We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For It's a luxurious motor with lots of off-road ability

Against Reliability is poor, they're dear to buy and run and the diesel engines are slow

Verdict An amazing blend of abilities, but it’ll cost you

Go for… 4.0 V8

Avoid… 4.6 HSE

Land Rover Range Rover 4x4
  • 1. The diesels return just 27.5mpg, and you’ll struggle to see much more than 20mpg from any petrol engine
  • 2. Misfires in the engine can be double trouble, as they may also damage the catalytic converter
  • 3. The air suspension rides well and ensures the Range Rover doesn’t suffer from the floaty feeling you can get in some 4x4s
  • 4. The suspension is a common cause of complaint, and there was a recall for some cars for cracking suspension components
  • 5. The ride height can be raised and lowered to cope with changing conditions off-road, which is very handy
advertisement

Land Rover Range Rover 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The Range Rover lives very much in a world of its own, somehow managing to be a success as both an off-roader and a luxury car. Inside, it positively reeks of Englishness, with a classic wood- and leather-trimmed interior that’s bigger than a Jeep Grand Cherokee’s. Yet, it’s also amazingly capable off-road.

If there is a criticism, it’s that the quality of some of the materials is below what you’d expect in such an expensive car. True, it’s hardly what you’d call bad, but it is certainly not quite as classy as, say, a Mercedes S-class.

Given the car’s abilities off-road, you also can’t really complain about how it drives on-road. The air suspension rides remarkably well and ensures the Range Rover doesn’t suffer from the floaty feeling you can get in some 4x4s. Plus, the ride height can be raised and lowered to cope with changing conditions off-road.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Petrol versions are much cheaper and can be best buy if you don't do the miles

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

A big car needs a big engine, but the Range Rover’s smallest, a 2.5-litre turbodiesel from BMW, just isn’t big enough to haul around two-and-a-half tonnes of luxury 4x4. We’d avoid this sluggish TD model unless you want fuel economy above all else.

On the other hand, assuming that if you can afford a Range Rover in the first place, fuelling it won’t be a problem, we’d recommend the 4.0-litre V8, and preferably the version from October 1999 (V-reg), which had more pulling power. The 4.6 V8 brings an obvious boost in performance without any effect on the fuel economy.

Given the high price of the Range Rover and the amount of equipment on every model, there’s no need to buy anything more than basic model; even if you ignore the more expensive SE and HSE models, you won’t feel short-changed.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Cheap to buy especially V8, 2.5d HSE DI unit premium priced

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Compared with almost any other 4x4, the Range Rover looks expensive to buy. It’s only when you look at it next to luxury cars such as the Lexus LS or Jaguar XJ that it starts to look like sensible value.

Again, by 4x4 standards, the Range Rover’s running costs look prohibitively expensive, but next to luxury cars’, they’re not too bad. Insuring and servicing a Range Rover won’t actually cost much more than a Discovery, for example, and it’s much cheaper in both respects than a Lexus or Jaguar.

Only fuel economy and repairs are frightening prospects. Even the diesel versions return just 27.5mpg on the combined cycle, and you’ll struggle to see much more than 20mpg from any of the petrol engines. Warranty Direct tells us that, when you need to have repairs done, not only are average labour rates among the highest, so are average repair bills.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Petrol versions are much cheaper and can be best buy if you don't do the miles

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Land Rovers are renowned for poor reliability, and this, the most expensive model, is no exception. It’s one of the more unreliable cars on Warranty Direct’s books, but there’s no one thing to look out for.

In fact, the engine, cooling system and suspension take pretty much equal blame for most claims, each responsible for just under 20% of the total. What’s more, misfires in the engine can also damage the catalytic converter.

The Range Rover has never appeared in the JD Power survey, but the results for other Land Rovers hardly fill you with confidence. There have also been nine recalls on this Range Rover, with perhaps the most serious concerning cracking rear suspension components on cars built in 1994-5 and the possibility of under-bonnet fires on cars built up to mid-1998. Check the service manual to see if remedial work has been carried out.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Cheap to buy especially V8, 2.5d HSE DI unit premium priced

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014