By on July 11, 2012

 

Luke writes:

Hi Sajeev:

Unlike a lot of those seeking your sage advice, I’m not going to ask you whether or not I should buy a different car. I know I am buying a different car. My mind is made up, so don’t take any of my words as a question about soldiering on with what I have. My summer car is a mint, nicely upgraded 1994 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (full Spohn/Strano suspension, hopped up LT1, Corvette brakes, etc) with 60K miles and it is not going anywhere. What I need is a new winter/utility vehicle…

Since my wife and I got married 5 years ago, I have been facing Minnesota winters with a series of beater trucks. I started with a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 with nearly 300K miles. Enough said about that! I moved on to a GMC Sierra with over 170K. It was a great truck, but rust holes in the bed and the “deferred maintenance” sins of the previous owner eventually claimed that one too. I now have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee with about 140K. It’s a cool little truck with 2 doors, a 3 inch lift, and big tires, but it’s hit that point where nickel and dime maintenance and the persistent force of oxidation will start to suck me dry. I recently invested about a thousand bucks fixing the rusty rocker panel and driver’s floor pan, so it’s a good time for it to move on to a new home.

My wife and I are both gainfully employed professionals in our early 30′s with a healthy bank balance, no debt except our house, and exceptional credit scores. We own a small house on a small lot in the city, have a pair of dumb dogs, and do not yet have children. My wife feels that it’s time I put the beaters behind me and buy “a nice truck or SUV that we can drive and not spend a ton maintaining for at least 5 years”. I agree with her on most of that statement – I am tired of whipping rusty, dirty cars wondering what will be the next thing to break. I would like a real 4×4 vehicle that can 1) take me to work through the sometimes brutal winter weather, 2) take me down muddy, rutted farm tracks and 4-wheeler trails to hunt deer and pheasant on the family land in central MN, 3) haul dumb, dirty hunting dogs, stuff from Menards, and pull a small utility trailer, 4) have reasonably nice creature comforts, and 5) be of reasonable size to fit in the garage next to my wife’s Volvo S80.

I’m looking at used trucks in the $15-20K range with 50-80K miles or less. So far I have looked at a couple WK-era Jeep Grand Cherokees, a JK Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, a Chevy Trailblazer SS, a Nissan X-Terra, and a Land Rover LR3 V8. God help me, I loved the Land Rover. What a sweet, sweet truck! The 4 wheel drive system and air suspension are amazing! It has a huge, flat load floor when you flip the seats down! The driving position feels so right and everything is draped in leather! It looks so cool and tough! But then this voice in the back of my head says “you are considering a British truck, with lots of sophisticated electronics…you must be on ‘shrooms.” I have been reading the message boards and reliability reports, and from what I’ve seen the LR3 looks fairly average as cars go, and definitely better than the old Discoveries. I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m crazy for looking at and falling in love with these trucks.

So what do you say? Is buying a used Land Rover financial suicide? Do these trucks still have a bad reputation, or are they better now than they used to be? Is there anything else I should be considering? Keep in mind that we have a local Land Rover dealer, and I will be soliciting a PPI on anything I get close to buying.

Thanks,
Luke

Sajeev answers:

You want me to justify LR3 ownership?  You obviously haven’t met my friends (all 6 of them) who know I care more about their wallet than I for their automotive spiritual wants and desires. Combined with what I’ve seen in modern Land Rover ownership and a quick look at Mr. Karesh’s TrueDelta data, it proves my point: NO FUN FOR YOU.

For peeps in your situation, it’s all about the Money, Honey.

You obviously shouldn’t spend your money here, unless I missed the part where you said “short term lease.” Parts are expensive.  Labor will be expensive.  Electrics shall get wonky.  It’s just not a good idea for someone in your position.

I admire you mentioning a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) as I recommend that for almost anyone looking at a used vehicle.  But that so won’t cut it here.  Every electro-mechanical bit on the PPI should have an asterisk at the end, mentioning this inspection point could be wrong several months from now. Or several weeks.

Even though I hate the Trailblazer’s interior, I like the idea of owning one of those with a hot F-body partner to go with. Or maybe the SAAB version. Yeah, get the SAAB, that might put your Land Rover lust at bay. Or come close enough.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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56 Comments on “Piston Slap: Um, like, no!...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Although Sajeev is right when it comes to a Land Rover and maintenance expenses . . . . . . . . . should the day come that I can once against actually justify owning an SUV, it will be a used Land Rover. Period. And I don’t care about the cost.

    There is more to car ownership than money, money, money; assuming you actually have a love for cars rather than a spreadsheet in the place of your heart.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      What else is there? Cars are first and foremost applicances.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        To you, cars are first and foremost appliances. To me, the appliance factor is somewhere down around fourth or fifth. If presented with the possiblity of owning a car that is nothing more than an economical transportation appliance, I’ll pass. I already own a number of practical, economical transportation appliances.

        They’re called bicycles. And they have the added side effect of keeping me healthy while transporting me around.

        If I gotta pay money to get somewhere, I’d sure better LOVE the way I get there. Otherwise, I’d rather stay home.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      +10000

      If you like the Land Rover and can afford it, buy one. They are nice trucks, and based on my friends that own them are MUCH better than the Land Rovers of old. The best things in life are rarely free.

      Just not feeling the hairshirt mentality around here these days. Enjoy life, as others have said, nobody has ever seen a hearse with a U-haul behind it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Very much agreed. With all that’s going on in the world, the future is murky at best, enjoy life while you can.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        + over nine thousand.

        If you like the Disco, and can afford it, go for it!

        If I had the money I’d buy a Range Rover Sport on the spot, with a petrol V8. Or even a regular or classic one.

        Your wife is spot on, get rid of the beaters and get yourself a nice ride. It will make you smile every day.

        I don’t know about prices, but have you checked a current gen X5? The current Grand Cherokee looks nice too. The 9-7X as mentioned below seems like a nice option too.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I check for 9-7X every once in awhile on ebay/craigslist/auction reports when I can get them, only because they are unique and I toy with the idea of a truck or SUV. Pricing is still way to high on the models I’ve seen.

        Just hit Ebay there’s an 06 in Philly with 114K bidding around 7 but it looks like alot of people are on it, I predict it will do 10-12. There’s an 08 with 54K with a buy it now of 17K. Maybe if these were 4×4 and not AWD I’d be more interested to spend.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I think about the line from american beuty, which I got to say thi February when I got my S2k:
      “It’s the car that I always wanted, and now I have it. I rule.”

      If there’s a car you love that much, you need to own it at some point if it is reasonably possible.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    FJ Cruiser. Great vehicle!

  • avatar

    Since our subject couple doesn’t mind borrowing money, what about either a short-term lease or a certified preowned Land Rover?

    My CPO Mercedes-Benz experience from a few years back was very good – major problems were fixed without any hassle.

    How’s the CPO Land Rover program? Anyone know?

    D

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    You couldn’t replace your wifes S80 with a XC90 ? Not sure how they hold up when it comes to reliability over there, but they should be comfy and large enough. I guess most CUV’s will be to small and noisy for your needs, so I can’t recommend e CR-V or Element, even if they hold up well, and cost little to maintain (especially if it’s a M/T)

  • avatar
    KixStart

    How about a Honda Element? They may look a little odd but they’re very practical. Click and Clack have recommended it to callers.

    • 0 avatar

      They kinda drive like a Ford Econoline. It’s off putting, especially for someone with Land Rover Lust.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @KixStart: “How about a Honda Element?”

      If the couple is thinking about having kids during the time they own their next car, then the Element may be a poor choice. The word in the carseat community (my wife is a CPST) is that those nifty back seats, and the access to, them is inconvenient for carseats and loading/unloading chiildren.

      If they’re not thinking about having kids soon, then I think the Element is a great choice. Most of the vehicles that “Luke” (the other Luke) were considering seemed to be more about esteem than cost-effectiveness, yet he made it sound like he was justifying the extra car based on cost. It sounds to me like he’s really trying to save the the Corvette and while still looking “well-off”. If he’s primarily concerned about appearances, then the Land Rover is fine — they look nice, and everyone knows that British cars a money-pits so the driver must be making bank. If he really does want to save money, though, then spending $16k on an Element would probably be far more cost-effective long-term than driving any of the unfixable/unreliable/low-MPG vehicles that he mentioned. The Element isn’t the cheapest or the most efficient car on the market, but it is versatile and great for a couple with dogs. The AWD version is probably an excellent fit for winters in Minneapolis, too.

      If he’s really about saving money, then a gently-used Escape would be a better deal than anything he suggested. With AWD, V6, and a leather interior, it’s a nice car inside (and totally blah outside). If he’s really about cachet, though, then I’m not qualified to comment — I don’t pay much attention to that kind of luxury.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    Considering the request (quasi-lux SUV) and who it came from (early 30 DINKs), I really doubt that an Element is the right choice. Elements seem to be populated by the same crowd that buys Kia Souls and Scion xBs.
    Dude wants a “young(ish) professional’s” winter machine that carries a little more cachet than a Toyota or Honda cute-ute.
    Though I like the idea of someone getting the Saab/Chevy, but I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen anyone seriously say “Get the Saab”. Of course yesterday Jack did spend an inordinate amount of time heaping praise upon an Impala. Welcome to Bizarro World.
    What the fellow with the question needs is a little bit of a showpiece that not everyone else has the neither means nor the desire to own.
    For the strange choice, get a Jaguar x-type AWD wagon (if you can find one). Sure it’ll be a piece of loving crap, but so would the Land Rover.
    More practically I like the idea of the FJ Cruiser. While I don’t care for them myself, I understand their appeal. However, for this fellow, would it be a little too Tonka truck?
    The less interesting, but other possibility is that since the wife has a Volvo already, why not try the XC90? Not too common, presentable around town and capable for the winter. Would hauld dumb dogs and if the S80 is a hit at home, why not give it a big brother?
    If you like the Jeeps, get a Commander or wait until next year when the Grand Wagoneer comes back.

    • 0 avatar

      ^What he said, but I’ll condense it:

      1. SAAB 9-7x Aero. Much better looking than a Trailblazer SS, and SAAB engineers did their best with this. Apparently it has a slightly lower ride height, but vastly improved handling capabilities. Plus, you would get a major deal on one if you could find it, yet you still get that massive engine.

      2. Volvo XC90 Sport V8 – The Yamaha V8 in these is lovely, good sound, good power. If you can find one in the sharp-looking Sport/R-Design trims, go for it. Really sharp looking SUVs.

      I too love LRs, but common sense says only a lease ending within the warranty would be survivable. And probably cheaper.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    What are used Land Cruiser prices like? Not as sophisticated as the LR3 but similar heritage and ability. Otherwise, I’d suggest Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi. One of the most advanced 4wd systems you can get in a SUV. Hemi power. Could also go for the Grand Cherokees unloved mechanical twin the Commander…yeah the third row is useless, but you may like the super boxy style better, and when that useless third row is folded I think the Commander is a little bigger inside.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      From the sound of it, this guy doesn’t need a super-advanced 4WD system so much as he needs good tires and decent ground clearance.

      Not only that, but the rutted, muddy tracks on the family farm will stay a lot less rutted and be a lot easier to traverse if he isn’t driving the heaviest vehicles possible on them.

      A Grand Cherokee is more than 1000 pounds heavier than a Rav4. The LR3/LR4 is 1000 pounds heavier than the Grand Cherokee!

      I would personally say to get a Rav4 V6 or a previous-generation Escape V6, add an inch or two of lift, and put good off-road tires on it. Both of these SUVs should be plenty capable of everything he needs and dealers should be willing to basically give them away (the next Rav4 is right around the corner).

    • 0 avatar
      markholli

      I’m with you on the Cruiser. Legendary off-road ability, rock-solid reliability, built like a bank vault. You get in an FJ100, close the door and bam: isolation.

      Maybe it’s not in the “consideration set” because it won’t fit in the snug garage.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Seems like your needs call for more than a “cross-over” so a lot of vehicles are eliminated, including many proposed above (e.g. the Volvos, the Element, the Ridgeline) Sounds like what you need is a true B-O-F SUV, such as Toyota FJ cruiser (a bit of a fashion statement), Nissan Pathfinder, Jeep Grand Cherokee (avoid the stonkin’ V-8 unless you like to buy a lot of gasoline),Toyota 4-Runner, or the Toyota Land Cruiser which is nice, bulletproof but thirsty and expensive. The various Land Rover products are extremely capable and comfortable but paragons of unreliability.

    Whatever you do, I would advise against AWD versions of basically FWD vehicles. I have a Honda Pilot, and it is a far less capable vehicle in snow than either of the AWD Toyota Previas I have owned (which are RWD vehicles adapted to AWD), and I equipped all of these vehicles with Blizzaks on all 4 wheels in the winter. So I would expect the Ridgeline to be just as bad as the Pilot . . . because it is a Pilot with a little truck bed at the rear.

    The Trailblazer might be ok, since it is a RWD truck. However, my wife and I test drove one in ’08 and found its handling to be pretty ponderous, even compared to, say, the Pilot. It’s also bigger than the Jeep and probably bigger (and heavier) than you need or may want.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I don’t get Sajeev’s ‘for people in your situation it is all about the money’ perspective. If it is all about the money for DINKs, what does that say for everyone else? Luke can use his money to build a fire in the winter for all it matters. He has no kids to worry about and mentions no meaningful debts or question marks hanging over he or his wife’s professional salaries. That being said, getting a Land Rover is right up there with getting a facial piercing. The planned use list for this vehicle isn’t really compatible with the desire for luxury and style. Maybe a 4-Runner would come closest while not being a ridiculous purchase, but I don’t know how much 4-Runner you can buy for $15K.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    how about a Subie outback, the new ones are no longer a wagon but a mini SUV , or a VW toureg , great insides and should be less of a pain than the LC and cheaper as well.

  • avatar
    DrSandman

    The DrWife and I compared a LR2, Touareg, Cayenne, and Jeep GC Overland for the wife’s car a couple of months ago. Our situation was similar (mountains of WVa aren’t as cold, but we have some fun snows…) with a need for a true 4×4 offroad that wasn’t going to beat us up on the other 11 months of the year when we’re on pavement.

    We nixed the LR for the cheap quality of the carpet (which was already pilling in the dealership) and plasticky dash for the price. Honestly, it didn’t feel much more special than if Buick had made an SUV.

    Got the WK2 (2012) JGC Overland. It’s effing awesome. 23mpg highway. 11″ ground clearance. Fast enough to keep up with DC traffic. Get a plastic-fantastic cargo liner for $95, and use the tow hitch with a cargo tray for truly dirty stuff (like that deer carcass!).

    Find a used 2011 one, keep it for 10 years, and call it a good decade. Your (future) kids will love you for it; i.e., there’s enough room for 2 backwards-facing car seats back there!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Indeed — his description of what he’s looking for jusr screams for a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. I think it would be a great fit for him.

      The only counter-argument is that he already has an older Jeep Cherokee, and it sounds like he’s getting tired of it. (His nickel and dime justification rings a little hollow.)

      P.S. The JGC doesn’t match my personal taste, since I’ve been nearly run over by many a marauding upper-middle-class-housewife driving them on pavement to the mall… But that’s not the machine’s fault, and a used GCD CRD might make for a kid-friendly biodiesel-compatible tow/trip vehicle for me — so I’ve been reading up on them. It really does have everything he wants, and more, for a price that’s within-bounds for his purposes.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    If you need a real B-o-F SUV with off road capability, I’d say a Pathfinder then a 4Runner. I like the Pathfinder better, especially with the optional V8, but even the 4.0L VQ V6 has tons of power. Land Rovers are still a reliability nightmare, and I don’t think they’re worth it unless it’s a Range Rover. Grand Cherokees aren’t bad either.

    • 0 avatar
      ezeolla

      What about the Xterra? Especially with the locking diff from the factory for those mud excursions

      • 0 avatar
        Mrb00st

        Nothing wrong with newer XTerras. I don’t know if this guy is trail-hopping constantly or needs some off road ability, clearance, and real AWD for bad weather, but a Pathfinder is a lot nicer car for the 97% of the time when you’re just driving, and it’s 80% as good for the 3% of real off-roading.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Saab 9-7X (or TrollBlazer) just because that would be cool in it’s own ironic way.

    Or get a fairly new Liberty or Dodge Nitro with 4×4 you’ll be able to handle all those duties you describe, your tires should be your only limiting factor.

  • avatar
    duffman13

    I had an xterra for years about a decade ago, and that was a great, fun truck. It had no problems mudding or with sand in FL, and was somechat civilized inside as well. I hear the newer ones are nicer, but if they’re hals as capable as the 02 model it’s a safe choice.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If you must go the rough-and-ready truck route, there’s also the (awful but cheap) Grand Vitara or the (also awful but cheap) Kia Sorento or the (also awful but cheap, and the parts are dime-a-dozen) TrailBlazer.

    You can also move up to the Xterra, 4Runner or Pathfinder, but they’re kind of cramped inside and overpriced.

    Kia Borrego? No, seriously: they’re just stupidly cheap if you can find one. You might manage the same on the 9-7x, which, for a TrailBlazer knockoff is actually pretty good.

    Personally, I would get a RAV4 and call it a day.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Forgot about the Borrego which was decently well received by the automotive press but the world shrugged its shoulders at a Kia “Tahoe”.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Everyone forgot about the Borrego. I’m sure Hyundai/Kia would like to forget about the cost to develop and produce a luxury truck without a luxury badge right in the maw of a gas price spike and a credit crunch.

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    Go for a LR3. Make sure it is a V8. I have been living the LR3 dream for a few years now and it hasn’t been too bad. No worse than other used cars I have had. Parts are more expensive but the interwebs will provide deals. Some front end bits and the air suspension can be buggy. The rest has proved to be somewhat durable. As you discovered the LR3 is a marvel in packaging.

  • avatar
    Downtown Dan

    Luke, Sajeev is right, on paper there is no justification for buying the Landy. But if you love it, if the price is right, if you’re aware of the pitfalls, if you’re mechanically inclined, and if you have good enthusiast-community support, I say do it. (Bargain hard on the price, set up a repair fund, and maybe look into an extended warranty…)

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    Isuzu Rodeo

    I believe the last year it was made was 2004. You can get them cheap. I had a 1998 (first year of the last generation) so it was probably a little better by 2003-2004. It was unbelievable in snow. I can’t imagine a truck or SUV could be any better than my Rodeo was in deep snow up and down steep hills.

    It is roomy inside with relatively small exterior dimensions. From what I remember it drove small. In tight parking lots I never felt like I was going to ding something. Very good visibility unlike newer SUVs. I bet you can get a pretty decent 2004 model for about 6 grand.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Buy the Isuzu Rodeo (or its twin the Honda Passport) at your peril. A few years back I saw a spot on the local news talking about a class action lawsuit against Isuzu (or GM I can’t recall) because the 98-02 models have been reported to experience extreme issues of frame rot after a few years of regular use, to the point they would fail inspection. If you’re considering this model, please do yourself a favor and do some research first.

      Check out on youtube:
      watch?v=8eRhgXIiuVY

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d go for it.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    What about the 1st gen (2004-2009) Cadillac SRX. It may be a tad big for what you are looking for but the price for a decent one should be around 15k by now. It’s fairly long (194″) but isn’t that wide (narrower than a JGC and about as wide as a Liberty). It has a RWD based 4wd system and has good cargo room and rides very well.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    A Suburban LTZ. Easy to fix Chevy parts and and enough room to haul the orphanage kids to see Santa.

    • 0 avatar
      Mrb00st

      y’know what, it’s funny that you have to scroll downt his far to find Suburban as a response. I doubt he needs the extra length of the Suburban, but a Tahoe LTZ would do just freakin’ great for what he needs. They’re wonderful trucks, gas mileage notwithstanding.

    • 0 avatar
      Mrb00st

      y’know what, it’s funny that you have to scroll down this far to find Suburban as a response. I doubt he needs the extra length of the Suburban, but a Tahoe LTZ would do just freakin’ great for what he needs. They’re wonderful trucks, gas mileage notwithstanding.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    No love for the Avalanche? Roomy interior, small bed for hauling carcasses, reasonably priced, similar mileage to an Xterra or GC.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    Seems like an earlier GX470 would fit the bill, meet the lux-lust that steers our guy towards the Land Rover, have some actual off-road ability, and be pretty reliable. I think these can be had for the price range in question, but I can’t be bothered to check…

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby

    Go ahead and do the Land Rover, and find a proper English technician for you shall be in need of his services quickly.

    Stay away from the Suzukis (I personally see too many engine/driveability issues) and god-forbid the Saab Trailblazer. I don’t care if it really is just a Trailblazer, many of the interior bits and other parts are genuine Saab, and as we all know, they are no longer in business which means parts are unobtanium.

    Do not buy anything used that has been orphaned by its mother-ship. Saturn, Saab, Pontiac. I have so many problems getting many parts on these vehicles, especially dealer-only parts like PCM’s and electronics.

    Match up the stablemate Camaro with a plain CHEVROLET Trailblazer or like “elscotto” stated, a Tahoe LTZ. Parts are easy to come by, and even hard parts like spindles and hub bearings are relatively inexpensive.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    If can’t find a SAABlazer, get an Olds Bravada, Buick Rainier, or the GMC version [cant remember the name].

    Or, the Isuzu version, for ‘import name panache’.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Late model Yukon Denali.

    They are not as big as they seem, loads of grunt under the hood, towing/hauling space and quite pleasant to drive.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Its so funny reading the posts on these, because it appears that less than half of you even read the OP’s question.

    Fear of Land Rovers is just like fear of VWs, sort of based in fact, but mostly overblown BS based on decade-old horror stories. Full disclosure: I own a VW now and used to own a Land Rover, and I love them both. I would buy another Rover if I needed an SUV, and I even had a Discovery 1.

    My recommendation: If you love them, get one. Lease a new one, buy a used one, hell I would even recommend considering an older Discovery II. The 2004 model is the best one, and they can be found very cheap. More independent mechanics can work on those, issues are known, the newer LR3 is a lot more complicated.

    Will it be as reliable as a Honda or Toyota? No way, but it won’t be as bad as an 80s Jaguar either. It will drive way better and will be much more luxurious without being a poseur SUV or CUV like most of the others. If you go to the dealership for service, be prepared to shell out big money for the experience, but they will treat you very nice. If repair costs scare you and you don’t wrench yourself, then lease a new one. They usually have great lease deals, and then you never have to worry.

    Or if all the fear mongering has turned you off to the idea, a Jeep Grand Cherokee does pretty much everything an LR will do, and isn’t as scary to maintain. The Xterra is also a good option, however not luxurious.

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    The problem with many SUVs mentioned above is that the ride is trash on daily paved roads. The Tahoe is a lumberwagon compared to either the LR3 or the Lexus GX . The XTerra is worse, fine if you are 20 something with a strong back but the jittery ride gets old quick.

    For the described uses of the OP it would be:

    LR3
    Lexus GX470
    Jeep GC

    The others either have horrible ride or have little off road utility.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    15 Gs will get you a Grand Wagoneer in very good shape. Oodles of iconic charm too. Kinda old, but parts are still available. Driven rationally, I’ve gotten as much as 15 mpg. Stock they are great in snow and rain. Make sure to have the car inspected by someone knowledgeable in old school cars. Find somebody with grey hair to keep it going for you. In MN you have a better shot of finding a good Jeep mechanic than you would find a Land Rover shop.

  • avatar
    Brendon from Canada

    Having owned an LR3 for 5 years (mostly out of warranty), I still quite like the vehicle. We’ve hit our first major repair (front diff is starting to go) @ close to 100k, and it’ll likely be 1k-2k if we proceed with the work, depending on whether we rebuild or replace the unit (LR sells diffs as a sealed unit, aftermarket you can replace internals).

    We’ll likely buy an LR4 at some point, just for their versatility; notably, the total cost of ownership has actually been quite low, given the infrequent repairs – and also that most work like fluids, brakes, etc, are done in my garage at home…

    I’d likely recommend an extended warranty when buying used along with the PPI, if you’re not a DIY sort of person – most LR folks from the forums like the Ford extended warranty (don’t remember the exact warranty name) that can push out OEM style coverage to 120k miles or 96 months from new.

    To be honest, I haven’t found parts overly expensive (haven’t needed anything yet, other than this diff issue, but have been looking, just in case!), as long as you look to the UK; prices are a fraction of the NA costs.

    It’s probably also worthwhile noting that TrueDelta has the 2011 LR4 rated at 43 trips, where the 2011 JGC is 67! (the 2012 JGC is currently @ 34).


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