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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For It's luxurious, refined and capable on- and off-road. All models are well equipped, too

Against It's expensive to buy and run, and access to the rear seats is poor

Verdict It's the world’s finest go-anywhere limo, but it doesn't come cheap

Go for… 4.4 V8 SE

Avoid… Thinking you can run one on the cheap. You can’t.

Land Rover Range Rover 4x4
  • 1. Some earlier models had their rear lights fill with rainwater. Most were replaced under warranty, but it's always worth checking
  • 2. Look out for cars with parking sensors - you’ll be glad of them
  • 3. We prefer the 4.4-litre V8 petrol. The Td6 can be short of puff and it never really gets rid of its diesel rumble
  • 4. There are some reports of premature gearbox failure
  • 5. Cabin space is excellent, and five adults can sit in limo-like comfort
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Land Rover Range Rover 4x4 full review with expert trade views

In a word, imperious. You’ll look down on other drivers, in every sense. The commanding driving position offers a wide range of adjustment, and there’s a very stylish, plush cabin. Comfortable leather seats and decent space for five complete the limousine-like feel.

It’s very limo-like on the move, too. The petrol V8s and Td6 turbodiesel come from Jaguar and BMW, so the pedigree is there. Refined, smooth performance - but not overly strong, unless you’re in the supercharged V8 version - is matched by a soothing, relaxed ride, and the handling is surprisingly controlled.

The Range Rover will cruise comfortably all day - given sufficient stops for fuel - keeping wind noise and road roar at bay. Or you can spend the day exploring the wilderness where most other 4x4s would fear to tread. This is a highly accomplished off-roader, as well as a classy limousine.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Strong demand for all models, diesels favoured Vogue spec essential

James Ruppert
Used car guru

We’d take the 4.4-litre V8 petrol, despite its greater thirst. The diesel is easier on your wallet for fuel, but it’s all relative because the Td6 still isn’t what you’d call frugal. Besides, the Td6 can be short of puff on steep inclines or for overtaking, and it never really gets rid of its diesel rumble.

The supercharged 4.2 V8 petrol is a majestic piece of kit, with strong, progressive aceleration, but it’s pricey to buy and run, and its firmer suspension isn’t as soothing as the standard car’s.

Trim levels run from SE to HSE and up to top-spec Vogue. We’d take SE, which has leather seats, climate control, electric windows all round, alloy wheels and a strong array of safety equipment. Satellite-navigation (standard on the Vogue) is a worthwhile extra. And, look out for parking sensors, too - you’ll be glad of them.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Has the worst reliability figure held by Warranty Direct - expect frequent failures and big bills

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

A Range Rover will not be a cheap car. If the purchase price is going to stretch you, you’re really going to struggle, because the running costs are pretty steep as well.

The only solace is that a well cared-for example with a decent spec will hold its value well, so you’ll resell it quickly for a decent price.

Service costs are pretty hefty because this is a complex bit of kit, and you shouldn’t skimp on looking after it because that will be a false economy. Reckon to spend a little less on servicing than with a Mercedes R-Class or Porsche Cayenne, but more than with a Lexus RX, Audi Q7 or BMW X5.

Insurance costs range from group 14 to 17, and fuel economy will average, at best, mid-20s to the gallon for diesels and high-teens for V8s.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Strong demand for all models, diesels favoured Vogue spec essential

James Ruppert
Used car guru

This model, launched in February 2002, is the best-built Range Rover so far, and there are no serious known faults. However, it's vital you buy one with a full service history for your own reassurance. Better still, get one within the three-year unlimited-mileage warranty, if you can afford it.

All Range Rovers have automatic gearboxes, which are generally very robust, but there are reports of premature failures repaired under warranty. Likewise, some earlier models had their rear lights fill with rainwater. They were replaced under warranty, but it's always worth checking for this.

Electronics and software glitches aren’t unknown, often showing up as false warning lights or various bings and bongs. Often switching the engine off and on again sorts this. If not, the fault could be more serious.

Other than that, check for off-road damage. The Range Rover can tackle very tough terrain, but it isn’t a tank.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Has the worst reliability figure held by Warranty Direct - expect frequent failures and big bills

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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