Monday, May 9, 2011

Range Rover, why the other half really does live better.

In 2003, Land Rover delivered the all new Range Rover to a public that had grown wary of poor ride quality, horrible electronics, and questionable reliability. They had a real mountain to climb and even though ze Germans didn't win the war against England, they invaded just the same, only this was on a mission of mercy to the buying public. When BMW purchased Rover for long enough to transform the Range Rover, the faithful were worried. Which faithful you ask, well, the German auto faithful of course. How would the reputation be upheld with the pitiful quality at Rover. Well, things turned out okay. The interior was better for sure. The switches didn't look archaic. The panels looked and fit better. The quality of materials was finally world class. This is the first Rover that was actually fit for the Queen.

It didn't last long though, as quick as BMW was in, they left. But this was the stroke of luck for the brand. They were purchased by Ford. Wait, is that a bad thing. NO. Best selling truck in the world ring any bells. After all, these are really supposed to be truck-like in the utility department. But that's not all the magic. At the same time, Ford owned Rover, they also owned Jaguar and Aston Martin. This means they had access to other engines than the BMW 4.4L V8 that came around in the mid-90's. Not that the 4.4 is a bad motor. It's great, but enter the Jag 4.4L. An equally excellent engine that was going in to the new XJ8. This also opened the door for the supercharged 4.2 to be used in later Rover models. This also necessitated a transmission change and let's face it, BMW automatic transmissions aren't known for super reliability. I know, I've had multiple 03 and 04 Rover and first gen X5 transmissions replaced where I work.

So did I say Jag makes reliable powerplants. I did. I actually see less Jag engine problems after 04 than any other engine, with a possible exception of the Mercedes V8's. Every maker has it's shortcomings and Jag has a past that would embarrass a sailor. This sailor has repented of its evil ways though and the quality is there. You know what else is there beside quality? Mileage. I have proven on multiple occasions that the Range Rover will get 20mpg on the freeway. You say that 20mpg isn't good but I say to you "find me a gas engine SUV that does what this vehicle can do that is this luxurious." You can't. It doesn't exist. Your Escalade doesn't get this mileage. Your Navigator doesn't either unless it's a 2wd and that's not an even playing field since the Rover is using 4wd all the time. What about your Cayenne or GL class. Not a chance. How about the Q7. Not even close.

In many parts of the world, corrosion is the enemy. Not with Rover. They have been using aluminum for their vehicles since their upstart. This is important when you live in salt states. If you want a vehicle that is literally built to last, this is an important characteristic.

People of means know the secret. The secret is you get what you pay for. This rings true in 90% of life. If you buy a budget new vehicle, you get a budget made product. When you buy a Range Rover, you buy a no-compromise vehicle that can go from a night on the town to an African safari with a flick of the turn signal. That makes this one of the most versatile vehicles made. German sedan ride quality and interior noise levels with the offroad ability of most Jeeps. The other half really does live better.

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1 comment:

  1. Sure beats the heck out of my DiscoVery. Looks like a good deal to buy used.

    Or Vett 50