Land Rover Range Rover, a beast of an SUV with that roaring V8 and the prowess of four-wheel drive. I’ve had my hands greasy working on these machines during my time as a mechanic, and boy, do they have a presence! But, like every beauty, they’ve had their fair share of quirks across their five generations.
Now, if you’re asking a seasoned car enthusiast like me, the golden rule is to get a Range Rover that’s still under warranty. Trust me on this; I’ve seen enough of them on the lift.
Purchasing and maintaining a Range Rover? Well, it’s like owning a thoroughbred racehorse – majestic but demands your attention and care. Neglect it, and it won’t shy away from showing its displeasure. But hey, isn’t that the case with most of the beauties we drive?
Alright, Let’s Get Under the Hood and Talk Specifics
From my experience and countless test drives in various terrains, the newer Range Rover models, especially from 2019 onwards, are where the magic really happens.
They’ve ironed out many of the kinks. But, surprising to some, the 2001, 2003, 2009, and 2013 models also have a special place in my heart. They just felt right, you know?
However, every family has its black sheep. For the Range Rover, it’s the 2003 and 2004 models, followed by the 2006 to 2008 batch, and then the 2014. If you ever find yourself considering these, just remember the tales from an old mechanic like me.
What Years Are the Most Reliable?
Ah, the age-old question about the Range Rover’s reliability. Having been around cars for a good chunk of my life, I’ve seen and heard a lot about these majestic beasts. Let me give you my two cents on this.
First off, it’s no secret that the Range Rover has had its fair share of critics over the years. Some even went as far as calling it one of the least reliable vehicles ever built.
But, in my experience, it’s not all doom and gloom. Like any car, it’s about understanding its history and treating it right.
Now, Let’s Talk Engines, My Favorite Topic!
The period from 2001 to 2005 was quite a shift. Land Rover decided to part ways with their old V8s and brought in the robust 4.4L BMW V8. I’ve worked on a few of these, and they were a pleasure. Smooth, powerful, and with that distinct BMW touch.
Then came the era of the Jaguar engines from 2005 to 2009. The 4.4L Jaguar V8 was a beauty, and for those who wanted a bit more oomph, there was the 4.2L supercharged V8. I’ve test-driven a couple of these, and boy, they had some kick!
From 2010 to 2012, the Range Rover sported a 5.0L V8, and for the thrill-seekers, there was the 5.0L supercharged V8 from 2009 to 2012. These engines were powerhouses and added a new dimension to the Range Rover’s performance.
On the diesel front, the inline 6-cylinder diesel from BMW from 2001 to 2006 was a reliable workhorse. Then there was the 3.6L Ford V8 turbo-diesel from 2006 to 2010. And if you were looking for something a bit more recent, the 4.4L turbo-diesel V8 from 2010 to 2012 was a solid choice.
2001 Range Rover
Ah, the 2001 model. In my eyes, this is the golden child of the Range Rover lineage. Arguably, it’s the most dependable beast Land Rover ever rolled out. If you’re scouting for a vintage SUV with character, this one’s a gem.
But remember, like any classic, it’s not just about the looks. Beneath that shiny chrome and glossy paint, you want an engine that’s been loved and cared for. Always dig deeper than the surface.
One thing I’ve always admired about Range Rovers, especially the 2001 model, is the panoramic view from the driver’s seat. Speaking of which, there are a few mid-size SUVs out there that offer a similar expansive view. But that’s a chat for another day.
2003 Range Rover
The 2003 model holds a special place in my heart. With a commendable 4.1 out of 5 rating from Edmunds, it’s a testament to Land Rover’s commitment to improvement. If you’re hunting for a classic SUV, this one’s a keeper. Owners have sung praises about its:
- Stellar reliability and build quality
- Thrilling driving experience
- Unmatched off-road capabilities
- Roomy interiors
- Cutting-edge tech
But, like any car, it’s not without its quirks. The infotainment system can be a bit finicky, and let’s not get started on the transmission and fuel efficiency.
Two years into its third generation, the 2003 model was a refined beast. It retained its luxury features but shed some of its rugged, boxy looks from the earlier models.
The design became more regal, with softer edges. But, a word of caution: reliability can still be a hit or miss with this generation.
2009 Range Rover
Now, this one’s a powerhouse, especially the supercharged variant. Imagine a mammoth SUV, weighing two and a half tons, roaring from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds. It might not give sports cars a run for their money, but for its size and capabilities, it’s impressive.
The 2009 model stands out for its fewer issues compared to its siblings. If you stumble upon one with low mileage, especially the supercharged version, don’t think twice. Grab it!
2015 Range Rover
The 2015 model was a part of the fourth generation, and by this time, Land Rover had ironed out many of the kinks from the earlier models. This year was particularly praised for its luxurious interior, powerful supercharged V8 engine, and advanced tech features.
The Terrain Response 2 system, which automatically adjusts to different terrains, was a highlight. While it maintained its off-road prowess, on-road comfort was also notably superior. The 2015 model also saw fewer complaints about electronics compared to its predecessors.
2017 Range Rover
2017 model continued the trend of improvement. With enhanced infotainment features, including a 10.2-inch touchscreen, and the introduction of the turbodiesel V6 engine option, it offered both performance and efficiency.
Safety features were ramped up, with autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning becoming standard. Owners appreciated its quiet cabin, smooth ride, and the unparalleled luxury feel that Range Rover is known for.
2019 to 2021 Range Rover
The fourth generation, spanning from 2019 to 2021, is a testament to Land Rover’s commitment to perfection. In my opinion, and based on what I’ve seen and heard, it’s the most dependable version of the Range Rover yet.
Ditching the GM-designed engines from the pre-2010 era was a game-changer. It’s like Land Rover took a step back, re-evaluated, and then leaped forward, pushing the Range Rover several notches up in reliability.
But, as with any legacy, past shadows can be long. The Range Rover’s history of problematic models and less-than-stellar reviews has somewhat tainted its reputation.
But here’s the thing: there’s a reason this SUV has been on the market for over half a century. Despite the hiccups, it has an undeniable charm and allure that keeps people coming back.
2022 and 2023 Range Rover
Entering its sixth iteration, the Range Rover’s 2022 and 2023 models are shaping up to be legends in their own right. From what I’ve gathered, complaints are rare, which is a promising sign for any vehicle, let alone a luxury SUV.
If you’re contemplating getting a luxury SUV, the modern Range Rover should be high on your list. Land Rover seems to have hit the sweet spot with these models. It feels like they’ve taken all the lessons from the past, all the feedback, and poured it into creating an SUV that’s close to perfection.
What Years To Avoid?
1970 Range Rover
Introduced in 1970, the Range Rover was a game-changer. It was the first time the general public could experience a vehicle with such strong military DNA. Its off-road capabilities were unparalleled, and the added luxury features made it an instant hit. The early models, while not without their quirks, were generally reliable.
However, as Land Rover aimed to elevate the Range Rover’s luxury status over the years, they ventured into uncharted territories. New technologies often posed challenges, leading to issues in various models.
2004 Range Rover
Despite its commendable 4.2 out of 5 rating from Edmunds, the 2004 model had its share of problems. Electrical glitches, subpar fuel efficiency, and transmission troubles plagued this year. If you’re considering a vintage Range Rover, be wary of these issues.
2006 Range Rover
The 2006 model seemed promising with a 4.4 rating. It boasted impressive acceleration and off-road capabilities. However, it wasn’t without its flaws. Issues with build quality, engine, transmission, and electrical systems made it a mixed bag. Repairs for these problems can be costly and time-consuming.
2007 and 2008 Range Rover
These years were praised for their supercharged performance, comfortable ride, and spacious interiors. But they weren’t without their drawbacks. The fuel efficiency was notably poor, and issues persisted with the engine, transmission, suspension, and electronics. The cost of ownership can be high due to these problems.
2010 Range Rover
While the 2010 model had its merits, including a revamped interior and the introduction of the powerful 5.0L V8 engine, it was plagued with reliability issues.
Many owners reported problems with the air suspension system, which could lead to costly repairs. Electrical issues persisted, with complaints about malfunctioning infotainment systems and unpredictable electronic air suspension. Additionally, some found the new engine, while powerful, to be less fuel-efficient.
2012 Range Rover
The 2012 model, being the last of its generation, should have been a culmination of improvements. However, it was a mixed bag. While it boasted a luxurious interior and impressive off-road capabilities, it was marred by mechanical issues.
Common complaints included problems with the cooling system, oil leaks, and electronic glitches. The model’s weight also impacted its fuel efficiency, making it less economical to run.
2013 Range Rover
Entering its fourth generation, the 2013 model was a departure from its predecessors. While it introduced the first hybrid Range Rover and seemed promising on paper, it had significant issues. J.D. Power’s rating of 2.0 out of 5 speaks volumes.
Problems with crucial components like airbags, brakes, and locks raised serious safety concerns.
What Are Some Typical Problems with The Range Rover Models?
We have a more in-depth list of Range Rover problems.
While a symbol of luxury and off-road prowess, has had its fair share of issues over the years. Let’s delve into some of the typical problems that have plagued various models:
- Brake Problems: Some owners have reported issues with premature brake wear, especially with the brake pads and rotors. There have also been instances of brake noises and, in rare cases, brake failure.
- Powertrain Issues: This encompasses a range of problems, from transmission glitches to drivetrain issues. Some Range Rovers have been known to experience jerky transmission shifts or even complete transmission failure.
- Engine Problems: Overheating, unexpected shutdowns, and loss of power are some of the engine-related issues. There have also been reports of the engine failing to start or stalling unexpectedly.
- Timing Chain Problems: Some models, especially those with higher mileage, have had issues with the timing chain. A faulty timing chain can lead to severe engine damage if not addressed promptly.
- Oil Leaks: A common issue with older Range Rover models, oil leaks can originate from various parts of the engine, including the valve cover gasket, oil pan, or even the oil filter housing.
- Suspension Problems: The Range Rover’s air suspension system, while providing a smooth ride, has been a point of contention for many. Issues range from the suspension failing to rise, leading to a bumpy ride, to complete air suspension failure.
- Electrical Problems: These can manifest in various ways, from malfunctioning infotainment systems to issues with the vehicle’s lighting. Some owners have also reported problems with the central locking system and windows.
How often should I service my Range Rover?
It’s recommended to service your Range Rover every 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. However, always refer to your owner’s manual for specific guidelines.
Are parts for the Range Rover expensive?
Given that the Range Rover is a luxury SUV, parts can be more expensive than those for more common vehicles. It’s always a good idea to get quotes from multiple sources or consider genuine aftermarket parts.
How does the Range Rover perform off-road?
The Range Rover is renowned for its off-road capabilities. With features like Terrain Response and a robust air suspension system, it’s designed to tackle a variety of terrains with ease.
Is it expensive to insure?
Insurance costs can vary based on factors like location, driving history, and the specific model. However, given its luxury status, insuring a Range Rover can be more expensive than average vehicles.
How do Range Rovers fare in terms of safety?
Modern Range Rovers come equipped with a host of safety features, including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, and more. Always check safety ratings for the specific model year you’re interested in.
What’s the difference between Land Rover and Range Rover?
Land Rover is the brand, while Range Rover is a specific model line under the Land Rover brand, known for its luxury features and off-road capabilities.
The Range Rover, an emblem of luxury and off-road mastery, has journeyed through time, refining its art with each generation. While it has faced its share of challenges, its legacy as a premium SUV remains unshaken.
For enthusiasts, mechanics, and everyday drivers alike, the Range Rover continues to be a symbol of prestige, adventure, and innovation. As with any vehicle, understanding its history and nuances is key to a rewarding ownership experience