland off-road SUV for under $7,000? Our search continues as we compare our Land Rover LR3 “Project Heartland” versus the Land Rover Discovery 2 “Rescue Rig”.

The “Rescue Rig” is our 2004 Land Rover Discovery II project vehicle that we purchased for under $5,000. It has a modest suspension lift, stock solid axles front and rear, rock sliders, and off-road bumpers with a winch up front. It’s more of a traditional old school off-roader.

The 2006 Land Rover LR3 (that we also refer to as Discover 3) is our newly acquired project. We purchased this rig for about $7,000. It has a few very mild modifications: higher ride height setting on its four-wheel independent suspension, grille guard with off-road lights, a snorkel air intake, and a ladder on the rear hatch.

We call the LR3 “Project Heartland” because it is also what Land Rover referred to it as internally as this new generation of the SUV was supposed to make the Land Rover brand more popular in the American Heartland.

The LR3 marks a major chapter in the Land Rover Discovery timeline. It’s a lot more high-tech than ever before. It has one of the first software terrain management systems and a fully independent suspension, instead of good old solid axles.

Which one is better on our original Cliffhanger 1.0 Rocky Mountain trails? How different are they? Check it out in the video below.