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#1
Old 02-28-2012, 10:22 AM
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Buying a used Range Rover - am I nuts?

The automobiles in the Cheesesteak household are getting rather long in the tooth (one is old enough to get a Learner's Permit, the other is waxing philosophic about the good old days in High School) it's time to upgrade to something from the current millennium.

We do a LOT of DIY projects, so one car should definitely be a truck of some kind. We also drive very little, probably around 5,000 miles a year, so gas mileage is not an issue.

The wife is fixated on the idea of a Range Rover, and with our budget a RR from the 2000 - 2002 model year will be affordable.

Am I going to get myself into major trouble going down this road? I know they have their fans, but I also hear they break down a lot. If we do go this way, any thoughts on what we should look out for?
#2
Old 02-28-2012, 11:17 AM
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I think it's a fooking brilliant idea personally, assuming you are happy to pay for the fuel consumption. Are you talking L322 or P38A? If you at all can I would go for the former, the latter has far more reliability concerns. Get the biggest engine you can!
#3
Old 02-28-2012, 11:42 AM
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My first thought is I hope you have backup transportation and lots of money.

This is the type of vehicle where for parts and service, [in the U.S.] the availability is low and the pricing is high. Look at not only can you afford to buy it, but also can you afford to drive it.

Last edited by Gary T; 02-28-2012 at 11:43 AM. Reason: added part in brackets
#4
Old 02-28-2012, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by spankthecrumpet View Post
I think it's a fooking brilliant idea personally, assuming you are happy to pay for the fuel consumption. Are you talking L322 or P38A? If you at all can I would go for the former, the latter has far more reliability concerns. Get the biggest engine you can!
Is this in the US or somewhere else?
#5
Old 02-28-2012, 11:49 AM
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I'm in the US, and the newer L322 model is solidly out of my price range.
#6
Old 02-28-2012, 11:53 AM
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If you can't affrod a L322, you can't afford the P38, if you see what I mean...

Any love for the original one?

Last edited by spankthecrumpet; 02-28-2012 at 11:54 AM.
#7
Old 02-28-2012, 12:15 PM
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I've only driven one. It arrived new at the embassy in Uganda and was dead on arrival. Knobs fell off and the electrical system was shit. We finally got it running and it road like a hay wagon without the luxury suspension of same. I wouldn't own one if it was given to me.
#8
Old 02-28-2012, 12:26 PM
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How old was that one, Chefguy? Range Rovers of the past were basically Land Rover Defenders with leather and plush carpets.
#9
Old 02-28-2012, 12:32 PM
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Rovers are like high maintenance women. If you have the time and money to give her the attention she needs she just might stay faithful to you. Seriously, I hope you are handy with a wrench or have very deep pockets. My last expense was replacing a head gasket on a 96 D1, if I didn't have the skills and gumption to do the job myself the beastie would have gone to the scrapheap cuz there ain't no way I was gonna pay a Rover mechanic to it. Now, the real problem with being a shade tree mechanic working on a later model Land Rover are all the electronics. There are some things you just won't be able to do yourself.
#10
Old 02-28-2012, 01:17 PM
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They're usually near the bottom of Consumer Reports reliability lists.

Last edited by thelurkinghorror; 02-28-2012 at 01:17 PM.
#11
Old 02-28-2012, 01:45 PM
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Actually, the newer ones (from 2009 on) are very good. I have seen plenty of high-mileage (>150,000 miles) LRs around here-so they must be OK.
That said, they are EXTREMELY expensive to fix-I would advise that you talk to some owners, who can steer you to a good independent garage/mechanic, who can do the work for you.
Another bit of advice: do NOT ignore the slightest hint of overheating-if you overheat the LR V-8 engines, you can do a lot of expensive damage. Overheating is a sign of imminent head gasket failure, so have it checked immediately.
Other than certain electronic modles, they are pretty rugged vehicles.
#12
Old 02-28-2012, 01:46 PM
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Parts can be a huge problem for a Rover this old, they're expensive, and usually not stocked locally. Be prepared for it to be out of commission while you wait for expensive mail order parts.

Last edited by ExcitedIdiot; 02-28-2012 at 01:47 PM.
#13
Old 02-28-2012, 02:10 PM
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Well, as long as you're not buying a used Rand Rover - I think the guys SO would object.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-28-2012 at 02:10 PM.
#14
Old 02-28-2012, 02:12 PM
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You might to "talk" with other Rover owners. There are more than a few different message boards devoted to them. One I suggest is Disco Web, although do put on your Nomex before you post anything stupid.
#15
Old 02-28-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Well, as long as you're not buying a used Rand Rover - I think the guys SO would object.
Plus, the resale market for used libertarian tax accountants isn't very good. You'll never get out of it what you paid for it.
#16
Old 02-28-2012, 03:47 PM
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I am sensing a distinct trend with these responses. I may have to lay the groundwork to shift expectations a bit. I was kind of shocked to see a 50% jump in price from 2002 to 2003 model, I'm assuming that's mostly maintenance related, and isn't an encouraging thought.
#17
Old 02-28-2012, 03:57 PM
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I think you should go for it. 10 year old British truck with air suspension? What could possibly go wrong?

Here's a helpful list of common faults and remedies.
#18
Old 02-28-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
I am sensing a distinct trend with these responses. I may have to lay the groundwork to shift expectations a bit. I was kind of shocked to see a 50% jump in price from 2002 to 2003 model, I'm assuming that's mostly maintenance related, and isn't an encouraging thought.
Do not, under any circumstances, buy a 10-year-old Range Rover. Hell, I wouldn't own one any older than 2. They might be the most unreliable car on the road.

Last edited by Labrador Deceiver; 02-28-2012 at 04:01 PM.
#19
Old 02-28-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
I've only driven one. It arrived new at the embassy in Uganda and was dead on arrival. Knobs fell off and the electrical system was shit. We finally got it running and it road like a hay wagon without the luxury suspension of same. I wouldn't own one if it was given to me.
This. OP, if you can only "afford" a ten year old Land Rover then you really can't afford one in the first place, especially as your primary driver.

Any luxury used car lot (non dealership) has a ton of Jags and Land Rovers 6-12 years old. You do the math.
#20
Old 02-28-2012, 04:22 PM
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We bought a 2000 (I think) LR discovery some years ago. Don't do it, we had nothing but problems with that vehicle.

If you're going to be hauling lumber and whatnot frequently, nothing beats a pickup.
#21
Old 02-28-2012, 04:35 PM
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Land Rover and Range Rover are not really the same thing - and real men drive a Series Three, not a Defender, let alone that panty-waisted Discovery
#22
Old 02-28-2012, 04:47 PM
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This is not about a Range Rover this is about your wife's self image. Range Rover may be a pricey vehicle of middling reliability, but they are the God Kings of lifestyle marketing. Your wife wants to be a Range Rover kind of woman. She likes the things a Range Rover would say about her.
#23
Old 02-28-2012, 04:52 PM
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"Buying a used Range Rover - am I nuts?"

It depends on what you are going to do with it. Are you a director and need to send a car over a cliff? Probably a good choice then.
#24
Old 02-28-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
This is not about a Range Rover this is about your wife's self image. Range Rover may be a pricey vehicle of middling reliability, but they are the God Kings of lifestyle marketing. Your wife wants to be a Range Rover kind of woman. She likes the things a Range Rover would say about her.
I didn't know there were people that had positive associations with it. I always assumed the people that bought these cars just liked the looks and didn't realize beforehand how bad they are.
#25
Old 02-28-2012, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
This is not about a Range Rover this is about your wife's self image. Range Rover may be a pricey vehicle of middling reliability, but they are the God Kings of lifestyle marketing. Your wife wants to be a Range Rover kind of woman. She likes the things a Range Rover would say about her.
This is spot on. Women love Range Rovers, It's like the boxy styling elicits some kind of bizzare estrogen response that drives them absolutely wild.

Well, "middling reliability" is pretty charitable. A 10 year old Ford Focus is a car of "middling reliability", meaning it has some annoying quirks requiring an occasional repair outside of ordinary maintainance, but otherwise will start and drive pretty much all the time. Range Rovers don't really measure on the same scale.
#26
Old 02-28-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
I didn't know there were people that had positive associations with it. I always assumed the people that bought these cars just liked the looks and didn't realize beforehand how bad they are.
The positive associations are with the cachet, too elegantly cool and feet-on-the-ground to drive a Mercedes or Jaguar. How bad they are is a whole different dimension that doesn't factor into the equation.
#27
Old 02-28-2012, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsaybluth View Post
This. OP, if you can only "afford" a ten year old Land Rover then you really can't afford one in the first place, especially as your primary driver.

Any luxury used car lot (non dealership) has a ton of Jags and Land Rovers 6-12 years old. You do the math.
Thereis nowt wrong with Jags that age. Latterday XJ40s were fine and XJ300s and so on are all fooking amazing. I am too lazy to check but I would expect X-type wasn't sold in America.

What appears on used car lots is irrelevant.

Similarly, the Range Rover became a heck of a lot more reliable when the new model was brought in around 2002. That's why there's the big difference in price.

Last edited by spankthecrumpet; 02-28-2012 at 05:46 PM.
#28
Old 02-29-2012, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Throatwarbler Mangrove View Post
Women love Range Rovers, It's like the boxy styling elicits some kind of bizzare estrogen response that drives them absolutely wild.
So, we have a bunch of "they're unreliable money pits" and one "they're unreliable money pits, but totally worth it"

Astro, it's no so much about being a RR woman, it's about having a car that she finds interesting. If we can afford a car that is both useful and interesting, that's better than one that's useful and boring. And, for me personally, I'm a bit tired of driving cars that are borderline embarrassing to be seen in. Something with a little cachet would be nice. Of course, if we can't afford interesting, she'll have to live with boring.

I'd like to thank everyone again for your comments, it's been very helpful.
#29
Old 02-29-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
So, we have a bunch of "they're unreliable money pits" and one "they're unreliable money pits, but totally worth it"

Add another "unreliable money pit". My boss is on her second since I've been working for her and the damn thing is constantly in the shop with random (and expensive) things going wrong.
#30
Old 02-29-2012, 10:05 AM
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A lot of this stuff is based on people's first experiences with Range Rovers. From the P38A onwards, there's nothing really wrong with any Land Rover product reliability-wise. It's the first generation model that you have to worry about, and frankly that's the case with all British cars of that era (designed by British Leyland, electrics by Lucas, and as Clarkson likes to say, "built by communists".)

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 02-29-2012 at 10:06 AM.
#31
Old 02-29-2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
A lot of this stuff is based on people's first experiences with Range Rovers. From the P38A onwards, there's nothing really wrong with any Land Rover product reliability-wise. It's the first generation model that you have to worry about, and frankly that's the case with all British cars of that era (designed by British Leyland, electrics by Lucas, and as Clarkson likes to say, "built by communists".)
Yep, nothing wrong at all. The randomly locking up front differential is really special.

There is no bottom to the depravity that a Jaguar/Land Rover apologist would sink.
#32
Old 02-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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Are Range Rovers still built with Lucas electrical systems? I can anyway recommend a Haynes service manual as a useful extra to any British car you would consider buying.
#33
Old 02-29-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
A lot of this stuff is based on people's first experiences with Range Rovers. From the P38A onwards, there's nothing really wrong with any Land Rover product reliability-wise.
This is seriously one of the most bizarre posts I have seen on SDMB.

Any amount of fact checking show that Land Rover is consistently at the very bottom of reliability ratings and usually by a wide margin and this is in recent years.


Serious question: Why post something so completely wrong? What is your motivation?
#34
Old 03-03-2012, 03:15 PM
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OP, do you need an SUV or something AWD?

If not, have you looked at the Honda Accord coupe? That is a damn fine car (and reliable to boot). It's not on the table for me since I need AWD but I loved tooling around in a friend's not long ago. Or perhaps an Acura coupe?
#35
Old 03-03-2012, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
Serious question: Why post something so completely wrong? What is your motivation?
Okay, perhaps I should rephrase: they're much better now than in the past. The OP already knows he's (she's?) not getting something bulletproof, or even close; the point is that if you bought a 10 year old Range Rover today it would be a million times more reliable than the 10 year old Range Rover you bought in 2000.
#36
Old 03-03-2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Okay, perhaps I should rephrase: they're much better now than in the past.
problem is, that goes for the entire industry too.

Quote:
The OP already knows he's (she's?) not getting something bulletproof, or even close; the point is that if you bought a 10 year old Range Rover today it would be a million times more reliable than the 10 year old Range Rover you bought in 2000.
See, this is the problem I have with "premium" marques and the people who buy them. It seems like the more expensive a car is, the more eager the owners are to forgive its unreliability. in another thread, we have someone talking about "lemon laws" because a Mustang has a suspension squeak, yet people who own VWs, Rovers, BMWs, and the like rave about the cars even though their reliability has been- if not in the toilet- at least on the edge of the bowl. Problems that would be unforgivable in a $13,000 Focus are just "par for the course" in a European car.
#37
Old 03-03-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
See, this is the problem I have with "premium" marques and the people who buy them. It seems like the more expensive a car is, the more eager the owners are to forgive its unreliability. in another thread, we have someone talking about "lemon laws" because a Mustang has a suspension squeak, yet people who own VWs, Rovers, BMWs, and the like rave about the cars even though their reliability has been- if not in the toilet- at least on the edge of the bowl. Problems that would be unforgivable in a $13,000 Focus are just "par for the course" in a European car.
I own one of the cars you mentioned but only the naive and dumb keep them past 10 years as their daily driver. Smart people unload them just before the warranties expire. And the really smart people keep a reliable extra car around to drive when their luxury car is in the shop.
#38
Old 03-03-2012, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lindsaybluth View Post
I own one of the cars you mentioned but only the naive and dumb keep them past 10 years as their daily driver. Smart people unload them just before the warranties expire. And the really smart people keep a reliable extra car around to drive when their luxury car is in the shop.
thank you for so clearly illustrating my point.

or, have I been whooshed?

Last edited by jz78817; 03-03-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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