A question of Sport

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19 May 2024
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Greg swaps in his nine-year-old Discovery Sport for a 2021 model : credit: © Greg King
Greg upgrades to a newer Discovery Sport, but finds that going paperless does nothing but generate even more paperwork

I’d love more time for my Land Rover-related hobbies. Commitments have meant I’m not using my 90 Tdi much, and the Puma 90 even less. With insurance costs and general costs of ownership going up, one of the Defenders had to go. I took my driving test in the Tdi back in the 1990s, so that wasn’t going anywhere. The Puma 90 needed to find a new home.

I spoke to Bob at T Elliott Land Rovers who sold me the Puma. Bob was happy to buy it back off me knowing I had treasured it during my ownership. It wasn’t on his forecourt for long – it had been sold to a new owner within a couple of weeks, which shows despite the financial slowdown in the UK, the late Defender market remains as buoyant as ever.

At the same time, my nine-year old Discovery Sport, used on my daily work commute, was getting high on miles. Do I sell it or hang on to it? It’s been reliable with the exception of the steering rack bolts breaking, which, surprisingly, JLR did cover under a service action free of cost.

If I replace it, what with? I really like the Discovery Sport as a daily car; it’s not too big, covers long distances very comfortably and is fairly economical – my commute often betters 40mpg in the summer, even though it’s the less efficient early 2.2 model. Perhaps I change it for another Disco Sport? A newer model?

But the reputation that the Ingenium engine has gained with timing chain problems is widely known and I wasn’t sure it was the right move for me. It’s also often posted on owners’ forums that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) blocks easily, but that is nearly always down to frequent short drives, something that any modern diesel engine struggles with. My 40-minute commute is all country A-road and motorway driving, so enough time for the DPF to get hot without issue.

Commitments had meant Greg’s 90 Tdi (above) only gets occasional use, the Puma 90 (below) even less. So the Puma had to go

I started looking into Ingenium technical changes and established that in late 2020, when the D165 and D200 engines were introduced, the timing chain set-up was heavily revised, along with a raft of other changes over earlier D150, D180 and D240 models.

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Do I look at a D200? I started to investigate the option. The reality is values have softened a lot across all models, with the insurance headlines in the media and parts back orders creating a perfect storm for JLR. So, banking that used values will stabilise, I decided to have a look for a lower-spec D200.

I noticed that a main dealer in Watford had an early D200 five-seater for sale for quite reasonable money, and decided to have a look. I arrived unannounced at the dealer and spotted the car on the forecourt. But it wasn’t a five-seater – it very clearly had seven seats. The salesman got the keys so I could have a look. In fact, it had the family pack so included a glass roof, privacy glass, the ClearSight camera mirror, third-row air con, and extra USB charging points. Then I noticed the button in the load space for the electrically deployable tow bar – none of this had been declared in the advert.

I wasn’t going to be pushed into doing a deal on the day, so I asked for a part-ex price on my 2015 Disco Sport and said I would sleep on it. I didn’t sleep. I spent the night looking at all the prices of seven-seater models for sale across the country. I emailed in the morning with an offer, explaining my concern with market values, also making clear I would only buy the vehicle if they included a two-year Land Rover ‘approved’ warranty. After a couple of days of to-ing and fro-ing, a deal was done and I arranged collection a couple of weeks later.

The pleasant drive back was somewhat marred after Greg realised he didn’t have a copy of the new MoT or extended warranty

The dealer was paperless; all documents were signed on screen. I asked for the log book’s new keeper green slip, to be told I  didn’t need it, as it’s all electronic now. I left without any physical paperwork – the documents had been emailed to me. On the very pleasant drive back north, it dawned on me that I didn’t have a copy of the new MoT they had done, nor evidence of the extended warranty. I contacted them the following day to request this but nothing was forthcoming. After chasing them, they emailed the warranty expiry dates – which had been extended as agreed: “We can’t give you a copy of the MoT though – we are all electronic, so you’ll have to wait for your logbook to come through and then you can request a copy of your MoT online.”

So, I waited for the logbook. And waited. And waited. I called the DVLA which confirmed a new V5C logbook had been issued to me, but the address the dealer had given didn’t match mine. After many weeks of form filling, providing evidence and a £25 fee, this has eventually been resolved. Paperless policies? Not worth the paper they’re written on…

 

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