After 10 years in automotive service, this will be the final year that the current-generation Range Rover will be in production. Despite some thinking that its styling was a bit radical in the beginning, car fans grew to love it – not least because it is still a true off roader, but it also continued to carry that cool factor from previous Range Rovers.
You don’t need me to tell you how popular Range Rovers have been among off-road enthusiasts, thanks to its seemingly unstoppable performance in the 1980s Camel Trophy, and all-round usability. With each new generation of Range Rover, they made use of new technology, and went a little bit more upmarket. So much so that some Land Rover insiders have said that the next one will be at the same level as Bentley in terms of luxury.
Upon release, it came equipped with a BMW 4.4-litre V8 engine (286hp) also found in the then contemporary BMW X5, or a 2.9-litre straight-six turbo diesel (177hp). All cars were equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission only. In 2005 the Range Rover received a facelift, and also switched from BMW’s petrol engine to a 4.4-litre (306hp) Jaguar unit – years after Land Rover was sold to Ford. A supercharged 4.2-litre V8 was also made available (400hp), and in 2007 the 2.9-litre straight-six diesel was replaced by a 3.6-litre V8 diesel (272hp) developed by Ford.
Another facelift came along in 2009 (Land Rover now being owned by Tata Motors), along with engine upgrades. Both the naturally aspirated 4.4-litre and supercharged 4.2-litre engines grew to 5.0-litres – producing 375hp and 510hp respectively. And in 2010, the diesel version received another Ford-developed 4.4-litre V8 engine (313hp), along with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and Jaguar’s rotary gear selector.
Because of its monocoque chassis setup it has good on-road manners, but is still more than capable off road. It is very heavy though, weighing in at 2,440kg. However, Land Rover is promising that the next Range Rover (expected to be revealed in the fall) will be much lighter thanks to extensive use of aluminium, and in turn become more efficient.
In the UK, an early BMW-powered example with less than 100,000 miles can be found for around £8,000. US prices start around $15,000 for a similar car, while cars with less than 100,000km can be had for around 15,000 Euros for Euro zone buyers. US prices for a 2005 (2006 model year) Jaguar-powered car with less than 100,000 miles start around $22,000, and around £13,000 for UK buyers. Euro zone buyers can have a sub-100,000km car for around 20,000 Euros.
A major weak point for Land Rover products is their reputation for unreliability, but this particular Range Rover model indicates a bit of an improvement. There are the occasional electrical glitches as with many modern cars though, as well as the high-priced servicing bills. Also, as with most big SUVs (especially petrol-powered ones), depreciation is great – bad for owners, good for potential buyers. However, a well-preserved and high-spec example will lose less of its value compared to others.