Range Rover v. All Comers (in $30k range)

guncollector

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Hi gang,

Time to tap the collective CPF knowledge base again. This one is aimed at Range Rover owners, particularly if you own a 2001 4.6 HSE.

As it turns out, my wife and I need to replace her dying sedan, and some friends are selling a surplus car, a 2001 Ranger Rover 4.6 HSE.

What I need to know:

- Is 2001 the year BMW took over Ranger Rover and improved the mechanics?
- Has your 2001 or later Range Rover been reliable?
- How much is servicing, compared to other imported SUV (e.g. Mercedes M-Class, BMW X-series, etc.)
- What is your warranty period?
- Anything other info you can provide on Range Rover ownership grealy appreciated!

TIA!!

Edited: Ooops, I mean "2001" (not 1991)!
 

sithjedi333

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Based on 2004 RR and 2004 X5 ownership
-The 2003 RR was the one designed by BMW
-The 2004 is as reliable as a later-model BMW X5 (only minor issues)
-RR accessories are much more expensive than X5, parts and servicing don't know because still in warranty period
-Warranty period is 4 years/50k miles IIRC
-The RR is phenomenal, only time will tell about reliability, but should be as good as the current X5 (early X5s, Merc MLs, Porsche Cayennes and VW Touraegs have horrible reputations, but later models are much improved)

Edmunds.com has a RR forum that is pretty informative

Hope that helps.
 

notos&w

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

I could not find this exact model, but for what it's worth, RR's do not have a good track record for reliability per Consumer Reports.
 

flashlight_widow

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

I don't own a Rover, but we did look at buying one not along ago when we bought my Jeep, so I did quite a bit of research. Honestly, after driving a Freelander over a weekend, I have to agree that everything negative you hear about Rovers in general is probably true. The Freelander was supposed to have all kinds of mechanical upgrades, better motor, less reliability issues, etc. The second day I drove it, the power steering went completely out. Needless to say I returned it to the dealership and never looked back! I have a friend who has either a 2000 or an 01 Range Rover and has had nothing but problems with it. To be honest, I don't know anyone who owns one that *hasn't* had major problems with it on a frequent basis.

I think they can run well if you keep up with the scheduled maintenance - which is fairly often (every 3,000 miles or so, I believe - perhaps someone can give me a more accurate number?), but that runs about $400 or so each time.
 

John N

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

What are you looking for in a truck? You might consider looking a a new '04 Jeep Grand Cherokee. They have a completely new model coming out for '05, so you can probably pick up an '04 for a reasonable price.

Personally, I would consider:

JGC
- "Limited" or "Overland" trim level
- Quadradrive 4WD system
- V8 4.7 or 4.7HO engine
- Towing pkg IV
- Upcountry or skid plate group

The JGC is a nice blend of off road capability and durability as well as on-road performance. It has solid front and rear axles, something that goes away with the new '05s. Just make sure you get the 4WD system serviced a major Jeep service center!

Oh, I should add. While I think the JGC straddles the line very well for being a road and off road truck, if you really want on-road refinement, and don't really care about off-road performance, pass on the '04 JGC. It does a remarkable job making a capable off-road truck civil, on-road, but they are coming at it from that angle. The new '05 on the other hand should be a whole new game with IFS/IRS.

-john


Oh, I did a bunch of research in '99, and we bough a '99 JGC. Still think it's a great truck.
 

georges80

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Ok, as a Land Cruiser owner I'm biased here - but RR - please RUN quickly and RUN far away from it.

Just go on google and do a search for -> range rover junk or any other similar string and read & weep with owners and ex-owners.

Landrover does an excellent job of advertising their vehicle and making it look like they go to the ends of the world. If you ever visit the ends of the world you WON'T find landrover products there - you will find toyota land cruisers and nissan patrols. In Australia (my home country) you rarely ever see a landrover 4wd product outside of the city, they're just plain unreliable and poorly built.

george.
 

avusblue

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

A guy I work with just traded in a '99 Land Rover Discovery Series II with 99,000 miles. He bought it used, "certified pre-owned" from a Land Rover dealer about 4 years ago. I think it had around 40K miles on it when he bought it, and it came with a full coverage warranty up to 100K miles. His experience is that every single system on the vehicle failed, and was replaced, under that warranty. Some items more than once. Engine, transmission, driveline, steering, suspension, cooling, stereo, wipers, HVAC, electricals, windows, sunroof, seats, even the headliner and the dashboard which had their plastics delaminate and fall apart. The vehicle became a running joke around the office. That warranty paid for far more than the price of the vehicle, it is not exaggerating that over the 4 years he owned it the warranty covered over $25,000 in repairs. At least the dealer always gave him a loaner vehicle when it was in for repairs -- and one time, the loaner (a Land Rover FreeLander) broke down! Now you know why he dumped his vehicle right before the warranty would have expired.

Moral of the story? AVOID a Land Rover unless it has a bulletproof warranty, because the vehicle is basically junk. It may look cool, but is poorly engineered and built.

Oh, and the vehicle he traded it in on? A Toyota Highlander.

Cheers,

Dave
 

guncollector

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Thanks everyone for your input! Truly!

I know full well that no one in their right mind would buy a Range Rover used without an Extended Warranty, and I'm looking into that right now.

However, I should add that we have been offered a very attractive price, $30k, for this vehicle--which I see listed in the $34-38 range (for RR 1991 4.6 HSE). But, the reliability problems could become too much to bear.

So, we're also looking into Subaru Outback.

Also, we're looking for any suggestions for a "Soccer Mom SUV" in the 30k range.
 

flashlight_widow

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

I drove a GMC Yukon for a couple of years and I loved it! Tons of cargo room, very smooth ride, comfortable, easy to maneuver.
 

sithjedi333

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Do you own your own business/self employed? If you are, you may be able to use the Sec 179 tax writeoff and get a more expensive vehicle. What will you use the car for? What are your space/passenger needs? Will you take it offroad? Up to Tahoe? What are you willing to put up with in terms of maintenance, etc? Give us some more info so we can give you some customized recommendations. But if $30k is your budget, your best bet is a used Lexus or Toyota SUV. A used LX470 or Landcruiser has tons of carrying capacity, can carry 7, bulletproof dependable, and usually go in the mid-30s even in the Bay Area. That's a phenomenal value. Don't get sucked into the Rover cachet unless you can put up with the time and expense of maintenance, especially with older Rovers.

Check out the forums at http://forum.ih8mud.com/
 

David_Campen

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Why do you want a Range Rover? Do you want offroad capability? For 30K you can buy a new Toyota 4Runner with V8, 4WD. A new 4Runner V6, 2WD can be had for even less.
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/

Edit:
I didn't read quite far enough, I see that you are looking for a "Soccer Mom" SUV. Perhaps a Toyota Highlander would fill the bill.
http://www.toyota.com/highlander/
 

capnal

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Please, Please, Please
Don't get this vehicle if you are looking at it as a "status" vehicle or think that just because as new they sell for a premium and are marketed as a luxury vehilce, then you are getting something of a good quality.

Back in April of this year, I almost bought a Freelander, pre-owned, 2002. Granted this was actually from the Land Rover dealer, not just some used lot. We were given the vehilce to take on a weekend long test drive. That was a Friday night, and that was all I needed. Within a 30 mile trip, the power steering pump went out. We parked it back in the garage and promptly gave it back on Monday morning. During that weekend, as I was discussing it with others that I know, I continued to get the same negative opinions, including a couple who owned a 2001 Discovery just like the one you are looking at.

YES, they are very cool to look at. YES, it is kinda neat to be able to say "I own a Land Rover". But that is about where the cool wears off.

I have a 1997 GMC Yukon. It just rolled 110K miles. I know that every time I get in it, it will start, and everything works on it. Several of my friends and family are in a position that they could all buy and own whatever they want, cost not being an issue. Almost all of them have picked Chevy / GMC big SUV vehicles as a result. All of them are very nice, leather interiors, great features, and all that stuff.

I don't want to tell you what to do, or how to spend your money, but I would just like to offer my opinion that you will be better served buying something else. Between what you will pay up front, and maintenance fees, and what you will get for resale, the Land Rover is not your best investment.
 

jtice

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

I would suggest a Toyota 4Runner.
All Toyotas are very dependable, my 93Toy pickup has seen HELL, and came back laughing.

Besides, the new 4runner, has all those Rover features, auto desent control, etc.
Plus,,,, you fo know that Rover is a Ford now, right? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif
 

guncollector

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

[ QUOTE ]
sithjedi333 said:
Do you own your own business/self employed? If you are, you may be able to use the Sec 179 tax writeoff and get a more expensive vehicle.

[/ QUOTE ]
Yes, this vehicle will be purchased by my wife's business (to be her daily driver).

[ QUOTE ]
What will you use the car for? What are your space/passenger needs?

[/ QUOTE ]
Any and everything. Wife's daily driver, but short commute(<3 mi.). Transporting 2 kids and family in-and-around town and out-of-town. No dogs, yet, but that could be in future. Ideally, wish to seat 7.

[ QUOTE ]
Will you take it offroad? Up to Tahoe?

[/ QUOTE ]
Occasionally, yes. Up to Napa/Clear Lake where it will "leave the pavement" but remain on gravel roads. In Winter, it will make multiple trips up into Tahoe snow country.

[ QUOTE ]
What are you willing to put up with in terms of maintenance, etc?

[/ QUOTE ]
I think we could bear say $1000-1500 a year in maintenance. Note: we have every intention of "paying up front" to purchase an aftermarket Extended Warranty to hedge our maintenance costs.

...

I may be looking into the Toyota Land Cruiser now...
 

sithjedi333

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

Then I think the LX470 or Landcruiser is the way to go. Other cars to consider:
Other Lexus and Toyota SUVs
Acura MDX
Honda Pilot
Ford and GM SUVs (although I hear varying accounts of quality/reiablility)
Subaru Forrester (if you don't really need 7 seats)

Talk to your accountant about the Section 179 deduction.

Also, maintenance and warranty are usually 2 different things. Maintenance covers normal wear and tear, the scheduled stuff you find in your maintenance booklet - oil changes, tuneups, brakes & rotors. Whereas warranty covers failure of major components - fuel pumps, electric window motors, navigation systems, suspension etc. Make sure to read the fine print, there are usually a lot of caveats that can leave you in the lurch, esp in California.

Hope that helps.
 

John N

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

If you are only looking at dirt roads, IFS and IRS should be fine.

I would still look for something with a decent 4WD system. Be aware that many "4WD" systems really only drive two wheels.

The Land Cruiser is nice, but expensive. Are you sure you could swing it for ~$30K?

Also, seating for 7 puts you in a particular catagory. If you really need this you options shrink pretty signficantly.

-john
 

cy

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

feedback from a satisfied Landcruiser owner. Got a 1984 Landcruiser with 200k miles. Served me well for the last 15+ years.

I've done all the maintence on it. including preventative maintentance. Very solid vehicle.

If there is any negative, it would be the gas mileage. aprox. 12 mpg in town and 14 on the road. Laws of physics apply, when you push around a vehicle that weight 5,300 lbs. Mileage is not too good.

Wish I had the desiel version of Landcruiser.
 

avusblue

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Re: Range Rover owners, need opinion

You're looking at good choices now. One data point for you. We have a Honda Pilot and love it.

large5.jpg


It was my wife's first choice (replacing her Chrysler minivan) and she is the quintessential soccer (and hockey) mom. I find myself liking this vehicle much more than I thought I would. (I used to drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee which I got tired of due to its cumbersome truck-like ride and handling, so I was skeptical of getting her an SUV). She basically wanted 4WD to have more driving confidence in the snow. The Pilot is much more of a car-based SUV than truck based. For instance, it does not have a low-range transfer case and has less max towing capacity than the "truck-ier" SUVs. That didn't matter to us, as it will be used 100% for around town "mom" duties and the occasional family road trip. The Pilot is the Honda version of the Acura MDX and is essentially the same vehicle under the skin with a more "boxy" styled body. It is smooth, quiet, comfortable, and very practical. It is almost like a minivan inside, as it is very easy to reconfigure the seats for anywhere from 2 to 8 passengers and a commensurate amount of cargo space. There is decent space behind the 3rd row of seats, unlike many SUVs. And the seats fold flat and disappear into the floor when not in use. The Honda gets pretty good mpg, has a lot of pep (255 horsepower), and is easy to handle and park. We found it to have all the same interior room and utility as a Tahoe / Expedition type vehicle, with much less exterior "bulk". It feels more stable and less tippy / wallowy than the truck-based SUV's. A great all around vehicle and a terrific value. We bought the EX 4WD model for $30K out the door including tax and title. The Pilot has won the large SUV category in Car and Driver's "5Best Trucks" competition in '02, '03 and '04. Let me know if you have any further questions about it, I'm happy to chime in.

Another solid choice, along the same lines of vehicle, is the Lexus RX300 / 330 / Toyota Highlander. My mom has the Lexus version:
RX-387.jpg


and it is beautiful, and drives silky smooth. However, it only seats 5. The Toyota Highlander version can seat 7, but is quite a bit smaller inside than the Pilot for about the same money.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Cheers,

Dave
 
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