1997 Land Rover Range Rover SE 4.0L V8
English charm and beauty, along with unreliability and expense
Heater core o-rings failed and were leaking a small amount of coolant onto the passenger carpet. Although the o-rings are cheap (about $7 for both), the job is long and tedious to access the connection. It took me hours, and certainly the dealer would have had a hefty labor charge.
Subwoofer, left-rear door speakers, and left-rear courtesy lamps all quit. It turned out a splice running below the b-pillar had corroded away (I was worried about a BeCM problem). I repaired the splice myself and the problem is solved.
Several dashboard lamps have failed, including the message center display and some on the climate control panel. I have replaced all these.
It's a Range Rover - and that means a beautiful vehicle with timeless styling and a rich-interior, combined with exceptional sturdiness and go-anywhere capability. But, unfortunately, it also typically means a never-ending, guaranteed stream of repairs on this complex vehicle, which flaunted a lot of non-perfected technology. Here in the US, parts are expensive, and at this age, some of them are hard to get.
It's an amazing vehicle, with exceptional drive train smoothness and a nice ride quality. It imparts a heavy and substantial feel, and with its permanent 4WD, makes one seem invincible in poor weather. I drive mine off-road, and it handles it well. The big worries are the air suspension failing (which it does regularly), or the BeCM failing (which also happens fairly frequently). Other worries include the complex climate control system, heater core (or o-ring) failure, ABS pump failure, Rover V8 head gasket / liner / block issues, and more.
Compared to my previous '92 Range Rover County, this newer version is more comfortable, far more luxurious, roomier, and has a little more power. Power from the 4.0L V8 is merely 'adequate', with tepid acceleration. However, the engine is very, very smooth and quiet, and shifts exceptionally smoothly. Far less drive train slack in this version vs. the Classic.
Perhaps its worst trait is its thirst for fuel. I get around 10 MPG city and perhaps up to 16 MPG on 55mph highways. Interstate speeds increase consumption. I love this vehicle, but fully understand its operating expense.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th October, 2012