By on January 31, 2014

photo (14)

“I could have had a V8!” was the tagline for a foul tonic of liquified vegetables and spices sold by Campbell’s, but also a metaphor for the deadly automotive sin of purchasing a V6 muscle car. In my own lifetime, I remember when anyone with a Y chromosome that willingly purchased a 6-cylinder pony car was derided as a skinflint at best, effete at worst. It wasn’t until the second decade of the 2000′s that things changed. The V6s on offer suddenly became legitimate options for ponycar buyers.

The V6 Mustang was no longer a secretary special, but a legitimate sports car, offering comparable straight line performance with the old Mod Motor Mustangs, and able to dispatch its import competition around a road course. The GM HFX V6 and Chrysler Pentastar V6s went a long way to raise the game of the rental-spec Camaros and LX/LY chassis cars respectively, making it hard for us to imagine that the old 2.7 Chrysler V6 and the GM 3.9L ever existed. That doesn’t mean that you should willingly opt for two less cylinders. Not in a pony car. But in a Range Rover Sport, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

photo (10)

If not for some scheduling screw-ups, I would have only driven the car you see above, a Range Rover Sport Supercharged model finished in the kind of discrete shade of grey typically favored by buyers of these cars. Since my parking spot is on the 6th floor of an underground garage, I had to have my condo’s concierge spot me as I made my way down the ramps (with the adjustable air suspension set to “Access” mode, which lowers the ride height), as I sweated bullets while trying to avoid contact with the garage’s giant air ducts, fearful that I’d have to explain the enormous scratches on the roof of the Rover.

Before I moved in, I had the big boy Range Rover Supercharged, and came off less than impressed. The prior-generation Range Rover was once the superior vehicle, with the LR4-based Range Sport a dreadful, cut-rate alternative, with awful dynamics and an unfortunate association with fans of Tapout clothing. Not so anymore. The full-size Rover, the Official State Vehicle of the Kardashian Republic of Calabasis, takes a back seat to the Sport. The new baby Range is bloody brilliant. It makes the big one redundant.

My intial impression was only confirmed by my stint in the V6, which came a few weeks after my time in the V8. After my scheduled press car was pulled, I was given a consolation prize in the form of a Range Rover Sport in HSE trim, which comes with the 3.0L Supercharged V6 found in the Jaguar XJ and the “base” trim F-Type.

In typical driving scenarios, both V6 and V8 versions are functionally identical. While the full-size Range Rover has adopted a feel that would be traditionally ascribed to a large American sedan, the Sport has a character of its own. The numb steering and floaty ride of the big Range are nowhere to be found. Instead, the Sport is composed and even a little firm, without being harsh, while the steering has a heft and level of communication on par with the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. The quality of the interior materials is superb, with supple leather liberally appointed throughout the cabin, along with the aluminum accents and piano black trim that is currently en vogue in the premium segment. There’s very little noise, aside from what’s playing on the Meridian sound system. The infotainment system is easy to operate, with a big touch screen and a fairly intuitive menu. There are even arm rests for the front bucket seats, which were a hit with my passengers riding shotgun.

The absence of two cylinders in the HSE is only apparent when you step on it. The V6′s 340 horsepower comes on after a brief pause, while the Supercharged V8′s 510 ponies present themselves in a much more apparent fashion. Both have more than enough power, though the Supercharged version’s extra grunt can generate triple digit speeds in a much quicker manner. Shifts are handled by the ubiquitous ZF 8-speed automatic, which is civilized when left in “D”, and far more responsive when shifted into “S”.

The real tie-breaker between the two is the Supercharged model’s “Dynamic Mode”. Shift the Supercharged into Sport mode and adjust the console mounted rotary dial to the far left, and the Supercharged adopts a fight-or-flight like response: the stocks stiffen, the shifts quicken and the throttle mapping becomes markedly more aggressive.

The change in demeanor is startling. In Dynamic Mode, the Supercharged version feels like a very well appointed Cherokee SRT, lunging forward with a carnivorous intensity. You wouldn’t expect something this tall and bulky to handle so well, but like the SRT, it manages to challenge your perceptions of what an SUV is capable of.  When you’re done flinging the two-and-a-half tonne aluminum bobseld along the piste, you can push the shifter back into drive, take it out of Dynamic Mode and get back on your way to the yoga studio.

Trying to achieve the same results in the HSE is far less gratifying, and not advisable. But at least the differences in capabilities are clearly demarcated. If you really want a something like a Grand Cherokee SRT or a Mercedes-Benz ML63 but suffer from an acute case of Anglophilia, spring for the $79,995 Supercharged. For everything else, including school runs, trips to Whole Foods and the yacht club, the HSE will suffice. You coulda had a V8, but you’ll save nearly $12,000 and have 98 percent of the capabilities of both the Supercharged, and a much better car than the $84,000 full-size Range Rover.

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70 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2014 Range Rover Sport...”


  • avatar

    It’s got an attractive exterior, sort of a 4-door-coupe-truck, but the interior does nothing for me and there are so many better options for the money.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Other than the dramatically-sloped D-pillars—which have been a trademark of the Range Rover marque from go—I really don’t see how it looks anything like a “4-door-coupe-truck”. But I do agree that there are a few things that Land Rover could do better. Unless they’ve again significantly updated the corporate Jaguar/Land Rover infotainment system, it’s still uncompetitive and it still bites. And I wish that Land Rover would offer thigh extenders, like BMW and (I believe) Audi do.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Don’t miss an opportunity to point out the disadvantages of aluminum. The suspense is killing us all.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    “the stocks stiffen, the shifts quicken and the throttle mapping becomes markedly more aggressive.”

    I really wish there was a mode selection to make these modern pigs go to a cable actuated throttle like the good old days.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      For what? It really isn’t a car that lends itself to mechanical driving. I could see your point if it were a Mustang or a BRZ/FR-S or a resurrected Bronco, but it’s a blue-blooded luxury-performance SUV, and more specifically, a vehicle that necessarily has a few different driving modes. Why on earth does it need a cable-actuated throttle?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Huh. I still think it’s odd that Land Rover has abandoned the traditional fixed-windows on the rear-doors, and has used plastic triangles instead. Still, the Range Rover Sport looks handsome for it. And it’s better that it should share structural DNA with its big brother than with the LR3/4, as did the previous one. But if it’s true that this Range Rover Sport—and not the large one—is equipped with a third row, it makes no sense whatsoever.

    Now, I’m under the impression that there are 3 engines: a supercharged 3.0-liter V6, a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8, and a supercharged 5.0-liter V8. So when we talk “Supercharged”, we’re referring to the top trim and top-of-the-line V8, correct?

    • 0 avatar

      I agree on the third row front, what gives? Why bother? Anyone who wants more than 5-seats is far better served by the LR4 anyway. I’m 6’2″ and could sit in the third row of an LR4, which is an accomplishment. I openly laughed at the third row of the Sport next to it.

  • avatar

    To be fair, I think the floaty ride and dead steering is part of the appeal in the big Range Rover. It’s truly one of the last of its kind in a market where everyone is going for the “sporty and controlled, just barely not punishing” ride. Basically it’s the RR, S-Class, and maybe a few large Koreans and Americans left doing that.

    Which brings me around to the fact that these products are very nicely placed. The younger crowd moving up from smaller, more athletic cars will be suitably impressed by the Range Rover Sport’s abilities. The traditional “I don’t want to feel a thing” crowd are well taken care of in the original recipe version.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I agree with your view of Sport vs. Regular. The Sport seems to have taken the pricing the Regular used to have as well. You really pay a BIG premium these days to have the full sized version, and it’s really not any more capable in the “off road” sense, nor in the “fancy parking lot” sense either.

      I believe the RR Autobiography trim is now up to ~$135k.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Not to mention the fact that the full-sized version is still at a premium, so people are still figuring out how to sell them used for more than new…

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, the original RR is all status and boy does Land Rover know it. It’s a great vehicle, but the real reason it’s priced as such is because its buyers want it to be. They want it to say “I’m so wealthy I can purchase a car which is ludicrously overpriced and will depreciate like a stone and afford to take the hit.”

        And it works, because I want one for no particularly good reason.

  • avatar
    eamiller

    This article could have used a bit of going through before publishing.

    There is no Cherokee SRT, there’s a Grand Cherokee SRT(8). Since the Cherokee is back on the market this is confusing. JGC or GC would be a better way to refer to it in a shortened form.

    Also, since both the V8 and V6 are supercharged in this comparison, your use of the word “supercharged” is very confusing.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    “The V6 Mustang was no longer a secretary special, but a legitimate sports car.”

    Moving a little away from the spirit of the review, I want to question this cliche. It’s important to me that we retain a definition of “enthusiast” and “sport.” But what is it? DO we really need to pound on secretaries to do to?

    Again, I do not mean to distract from the spirit of the review, or blame you personally Derek.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      A 2000 Mustang did not dispatch, but was dispatched by a 1991 Volvo 960 wagon in a hillbilly-style street race. I did not expect to be the victor, but I certainly laughed my ass off as the poor shmuck in the 190 HP beast gave me the finger after I backed off and let him by. Maybe his car was broken or something, but it sure wasn’t very fast.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “DO we really need to pound on secretaries”

      I’ll pound some secretaries… and not in the domestic violence sense.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    More photos!

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Did anything stop working during the test drive? That’s what happened to my BIL. He bought it anyway, for my sister to drive.

    • 0 avatar

      No, but the previous gen Sport gave me a few error codes when I had it

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      At some point, the Range Rover name won’t be able to cover up the fact that the cars are effectively useless for 25% of the time you own them. An acquaintance of mine compared last year’s to his old Quattroporte, which has got to be one of the most unreliable cars made in the last decade at ANY price range.

      I hadn’t heard of something not working on a test drive yet, but it doesn’t surprise me – that’s why the dealerships have the faux-offroad trails; if you make it up the hill on the test drive, you don’t have to worry about the engine functioning to get you back down!

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    What was wrong with the GM 3.9L V6?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The primary problem with it, is it’s not a 3800.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Thats a primary problem with every GM V6, and doesn’t bear mentioning, as it can’t be helped.

        But, for your sake: what ELSE is wrong with the 3.9.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Dave or 28. Is their anything you can do to keep the intake gaskets from leaking coolant on a GM 3.4L? My sister has an Alero, and I think we need to replace them.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Not particularly that I would advise. Just replace the gaskets with the revised parts and drive it till the body rots completely off.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            I think your only choice is to replace the gaskets. I had a similar problem on my 02 G/A in 2004, dealer replaced gaskets and refilled the DexCool. Personally if I was going to beaterize the car I’d fix the gaskets and drain the dexcool for green prestone or some such, and re-drain replace the coolant (again with green) on the next oil change. Dexcool is the devil’s fruit punch.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It only has 75K miles and is in good shape, she’s had it for five years. She starts grad school in Monterey, CA in the fall, so I want to get it done before she leaves. The leak isn’t bad, but it’ll eventually get worse. She likes her Alero and will probably drive it for as long as she can.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Lemmie think N-body… ok check the tierods, balljoints and C/V joints. If anything is amiss change it out with Moogs. GM shocks of the period are hit and miss, I think my 08 GP needs them but my 98 SL2 still has factory everything and it still rides better over the awful roads ’round here. Check the rear drum brakes as they may have never been changed, unless the front pads/rotors are new replace ‘em with good aftermarket. Bosch comes to mind for some reason I may have used Bosch pads on the GP and I know Brembo makes rotors for W body because it has them, prob N body too. Drain out the dexcool and check the tranny fluid. If its never been changed your on the cusp of leaving it dirty at 75K but if its not black I would change it and the filter. I might switch out the plugs/wires too as she might try to come home in the car from Cali to Michigan and 100K is the delco recommended limit. Run Lucas through the oil during the next change and if the fuel filter is not in the tank on that car I would switch it out (it is in my 08 GP, but in 04 it was not, check). On second thought do the filter and possibly pump no matter what, my mum had issues with the sending unit on her 03 Liberty/79Kish, its all one unit with the pump and filter as it turned out her filter was mostly gummed up and the pump has been working harder for some time. She now has a new pump/filter/unit + labor & piece of mind for $400 even. Much cheaper to prep the car in Michigan then for her to have to pay to have inevitable maint in Cali.

            Oh sh*t forgot, water pump/pulley/serp is supposed to be changed around 100K. I went 149555 in my SL2 before it seized, but now you’ve got Dexcool gunk throughout the block, cooling system, and pump. I would consider changing the pump/pulley/serp either when you drain the Dexcool or on the second time you drain/replace Dexcool (paranoid method is 3 drains, I did 2 on my GP). Dexcool and aged tranny fluid are probably this car’s biggest enemies, address them and I think she will be cool for a long time.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I respect 60V6 but once the LN3 or Series I 3800 came out GM should have just standardized on it, dropped 60V6, and figured out how to fix and improve Quad-4. Instead they inexplicably kept the two V6 families going for twenty five years, and simply kept upping the displacement on 60V6 as it aged. I look at 3900 and think well it was designed to supplant the 3800 S/C yet the 3800 S/C was still in production at the same time and Series III S/C only used in ONE model (Grand Prix) while 3900 took its place in most V6 applications. So its very existence in concert with 3800 is questionable on the part of GM. Fuel economy is another “whoops” in my mind. When I first started here in 2011 I made the acquaintance of an older secretary who recently traded here Park Ave for a Lucerne. She didn’t understand why her mileage went down vs Park Ave and why the car’s power “felt so different”. I went though a search with one of my friends to find a reasonable hardtop convertible she could buy for cash and toy around in a few thousand miles a year and not cost her an arm an leg in repairs (this is a tall order as it turned out). We eventually settled on an 07 G6 GTP which came with the 3900 which I gave a thumbs up too. She tells me since the mileage avgs 22mpg on trips from Providence to Boston. I chuckle and think shes probably driving 80mph+ the whole time, finally having massive torque coming from I4 Toyota’s her whole life. But she claimed to have set it in cruise at 60 like I told her the trip computer read 22.x. My brother also tells me of awful mileage (13s) in their 3900 W impalas, although those are police cars driven crazily at times (Tauruses do 11). In contrast my 3800 does around 18/27-28 hwy if I stomp on it, and avgs 26.x in 60/40 city/hwy in mixed regular driving (obeying speed limits). I think in the case of 3900 they took the 3ish litre 60V6 design too far and built a motor which doesn’t live up to one of the two it was supposed to replace (3500 and 3800). You’ll also notice it was quickly killed off once the 3.6 came online (for the US market).

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            The 3300 should have been kept and the 60V6 abandoned, I agree. The 3300 made the same power as the L82 3100 but without the same problems and fit in the same vehicles. GM could have made a 3500 version (or maybe worked on that 3 liter version a bit) and had a V6 for small cars, a base V6 for mid and full size cars, and a “big bore” V6 without having to use two different engine families.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Keeping 3300 would have been central to GM thinking (well we can’t give them the “good” engine on the lesser models). I argue this thinking helped lead to their demise, cheaper/easier to build one good engine and if need be detune it slightly. 3300 shared a block but I’m not sure how much of it was directly interchangeable.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Great Answers, 28 and dal,

            I always liked the concept of the 3900. Cam in block VVT, variable length intake, turbo like torque curve. (90% of 240 ft-lbs from1 1500-5500rpm). Plus it was availabe in a stick, something the 3800 never was save the Camaro.

            Too bad it wasn’t implemented with more care.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            There was a time in the early 2000s where GM had *six* 6-cylinder engine families:

            Vortec 4.3L
            Atlas I6
            60V6 3.5L
            3800
            HF 2.8 and 3.6L
            HV 3.5 and 3.9L

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Only on TTAC does a 2014 Range Rover Sport review end up with discussions about various GM six cylinder engines. What a wonderful place…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s true bumpy Bumpy ii including some of the truck engines, I’m not sure when the 2.8/3.6 DOHC came out but I’m under the impression HV 3.5 and 3.9L are 60V6.

            @bball

            Exactly.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            They are, but my impression is that the HVs were “clean-sheet” designs, rather than continuations of the old Citation-era V6.

            The HFs came out around 2004 as mid-cycle upgrades for the first-gen CTS, to replace the 54-degree Opel V6 (there’s another one!)

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      NVH, mostly.

      Its real problem was with the car it was installed in. All but a few of the 3.9 V6 engines sold were installed in 2006-2011 Impalas. That platform accentuated the engine’s subpar NVH, in addition to being bad in myriad other ways.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Not true, LZ9 was installed in a number of modes other than W Impala. Ostensibly it was aimed to take the place of 3800 S/C is certain top trim applications or in models where low end torque was necessary for weight, such as minivans.

        2006 Pontiac G6 GTP Sedan / Coupe / Convertible
        2007 Pontiac G6 GT Sport Package Sedan / Coupe
        2007–2009 Pontiac G6 GT Sport Package Convertible
        2006–2007 Chevrolet Malibu SS
        2006–2011 Chevrolet Impala/Monte Carlo
        2006–2009 Buick Terraza/Chevrolet Uplander/Pontiac Montana/Saturn Relay
        2009–2011 Buick Lucerne

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Have a look at the production numbers. All of those others combined won’t come close to the volume of the Impala. All but the Lucerne and the minivans are very low-volume special editions. The minivans and the Lucerne were somewhat higher-volume products, but still dwarfed by the Impala and produced for fewer years to boot.

          For all intents and purposes that is the uplevel Impala engine and is bound to be seen as sucky because the Impala it was in sucked so badly.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    That is a really sharp looking vehicle in the best exterior color (I realize this is completely subjective, but silver is my favorite exterior color on most vehicles; it looks particularly good on taller or more boxy vehicles, IMO).

    I really like the way this RR drives, too, as well as the interior design, but I could never bring myself to pony up over 60k for one new when nearly as comfortable and more reliable vehicles (yes, with less badge snob appeal) are available for roughly half that price (i.e. Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango).

    The vehicle makes far more sense as new for the lease it on the company dime crowd, and then as a heavily depreciated 2 or 3 year old CPO purchase for those desirous of the Land Rover breed (and maybe slightly masochistic or heavily mechanically inclined).

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Agreed, although I don’t think I could even justify it as a CPO purchase even with a warranty. Eventually you are going to have to sell it or repair it. Maybe as a used-car lease with the CPO warranty??

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        That’s a good point and one that makes this more of a close call depending on the length of the CPO warranties available and their cost (I am not up to speed on this).

        If a used two or three year old in great condition could be had for around 25k, and a PLUS 5 year/75,000 mile additive factory warranty could be had at a semi-reasonable cost, it might tempt even me if I were in the market for such a vehicle (though I’m not).

        And again, that shade of silver truly does justice to the classic yet comely exterior design of that Range Rover parked in the garage.

        • 0 avatar

          Talk to Doug Demuro about how he’s survived the infamous used Land Rover reliability game. He seems to have done well by it.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Yeah, they don’t depreciate THAT fast… A 3yo Rover is still a near $50K car. Even the one generation newer than mine ’02.5-’03s are $15-$20K cars. They are a lot more refined than my ’01, having modern engines and independent suspension.

          One generation older is no cheaper either, as they are considered “classics” at this point. With those you have more mechanical problems and fewer electrical problems. And a lot cruder driving experience.

          The new ones are just not my cup of tea. Too much bling, too new and expensive to drive across a field. I want a 4×4 I can beat and not worry about dinging it.

          • 0 avatar

            We talk about the depreciation to the extent that it’s easy to think they are dead cheap used. Nope, they are just depreciating from a lot higher up in the price scale. Sure that three year old RR lost over half its value, but it lost it from $130,000 new.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Like krhodes said, they don’t depreciate that fast, which is the problem. Used they still aren’t really cheap enough to justify getting one. At $25k you are dangerously close to the price of a new JGC, maybe not a “fancy” JGC but it would be brand new and not plagued by electrics inspired by Lucas.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            But they really are MUCH nicer than a JGC. Like I said, I would never own one as my ONLY car, but they are a pretty choice thing to have in the garage for all sorts of reasons.

            I just got into mine at the airport an hour ago after being on the road all week. Climbing up into that throne, firing her up and feeling the lift of the air suspension just makes me smile. Even after 13 years, the leather smells mighty nice after she has been closed up for a few days. They really make you feel like you are above the riff-raff.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            You sound like me trying to explain to my wife why I wanted to buy a 11yo Discovery, and they are not even as nice as a Range Rover. But there is something about them that feels really special, I agree. And many many people just don’t get it, we probably sound like lunatics to them (or snobs).

            But I would never spend $50k on a used one. Or even $25k. One of my friends at work got one last year, a 2006 or 2008 IIRC, the real RR, not the Sport too. It was nice, but I wouldn’t say it was MUCH nicer than a new Grand Cherokee. He only has the HSE so maybe that’s why but it didn’t have any fancier stuff than a mid-level JGC. The air suspension was neat, but thats one of the parts that almost always breaks!

            Now the $5500 you said you spent on your older RR? Bargain. The $4k I was going to spend on the Disco I wanted? Bargain. You can’t really get anything else that will drive as nice and be as capable for anywhere near those prices. And I think the older ones like you have are more reliable than the new ones. Crap now you have me back to doing internet searches for used Rovers.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “All the dials here were made by Smith’s, so of course… they don’t work.”

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      They are best fully-depreciated. My $5500 ’01 RR HSE (MSRP $76,000)has been a great winter beater / airport runner. It’s even presentable enough to take the other half out to dinner in. It does weird stuff occasionally, and I don’t care. The basic mechanicals are mostly fine. I’m averaging one random CEL every 1000 miles or so. I reset it, and it is all good. Never the same code twice, so far. I assume someone who paid $50K for one as a 3yo CPO would not be amused. I would NEVER have one as my only car though.

      The odd thing about Range Rovers, is that based on having several friends who are serial owners and being on a couple forums, what you get when they are new is about what they are. They don’t really get any less reliable when they get older. And they also don’t really have issues that will strand you. They just like to light up the pretty lights on the dash. And they occasionally like to be rebooted, which will cure all sorts of odd things. Temporarily.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        They sound like an early version of Windows.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        Assuming that one of those things doesn’t happen to be the fuel level indicator. Or the electronic parking break. Or the power seat controls, resulting in the driver seat locking in the most forward position. Or an oil-level sensor resulting in tranny-limp-home-mode. Or all of those things in 2 different brand new cars within 6 months.

        He’s still in a RR though – some people have more patience than others.

        There’s part of me that would love an ~05 single owner, because they are really nice cars when they drive. But the other part of me does not like driving a Christmas tree, hoping I’m not actively breaking the thing doing so.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like one of them special ed’s they did for the last of that generation. Like the H&H or that yellow one with black/yellow piping seats. I forget the name.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Also, I keep thinking “oh well if it’s 15 years old, all the breakable crap will have been fixed by a prior owner(s) so it’ll be moderately reliable, but bad on gas -ok.”

        But then I read over and over how they just KEEP breaking, forever. You replace bits, and then more bits fail. If they were a good used proposition I might have one (gen2, 96-02) as a secondary vehicle for funsies. But no! :(

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Well, fundamentally they are a VERY, VERY complex vehicle. They have pretty much every single luxury feature it was possible to have in the late 90′s, PLUS an air suspension with multiple modes and self leveling at BOTH ends, plus a complicated AWD system with an integrated traction control system with multiple modes. So there is a LOT to potentially go wrong. But I am finding they are not terrible to work on. Parts are not horrific for the most part. There are definitely some wallet melters – mine is going to need a viscount coupling at some point – that’s a grand for the part and a fair bit of labor. BUT, not only is it paid for, it was only $5500! I figure a grand or so a year in maintenance and repairs for ~5K miles a year of use. We will see how it goes. As I have said before, I would never have one as my only vehicle, but it makes a fine winter beater / towbeast that is nice enough to go out to a fancy dinner in. Women LOVE them. :-) But you need to be able to leave it for a while so you can ponder how to fix something. Mine HAS been reliable, the only thing that has broken that made it undrivable was entirely my fault. I knew something in the serp belt drive was squeaking, and I put it off. And the tensioner pulley seized and shredded. The EPA is spot on – they say 12/16, and that is what I get in the winter. 2-3mpg better in warm weather though.

          You also have to have the right attitude. A 13+ yo Rover will never, ever be 100% perfect. They weren’t 100% perfect on the showroom floor. Something will always need attention, and something will always be not quite right. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful wonderful vehicle. And much easier to deal with at $5500 than at $76,000.

          Currently mine does two “interesting” things if I leave it out in the cold for an extended period of time, like at the airport for a few days. The HVAC will light up it’s fault icon. Pretty sure the blend doors are getting stuck. And even once it warms up, the torque converter won’t lock. Turn it off, start it up again clears both problems every time. Very British!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Making it hard for us to imagine that the old 2.7 Chrysler V6 and the GM 3.9L ever existed.”

    Blasphemy, another sinner speaks of the engine who shall not be named.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I want to rent this car so bad and set down tire tracks across the snowy mountains and valleys of Europe. I’d save money on hotels by sleeping in the back of this bad boy and showering with water bottles in the wilderness!

  • avatar
    ajla

    I really don’t mean to be a d*ck, but:

    “The GM HFX V6 and Chrysler Pentastar V6s went a long way to raise the game of the rental-spec Camaros and LX/LY chassis cars respectively, making it hard for us to imagine that the old 2.7 Chrysler V6 and the GM 3.9L ever existed.”

    1. While it is hardly legendary, there is nothing wrong with the GM 3.9L V6 that should place it along with the infamous Chrysler 2.7L V6 in any discussion.

    2. The Michigan Police test showed a 3.9L Impala 9C1 had the same acceleration figures as a Pentastar Charger.

    3. The 3.9L V6 never went in any Camaro ever. Base Camaros used the 3800, which will still be running after every DOHC GM engine has died, been melted down, and been turned into F-150 body panels. The 3800 Camaro was also faster than the V6 Mustang of that era, something the current V6 Camaro can’t say.

    4. I’m not sure what “HFX” is. I think the code on the Camaro’s engine is “LFX”.


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