By on May 22, 2013

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How long has it been since the Range Rover was “the best 4x4xfar”? Since the original 2-door Spen King special went out of production? Since Toyota replaced Land Rover vehicles (including the Defender, Range Rover and the like) as the vehicle of choice for African off-roaders and UN peacekeepers? Since the Range Rover was catapulted from Anglophile obscurity to the must have vehicular fashion accessory of the wannabe Kardashian set?

Though my last Land Rover press car, a 2012 Range Rover Sport, displayed three error codes related to the air suspension, I’ve yet to get the full Doug DeMuro experience of actually owning a Range Rover – partly because I don’t have three other vehicles to rely on when something goes wrong, and partly because every time I return these cars, I come to the same conclusion; driving a Range Rover idea is a much better idea in your mind than in reality.

Without fail, the Range Rover is the one vehicle that attracts the most attention from my friends and peers. Requests for rides are legion, attention from the opposite sex is far more abundant than when I am driving something sporty, and with this new-for-2013 version, plenty of people wanted to know what I thought of it, especially owners of the previous generation model.

Unanimous among them was a reaction of incredulity when I told them I didn’t really like it. It was as if I had announced my belief in the sanctity of the unborn life to a meeting of Andrea Dworkin admirers. I suspect it has more to do with what the Range Rover represents to them than how good the car actually is.

You see, you can buy plenty of very good large SUVs and crossovers right now. If you like German cars, there’s the Mercedes-Benz ML, the BMW X5, the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touraeg. Japanese car fans can opt for anything from the Infiniti JX to the Lexus LX570, which, ironically, is based on the Toyota Land Crusier, the car that did everything a Land Rover or Range Rover could do, without spontaneously breaking down while one is being pursued by the janjaweed in Darkest Sudan.

If you’re like me and you want a nice SUV with lots of power, solid build quality and enough discretion to keep your car from getting vandalized while you shop at the ethnic supermarket, you can go and buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee  Summit. Unlike the Range Rover, you can pick a diesel option, and you can even buy one for your spouse as well before you equal the Range Rover’s $100,000 price tag.

Of course, quality, engineering and alternative powertrains matter not to the people who park Range Rovers in front of their McMansions. That famed cost of entry doesn’t get you any of that. It gets you a pogo-stick ride, an infotainment system from the last decade and interior materials that are “good from far, but far from good”. The expanse of black plastic that seems to take up most of the center console is a particular offense to both aesthetics and value. Were this a Honda CR-V, the reviewers would be crucifying it right now. The one appreciable difference that a Range Rover has over every other SUV (save for the abominable Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen) is that it is more expensive than the competition. Owning one, therefore, telegraphs to the world that you have the means to afford one.

On the upside, it is really, really fast. The 510 horsepower V8 engine moves this thing like a two-box Shelby Mustang, and the 8-speed automatic only helps matters. The lightweight aluminum frame shared with its Jaguar corporate cousins plays a part as well. In fact, I wouldn’t mind trying out the 3.0L V6 version, which is nearly $20,000 cheaper. Based on my impressions of that motor in the Jaguar XJ (coming soon), it should be perfectly adequate for this package.

But again, I am struck with the undeniable fact that Range Rover has ceased to become a product and is now just a brand. The name is slapped on pimped-out LR4s and gussied-up Ford Mondeos that even come in a 3-door configuration. Charles Spencer King might at least have approved of  that, were he able to call the shots.

Or maybe not.

A few years before he died, Spen King publiclly lashed out at SUV drivers, telling a Scottish newspaper

 “The 4×4 was never intended as a status symbol, but later incarnations of my design seem to be intended for that purpose.  I find the people who use it as such deeply unattractive.  Sadly, the 4×4 has become an alternative to a Mercedes or BMW for the pompous, self-important driver. To use the 4×4 for the school run, or even in cities or towns at all, is completely stupid.”

Spen King’s criticism fell on deaf ears. His creation has become one of the best symbols of ostentation and vulgarity on four wheels. As a statement of frivolous wealth, the Range Rover has few genuine rivals. But as an SUV it is outclassed by all of the aforementioned vehicles – by far.

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73 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2013 Range Rover Supercharged...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    “Of course, quality, engineering and alternative powertrains matter not to the people who park Range Rovers in front of their McMansions.”

    Just a note on editorial tone. The quote above seems to come from a place of defensiveness, insecurity and self justification.

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      Agreed.
      These vehicles are especially great for realtors and others in the sales profession as they do impact a clients perception of said salesperson. It is actually a legitimate business expense to spend the extra $50k (or the incremental lease cost) for one of these (over the Jeep Summit) as it can effect ones ability to close a deal.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      I didn’t get that from the quoted statement. To me it expresses disdain for those who lack the refinement and taste necessary to appreciate quality and craftsmanship.

      The Range Rover is the ultimate style over substance vehicle and screams fleeting newly found riches instead of true wealth.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        They’re not really that bad, though. Until they break down (which is never long), they are actually very capable production offroaders. Not Wrangler Rubicons, but eons better than the 200 series LX. Jack up the air suspension, and they have clearance like nobody’s business (until the air suspension fails of course, which is, again, never far from the beginning of the wheeling expedition.)

        Land Rover’s terrain sensitive traction control is better than anything similar Toyota has put in a 4×4 (again, until it fails), and with the 8 speed, the crawl ratio is low enough that you don’t overheat everything from brakes to trannies trying to move slowly enough to avoid bottoming out over largeish rocks. Again, not Rubicon like, but better than the 200. Or even the 4ruuner/Tacoma/FJ. Also, the ground clearance with the air suspension raised max is much better than the 200.

        The problem with the RR, is that it simply doesn’t not fail. And, it is so complex, and so expensive even in it’s lowest priced incarnation, that there is no aftermarket for making it more capable than it is off the showroom floor.

        Toyota’s systems may be clumsy and old fashioned and of limited capability, but they don’t consistently break down from being rained on, or from a skunk spraying the undercarriage messing up 15 senors handwired by a dead Englishman while drunk on warm lager.

        And, anyone half serious about offroading a Toyota, will simply go to the aftermarket. For lift kits, long travel suspensions, lockers, deeper ratio transfer cases, bigger tires, bumpers, winches, additional tankage, you name it. And don’t even get me started on the Wrangler aftermarket….

        But for some dude too “sophisticated” to drive a mere Jeep or Ford Pickup, the RR, for those glorious 90 seconmds it takes to navigate the “offroad” ramps at the Land Rover dealers, is probably the best performing 4×4 on the market.

        For the rest of us, there’s always the Raptor…. And a Rubicon. And a Power Wagon. All for the price of one RR..

    • 0 avatar
      pallavicini

      Spot on re: the editorial tone. This doesn’t even qualify as a review. It’s more of a rant. And Range Rovers aren’t even in the same class as some of the vehicles mentioned. The G-Wagen, yes. The Jeep, not even close. Do your homework and provide us with a real review, Derek.

      • 0 avatar
        Rhaspun

        The same class as a G-Wagon? The G-Wagon is based on a military vehicle. There is no comparison. I had a Range Rover for almost two years. I got rid of it. It did require too many unnecessary trips to the dealer.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thanx for the article .

    -Nate

  • avatar

    Interesting and generally spot-on, though I haven’t driven the new one yet. However, as you note, by now the actual qualities of the vehicle don’t matter that much – it’s the status that it conveys. People will buy them, regardless of faults. JD Power survey results clearly prove that.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      I think you’re right and this utterly baffles me. At some point, Range Rover became a status concept in and of itself, sort of like the Kardashians or the case of Jersey Shore became celebrity concepts in and of themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        That’s what’s happened all over the place. Many people buy a 3-Series not because of the driving dynamics—which have gone down a bit—but because of the blue-and-white roundel. Porsche’s bestsellers are the antithetical Cayenne and Panamera models, the former of which may as well be a loaded-up Volkswagen Touareg. Likewise, the Bentley Continental (and now the separate Flying Spur model) really is an overgrown Volkswagen with British coachwork, and yet no one distinguishes it from the *real* Bentleys, which are the Arnage, Azure, Brooklands, and now the Mulsanne. Lamborghini could sell on pointy, jet-fighter-inspired styling alone, never mind the engineering feats that are incorporated into its cars. And then there’s Range Rover, who has taken that one original vehicle and turned it into a product-line.

        From Apple, to Beats headphones, to some brand called “Pink” by Victoria’s Secret, commendably-made products with brand-recognition eventually come commendably-made products appreciated only for their heightened status. However, they’re still (usually) commendably-made. And there’s nothing wrong with one person enjoying a Range Rover because of its virtues and capabilities, while the person in the next lane enjoys his Range Rover because it makes him look good.

        • 0 avatar

          3-Series is actually quite a good comparison. I actually call it the “Toyota rule.” Once you’ve got people convinced of something, you can tread on that reputation for a long time. These days, American cars aren’t much less reliable than Toyota, but most people think Toyota remains the pinnacle. Same with 3-Series, same with Range Rover.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I agree. But at least the Range Rover brand actually gives you vehicles that are as capable as they can be in this day and age, rather than taking advantage of its clientele and being lazy (like Toyota).

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            The Range Rover “brand” does not give you anything. It promises that certain things are in the branded item.

            Aside from a blown V8 (which could well turn into a blown V8), what do you actually get from this Range Rover that you don’t get from something else?

            Given the way the vehicle performs – and, often enough, fails – all the Range Rover badge tells us now is “I found a way to dispose of $799 per month.”

            When does public perception catch up with reality? If I’m spending more than the going rate for something, I expect that something to be intrinsically better, not just badged in a way that might make people envious.

          • 0 avatar
            slance66

            I don’t see the comparison with the 3. It’s safe, effective transport for the small family. It fills the role that a Camry, Accord or similar car plays, but also provides improved build quality and much better driving dynamics. In the current version (despised by some) it provides a balance of speed and MPG that is truly unusual in the category.

            In short, dad can drive it like a Camry and never become bored and driven to acquire some useless 2 door sports car. It’s objectively better than the competition. Whether it is worth the extra money is a personal judgment. But it isn’t a status symbol, hell they cost a lot of the F150s on the road or even some Siennas.

            The Range Rover is objectively worse than the comparable Grand Cherokee Overland, X5 or ML. It’s worse in almost every respect. And it costs more. That’s what makes it such a nutty purchase.

          • 0 avatar

            slance66 – personally, I find it better, but that’s off-point. You’re forgetting the major aspect where it’s NOT worse, which is ‘image.’ No matter how nice a Grand Cherokee, the kind of people who buy Range Rovers still view it as a Grand Cherokee. It’s a mindset distinction not a question of what’s objectively better or worse.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          And yet there is the fact that the best Bentleys, as actual automobiles, are the Continental and Flying Spur.

          And It’s BECAUSE they are Volkswagens, not in spite of the fact.

        • 0 avatar
          WaftableTorque

          Kyree, brands evolve over time. Otherwise we’d only be buying ties from Ralph Lauren, yacht equipment from Lands End, and duck boots from LL Bean. A brand is nothing more than a promise anyway. The VW Bentleys promise a quintessential British motoring experience, and it delivers on that promise.

          Of course the product has to deliver, so your Beats Audio example falls flat. I was auditioning headphones at my local Apple Store and was amazed how awful most were, regardless of price. Only Bose and Sennheiser struck me as brands could I recommend without auditioning.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Haha. I’ve had hit-and-miss experiences with Beats Audio, come to think of it. The ones I sampled on HP’s new line of computers and in the Chrysler 300 were great; the branded headphones left me unimpressed.

            And I am glad our Nissan Murano has the Bose system, with a subwoofer in the middle of the spare tire; it definitely sounds premium.

          • 0 avatar
            WildcatMatt

            How did that old saw go?

            “No highs, no lows — must be Bose!”

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    If I were forced at gunpoint to own an SUV, and weren’t required to pay anything for it, I’d get a Range Rover – the supercharged one, of course. So I guess that means I’m a fan. Eventhough I’d check to make sure the gun was loaded first.

  • avatar

    A long time ago – when I used to roll SUV’s – I went with my Chinese girlfriend’s father to buy a Navigator and we ended up in the Jaguar, Lincoln, Ford POTAMKIN in Manhattan. I tried out a Range Rover and was completely disappointed by the ergonomics. The Wood and Leather was nice – as was the ride quality, but I just didn’t like it at all. I’d rather spend that same $100,000 on another S550 or another XJ-L – unless I actually had to traverse canyons and off-road on a daily commute.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I don’t know if you’re talking about the time-period in which the original, first-generation Navigator debuted (at which time I might have been four or five), but the MKII Range Rover of that same period was still pretty truck-like. It shared a number of mechanicals with the Discovery, which of course did not place comfort very high on its priority list. Moreover, at the time of the Series II’s debut, Land Rover did not yet have the support of BMW (and later Jaguar), and was using some outdated components. The supple Navigator, designed for American comfort from the start, must have made the Range Rover look agricultural by comparison (ironic, since it’s practically the other way around these days). If you’re talking about the MKIII Range Rover, it didn’t become all that nice until the MY2010 refresh…but the Navigators of that time period weren’t nice, either.

      But things have changed, and I wouldn’t base the new 2013 Range Rover off of your interaction with a 1990’s model.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I loved the ride quality, power and overall refinement in a buddy’s then-new 2005 Range Rover HSE.

        It was the epic, incredible rate by which these qualities were overshadowed by a seemingly coordinated self-destruction sequence of all the vehicle’s mechanical, electronic and electrical systems, along with disintegration of the actual materials used to make things like…you know…the seats, dashboard assembly and door latches…that ultimately rendered it not remotely worth even 1/3 the MSRP in my buddy’s view (and I’d concur).

        That’s probably why these are cheap to buy used (in terms of % of what they sold for new), yet so, so incredibly expensive to own.

        A short term relationship with a Land Rover is like the best piece of Spring Break ass — ever.

        A long term relationship with one is likely to be akin to an incredibly bad marriage that ends in even worse pain, or hard labor on a long stretch in a Alabama pound-you-in-the-ass-daily prison.

        *But there’s the Evoque now, so let’s look on the bright side. /SARC

      • 0 avatar
        Paulincolorado

        Interesting to read all these rants from people who apparently have never actually owned Range Rovers. Denying RR’s legacy for unreliability would be unfounded, however, there is nothing else that I have found that I would own. ’91 SWB classic driven 180K followed by an ’95 SWB Classic sold at 138K; both bought second hand. ’99 Disco II driven to 144K (wife’s soccer/winter car after a Montero)…none have ever let us down mechanically or required a tow. ( I am handy with a wrench and admittedly know when something may need attention) We bought them for Colorado winter driving, daily hauling…not for gas mileage as we have always owned an econo-box as well. Own a modified ’95 D-90 (really just a farm truck) for off-roading that you could not get from me for 2x what I paid! Not knocking jeeps or FJ’s or full size Toyota (brother owns one, father a jeep) but everyone always chooses to ride with us in the D-90. Son drives a ’98 M3 yet will likely never sell his ’95 SWB, though it’s a beater! I am now going into my 3rd MKIII (trading my 2008 driven to 91K), for a pre-owned(3K) 2012 supercharged…same thing, never let me down or spent more than a day getting service. I have driven them all, yet always come back to RR. There is nothing else that handles the winters better/safer (pulled countless SUV’s & AWD’s out of snow banks), is more comfortable or a pleasure to drive…as for the attention, yes, especially with the D-90. Personally, I find that most every other brand looks the same…what sets the RR apart from the rest. Funny though, I guess I’m just as secure driving my ’02 Ranger xlt ( a real piece of automotive junk but handy enough to through manure in the back) as the RR to the theatre…each to his own. What may separate enthusiasts from the rest is that owning fine auto’s is one of life’s many pleasures rather than just a convenience or inconvenience! Now if I can just convince the government to get out of it’s own way so we can import diesels… BTW, ’13 RR full size pre-owned are currently selling for 30% over MSRP…D-90’s for more than original sticker, the classics highly sought after for restorers…

  • avatar

    Get your Range Rover before they move Production from the UK to guess where?

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I still like the thing. I fail to see the vulgarity, actually the ML or M class ARE very good examples of it. The X5 looks classy. The LX570… what was the point of using all that cladding to ruin the LC style?

    Down here the RR can be also had with a diesel. I personally don’t see the point of using a diesel at this price point.

    And the Mondeo/Focus-on-stilts thing regarding the Evoque is getting old. I am pretty much sure the owners don’t care about that.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I was once told — but never verified this — that Range Rover buyers do the least amount of cross-shopping in the automotive world.

    They’ll sell.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    SO basically, you don’t like the Range Rover because it’s a luxury brand. All of your arguments can apply to any “luxury” vehicle, you can always buy a cheaper “non-luxury” car to accomplish the same tasks a car is designed to do. I happen to agree with you, I would buy a Jeep Cherokee over a Range Rover, but your critique just comes across as defensive.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I have never owned a LR but a few friends have and I heard a lot of horror stories. I suppose the same comments could be made about nearly any luxury brand. Do any of them do anything appreciably better than sub-$35k alternatives? Sure, perhaps a bit quieter, perhaps a nicer grade of leather, and it might make the imaginary girls take notice (but would you really want the girl who wants you for your car?… Ok, don’t answer that).

    The same technology, safety, and performance is usually available for a lot less. FWD vs RWD is an academic argument that rarely comes into play in daily use and few will ever attend a track day or use their SUV to climb boulders.

    In my personal experience, I have had better reliability AND dealer experiences with lower priced cars (Saturn, Mazda, VW, Now a Fiat Abarth) than with my BMW it Mercedes.

    So, what justifies buying a luxury brand? There is nothing wrong with saying “I could afford it and I wanted it,” but I don’t see any real argument anymore that a luxury brand is a smarter buy. The RR is an extreme example if this, but even as a car nut I don’t think I want to commute in a $50k+ car if I am spending my own money. Then again, I can’t afford one and don’t want one.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’ve sampled the 2013 Range Rover–both the HSE and fully-loaded Supercharged models–and I found it to be quite delightful. The interior appointments were lovely, I didn’t have an issue with the infotainment system, and everything was simply placed. Moreover, the fact that it and its smaller brethren are still built to tackle the toughest terrain is commendable. I really don’t understand what more it could possibly do that wouldn’t just be completely pointless.

    To me, it feels like the 2013 Range Rover is a lovely answer to threats from the all-new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the face-lifted Lexus LX 570. Reliability, of course, is an entirely-different concern, but since J/LR’s problems have been well-documented and people still buy their products, I’d consider those problems to be part of the cars’ character.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    If I had 100K that was to be spent on a vehicle and needed an SUV, I would choose one of these. I seem to get more driving enjoyment out of a vehicle that you don’t regularly see on the road. Anyone else feel the same way?

    I am very practical with just about every purchase except for vehicles as I always seek out one that’s at least somewhat different (ie has “character”).

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Someone on TTAC argued that the JD Powers owner satisfaction survey was inherently skewed. Because all new car complaints are treated equally, they argued. Therefore the Range Rover has about the same owner satisfaction as a Lexus.

    The Lexus is dinged because some owner complain the turbulence around the outside mirrors causes a barely audible wind whisper.

    Range Rover owners complain that the tow hooks are difficult to find to strap the vehicle’s charred remains to a flat bed recovery truck after the RR self immolates.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    “…a pogo-stick ride, an infotainment system from the last decade and interior materials that are “good from far, but far from good”. The expanse of black plastic that seems to take up most of the center console is a particular offense to both aesthetics and value.”

    If this is true, then the last reason anyone had to purchase – erm, lease – a premium European product has gone down the drain. In recent years, it has seemed to me that if you wanted a luxury vehicle that felt special, you had to give up on reliability. Sure, by the time the warranty ended, the whole electrical system was going to be the sort of arcing, flickering mess you’d get by hosing down a Christmas tree, but during your warranted lease period, you’d get something that FELT like nothing else.

    When I was in high school, I worked as a porter for the local Land Rover dealership, and the first-gen Discoveries would often be flat-bedded in to the service department because the 3-cent plastic clip that connected the button on the shift lever to the transmission would snap, thereby rendering it impossible to put the thing into (or out of) gear. Naturally, this is inexcusable on any level, but when those vehicles worked, they felt like you were driving something perfectly capable of scaling the Matterhorn without breaking a sweat. Until the first horn button sprang loose and hit you in the face.

    If the Europeans are done making cars that feel special, and the only choice we’re left with is between driving a plasic appliance or driving an unreliable plastic appliance, then their days are numbered…

  • avatar
    Eric

    I’d love to see this new LR go head to head with a new QX56. They are the newest tech on the block for large lux suvs. No, this review would not need to include off-road, because, well, really…..

  • avatar
    Junebug

    OK, if I’m reading this right, RR is more expensive, more likely to break more often and has only as good or worse interiors as other lux SUV’s, and drops in value faster. Wow, sign me up, I’ll take two.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    So people want status. These people should know better than to pursue esteem on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when there’s other survival needs to fulfill. It’s not like status chasing has any evolutionary pay-off.

    Even though high status people have better health, live longer, and are happier than low status people. And males have more mating opportunities with better quality (I.e. younger and better looking) mates. And have higher self-esteem. And make more money, are better looking, have higher IQ’s and get more advancement opportunities. And get treated better by all socioeconomic groups. Or worse of all, the fact that being placed into a status position confers some/all of the above benefits.

    Status is so overrated.

    /sarcasm
    (Btw, I’m ready with my scientifically backed sources for anyone who doubts the above, acknowledging correlation does not mean causation, though my last point has been proven)

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Correlation does not prove causality. While I’ll agree that when trying to play in upper management it may not be the best idea to drive a rusty Chevette and wear a cheap suit to work, by no means will spending an excess of one’s income on heavily-depreciating, unreliable cars improve the socio-economic position of someone who doesn’t have the rest of his life handled.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      If we could only get you to write for TTAC – it would be such a breath of fresh air.

      • 0 avatar
        WaftableTorque

        Thank you, the thought has crossed my mind. I’m a financial planner by trade, but that’s not where my passion is. I’m only on TTAC when I feel like Lexus needs to be defended, i have something sarcastic to say, we talk about luxury goods, or talk socioeconomic status. The latter I feel like I’m qualified to discuss because I’ve probably put double the 10,000 hours researching and thinking through existing ideas and field testing various hypotheses about status in a WEIRD (westernized, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic) world.

        I’m in the process of writing a book on the shortcuts to obtaining status, the real thing as well as the perception of status. If only it was simple as the various pet theories bandied around here like old money > new money, good taste > conspicuous consumption, or authenticity > upstart. That’s like saying disease = germ theory, ignoring things like diet, micro flora, genetics, and epigenetics as contributors. If that’s of interest, I wouldn’t mind contributing.

  • avatar
    ICARFAN

    Don’t worry about the price, in five years it will be worth less than a nice 70’s vintage Blazer or a 15 year old Toyota 4-Runner with 200k on the clock.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    These are nice cars, they really are nice to be in. But, ultimately, they are just crap in a shiny/leathery wrapper. In 10 years my 2012 Q7 will have 180,000mi on it, all original parts, and have a good trade in value. In 10 years a 2013 Range Rover will have 80,000mi on it, 3 transmissions, no trade in value, and a dead V8

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    What’s funny is that most luxury cars like this absolutely make sense for the target new buyer to buy used. However, very few of them think that way.

    If you’re the type who could spent $100K on a Range Rover, even if it cost $3000/year on maintenance after the warranty ran out, you could afford it quite easily, since your typical path might be to get lease another one for 3 years for 4X that number. In reality it probably doesn’t cost that much on a yearly basis, but, much as it is for any car, it’s far cheaper to continue driving a car than to trade it in for a new one every 2-3 years.

    The rub is that the majority of the types of people who actually buy cars like this used aren’t the type that can afford $3000/year in maintenance if that’s what it took. In fact, they’re the type who couldn’t even afford $500/year in maintenance because they can’t save for a rainy day: www dot nfcc dot org/newsroom/newsreleases/floi_july2011results_final.cfm .

    This creates a sweet spot in the market for those who could afford to buy luxury cars new, but choose not to, and keep cars for longer periods. You can get great deals on lightly used luxury cars, and you can afford any maintenance costs, as long as you do your due diligence and make sure the car hasn’t been abused/neglected.

    I’m not complaining. My old Detroit metal used to cost $500-1000/year at most in maintenance when they got to a certain age because invariably stuff broke when you got beyond 150K miles and because it went in on a scheduled basis. A luxury car doesn’t cost that much more to maintain, relatively speaking, if you treat it right.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I agree. I recently bought a 2009 LR3 with 25k miles on it for a little more than half the sticker price and I have an extended warranty. Sure it will continue to depreciate, but I saved about 25k dollars over a new one. Plus it is exactly the one that I wanted.

      3-4 year old European cars can be had a great deals assuming you realize that high dollar maintenance may be required down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Nope. They need the neighbors to see that I-Can-Afford-A-New-LandRover sticker in the window. Without that, they might as well surrender all their status and buy a good used Jeep Cherokee.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I guess we should complain about $50 a pound handmade chocolates being no more nutritious than Ganongs for 5 bucks, snark at the inferior cardboard box the artisan packages them in as being no nicer in some respects than 4 color printed, bottom of the market brands, and dismiss the people who still insist on buying the real ones as utter dorks for wasting their money. And by the way, these $20 ones are fabulous anyway.

    Reductio ad absurdum: everyone should buy 10 year old beaters instead of a nice new Versa. It’s interior and ride are no better than a ’98 Plymouth Breeze, fer goodness sake.

    Humans are great at enviousness and dissing other people’s choices which they can’t afford themselves. I know, I am human.

    Other humans unveil their own particular trump card. “Look, I’ve got one of these, it’s more than good enough for me. Ergo, it’ll suit you too.” Why thanks for the heads-up, Jonesy! Now back to your abode where you can mutter to yourself and nobody disagrees with you.

    Seriously, what is the point of this article? It’s just another piece on “why aren’t I rich too “. Give it another 40 years and you won’t care.

  • avatar
    Pan

    So, you don’t like Rover products. Your attitude tends to make the entire article irrelevant. Repeating the old canard that Toyotas have replaced Land Rovers in all the “back-of-beyonds” of the world because of Land Rover’s poor reliability is pure nonsense. They each have their market share.
    Air suspension problems? Read Edmunds about other brands. They do require maintenance. Remember the Citroen DS 21, and the ’58 Chev??
    Sounds like the Envy Syndrome because some people can afford an up-market vechicle.
    I have no vested interest in Rover; I drive a Toyota Highlander and like it fine, although, I wish that I could lock the 4wd on occasion.

    • 0 avatar
      ICARFAN

      No envy syndrome for me, for 100K I expect a car to have 100K worth of engineering and the ability to take me a 100K in miles with basic maintenance, just like other modern cars costing far less. Same goes with other high dollar and exotic models, they have lost a lot of their luster for me and why a Ferrari can’t go over 30,000 miles without needing a mid to high 4-figure “tune-up” is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      JC123

      This guy knows nothing about range rovers! horrible “reviewer” he should get a new job , pathetic article.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    The are a few who don’t think “Jermyn Street” is spelled funny when you pronounce it and shop there and also understand some whisky is spelled without the “e”. That is some of JLR’s American appeal.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      I guess it’s just not the vehicle for those of us who expect things that cost a heck of a lot more than something else should be at least perceptibly better than that something else.

  • avatar
    wei

    am a little late to the party but I felt compelled to post. have been driving range rovers for … close to 2 decades. have just retired a 10-year-old L322 that quit on me (took it as a sign the Universe was telling me it’s time for a new car) – had to be towed to the scrapyard, couldn’t make it there on its own. Am awaiting delivery of a new L405. Did not seriously consider buying any of the alternatives (which is not to say I’ve not tried them. They simply don’t compare).

    I feel compelled to also say that (a) I don’t really like the direction Land Rover has clearly taken with the Range Rover, and (b) I completely understand it.

    Land Rover’s origins was as a “working man’s car”, and because a working man is also capable of appreciating comfort, you have the Range Rover. The modern Range Rover’s emphasis is very different. But it’s completely driven by necessity and I prefer their choice of this direction to the alternative, which is extinction. I prefer a company that does things I may not completely like but which can carry on supporting my vehicle, to a company I supported absolutely, but in the past tense because it no longer exists. As of now, by choosing my own custom build with my own particular specs, I can still more-or-less have the kind of car I want, so it’s tolerable.

    My reasoning is this:

    If you’re going to make a car with a transfer case, low range gears etc. then you’re going to have to put more resources into its development, and “more stuff” into its manufacturing. It’ll have poorer fuel economy etc. than a normal sedan. It’s unavoidably going to be more expensive than a car without.

    If you then choose to sell it at a low price then you necessarily must have low margins and/or shave off every corner you can (which is asking for all sorts of problems; I feel the past reliability issues of LRs are in relation to this. They couldn’t price it at Rolls Royce levels, so they shaved pennies off here and there, often with negative effects further down the road. They also had their own problems with union labour limitations etc).

    You then need volume sales in order to build up the kind of capital to be available to have any kind of future (developing newer models) – cost of vehicle development doesn’t scale down significantly just because you intend a small production run. Its a foolish bet that the world market can absorb the kind of volumes you’d need, especially considering this is a world where Toyota and it’s broad “volume 4×4″ range already exists, and several Chinese manufacturers are scaling up (there’s that article about how its Chinese vehicles being used in the hotspots of the world instead of Toyotas nowadays).

    And even if there was that kind of market demand – JLR simply does not have the kind of capacity to go for the kind of volumes that are necessary. Trying to scale up like that is a “bet everything” move. Why do that when there’s a better, surer alternative?

    The only realistic option was to go upmarket, which is precisely where Land Rover has gone.

    It’s totally understandable because it’s totally necessary.

    I’m still more or less able to strip out the ridiculous gunk I don’t need (I still have fold-down rear seats for cargo space, and the “range rover” on my tread plates aren’t going to light up when I open the door. I don’t need storage for wine glasses), and have an extremely comfortable long-distance vehicle in which I simply don’t worry about flash floods or poor roads that I want – that’s all I ask for. I kind of wish I could have stripped out a couple more things like the stupid “mood lighting” options but hey I don’t have to turn it on.

    Reliability of LRs – yes, a long list of things have broken/failed. But it’s outweighed by the times the car has served me well. A particular moment I remember is when there was a flash flood on bad roads (close to mud tracks) and vehicles all around were stalled and having to be pushed; I had no problems. I was driving my Dad who depended on a wheelchair so it was a Big Deal that the car got us out of it. I think of the offroad ability as not so much a “regular usage” feature but as insurance. When you need it you might really, really need it.

    As for some particulars of the review –

    “pogo stick ride”? The ride is excellent; I’m not a young man. They cannot take corners like a sports car but I’m also pretty sure it’s not a sports car. If your body roll when rounding a corner is bothering you, you’re taking the corner too fast.

    “expanse of plastic”? my centre console is virtually all wood (I think too much so, in fact. the new model has taken out too many buttons. I prefer the look of the older model, both exterior and interior).

  • avatar
    Pan

    Great post, “Wei”.
    It’s great to read a reality check from a long term owner.
    Land/Range Rover is what it is, and, seemingly, does what it does appreciably better than its competition. That’s why it’s still on the market and how it stays there.

  • avatar
    JC123

    This article is so negative.

    For 2013 You can get diesel engines v6 and v8 . It now uses an aluminium body no other suv does that and the interior is all leather and wood not plastic! and its the best looking interior of all suv’s

    The infotainment works great nothing wrong with it he’s the only one to have a problem with it.

    Its not a sports car its a big suv with a comfy suspension and still takes corners fairly well for its size. The Range Rover has virtually no competitors.

    No other car offers the go anywhere capability the luxury and refinement of a luxury sedan with the added prestige in one package , the price is justified by the load of gear it packs.

    This “review” is not reliable at all and completely biased.

  • avatar
    PiperCUB

    New and newer Range Rover Range Rovers are first class junk routinely in repair shops. They EAT radiators, transmissions and air-suspensions. The V8’s get 10-12 mpg. If you have a slightly older embassy classic Range Rover V8 model you’re A-Ok. The newer Super Charged/ Sport Range Rovers are $100K Hanes tee-shirts with Gucci logos. The new Range Rover Evoque is a 2.0 litre 230 hp turbo 4 banger. Good luck ascending paved inclines with your spouse, children, a load of groceries and miscellaneous cargo. You can pick up a certified-used L-Series Land Rover-Land Rover under 15K miles between $25K to $45K depending upon engine/transmission terrain options and entry-luxury/ full-luxury combinations. When the British Royal family gives Range Rover the boot for the nimble Land Rover L-Series what can you say?

    Lexus and BMW SUV utility vehicles are NO different. They sport absolutely incredible and stunningly BEAUTIFUL interiors. Lexus’s strong long-running sedan line-ups have some of the best engines I’ve seen – 300K miles plus. When you need the functionality of the Xover/SUV, stick with Cherokees/ Jeeps/ Overlanders, Toyota Land Cruisers and Land Rover Land Rovers. With virtually identical equipment options, affordability factors, practical and low yearly maintenance costs, they will run for ever like good old fashioned Mercedes Benz. And you won’t shell out $5,000.00 plus dollars to replace bumpers, bibs, aprons and so forth, or that little 2-inch plastic 0.5 centimeter-thick gasket between the engine and the transmission on Lexus/BMW SUV/Xovers. I have rid my family of 3 new Range Rovers. The first Range Rover made it home from routine shop visits. I returned it for a factory replacement. The second Range Rover same story. The third new Range Rover went straight from the repair bay right back on the dealer lot.

    With 2 newer Land Rover Land Rovers right now fully covered from stem to stern, one with 50k miles, 2 years old, Ford 3.7 litre V6, every terrain-condition combination possible at the flick of three simple independent transmission controls, AWD, 4x, traction, skid, mud, snow, rocks, sand, mud holes, up/down hill terrain control, 20 inch water clearance, navs, satellites – oil and filter change and nothing else. I’m a ‘lady-driver’ for even owning V6’s in the first place. But nothing says, “Hey I’m LOADED with DOUGH! CASH coming out of every pocket because I’m IMPORTANT! And the only brain cell I possess is permanently out-of-order” louder than new Range Rover Range Rover owners. Same thing with Lexus/BMW SUV utility vehicles. All flash blanks and black powder and no gun barrel highway boom.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      A few things:

      I agree with your comments on the Range Rovers but:

      – You do realize that the Lexus LX and GX utility vehicles are Toyota Land Cruisers and Prados with more luxurious interiors and slightly different styling, right? There should be no significant different in reliability between those and the Toyotas you seem to extol in your post.

      – The Land Rover LR4 – produced from 2009-present never used the 3.7 liter Ford Duratec V6. Thus, the following Land Rover you mention could never have existed: ” one with 50k miles, 2 years old, Ford 3.7 litre V6″. The older LR3 used the 4.0 liter Ford Cologne V6 from the Ford Explorer, but the newest example equipped as such would be at least 5 years old.

      • 0 avatar
        PiperCUB

        I have two L-Series right now so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

        I couldn’t give a herd of turtles over chandelier-grade interiors. If you want a Lexus buy a Lexus. LX GX USS ESSEX knock yourself out. Lexus GX series has a great reputation for a mechanically reliable all-purpose SUV. You have to punch it for pass-and-go on the highway. But you’re looking at $50K dollars minimum. I’ll look at the Benz M-Class then the Lexus GX in that price class.

        I want my trucks to get the job done with minimal fuss. Great interiors, tough, easy to clean whether it’s cheese puffs dust, snow slush, mud, sneaker prints on the dash and door sills or our family dog. I will not sacrifice durability for flash and glam. If we’re all gonna freak out when mamma spills coffee on the dash because numb nuts is driving, talking on the phone in the car ahead, or Jimmy spills his pop on the hood in 93 degree weather.

        If an SUV truck can’t take day-to-day wear and tear at 60, 80, or even $100K dollars – that’s $50K dollars or $29K dollars I can invest in TWO vehicles for the family. And I can still take the Big Cheese Boss Man to meetings AND lunch, pick up a bag of dog food, stop by the hardware store and a load of groceries on the way home.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          “I’ll look at the Benz M-Class then the Lexus GX in that price class.”

          “I will not sacrifice durability for flash and glam.”

          These statements, when taken together, do not make any sense. The Mercedes M-Class represents a huge sacrifice in durability over a Lexus SUV. Your perception of Mercedes is stuck in the days of the W126 S-Class and the W124 E-Class.

          http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w164-m-class/1720404-rain-causes-odd-electronic-glitches.html

          http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w164-m-class/1507547-its-official-front-differential-toast.html

          http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w164-m-class/1719407-2008-cdi-stalls-while-driving.html

          • 0 avatar
            PiperCUB

            It’s Sunday. The BIG Guy’s day this day this time every week.

            Take your kids to a water park or your wife or girl shopping.

  • avatar
    lchan

    Currently I have a MB S600 and a Porsche 911 C4 Carrera. From 2007 to 2010 I also own a third car: A RR Supercharged (Big Body Lemon) bought new. The “glam” RR spent more time in the dealership in Houston than on the road with never-ending electrical problem. One day in 2009 after picking up from dealer (with less than 20K miles driven) we drove to Big Bend National Park in west Texas and it again died at the end of the road across from Mexico (and it is on pavement) costing $4,000 to tow to a nearby dealership in San Antonio because the warranty just expired. Eventually the RR North America had to send an engineer to Houston to fix it (was simply a “short” in the electrical system) and I sold it right afterward. That RR, costing over $US 104,000 in 2007, was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever have the privilege of owning and I know I was not alone.


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