1994 Land Rover Range Rover Vogue SE 3.9 V8 (LPG Converted) from UK and Ireland
The king of off-roaders, dependable and luxurious
Head gaskets required replacement at 170,000 miles.
Air suspension components required renewal after being parked up for six months.
The air suspension can no longer be lowered to the lowest setting (for loading), as the wiring has corroded.
Driver's seat shows significant wear, however it doesn't seem to have gotten much worse in the time we've had the car.
The cruise control has never worked in the time we've had the car.
The driver's electric seat required a new motor at 175,000 and a new ECU at 185,000. However, with the installation of the new ECU the memory function no longer works.
Steel upper tailgate replaced with an aluminium one at 175,000 miles.
Lower tailgate will require replacement soon.
Corossion of the rear crossmember was stated as an advisory on this year's MoT.
A new water pump was fitted at 190,000 miles.
Wear on the steering joints means that the car has a tendency to the left when the steering is centred. Nothing sudden or dangerous, it just means that one has to keep the wheel turned to the right a bit more than before.
The radio unit is beginning to fail.
Driving the Range Rover is an absolute treat, it always feels special.
As regards driver comfort, the seats are very comfortable in a soft way and the adjustable armrests are the best I've encountered. However, I am quite tall and the position of the steering wheel is too low - disallowing me from getting my legs properly underneath it. Headroom is sufficient, but more would be excellent. The controls for the lights, wipers and indicators fall easily to hand, but there has been little ergonomic thought given to the positioning of controls on the centre console; a reminder that the basic design of this car is from the 70s. Despite some criticisms, I have truly enjoyed every mile of driving it - 600 mile days were not uncommon, and the Range Rover did not leave me fatigued.
Passengers are well catered-for. The front passenger's seat benefits from the same level of adjustment as the driver's, but without the awkward positioning of the steering wheel, it is much more easy to find a comfortable position. There is excellent rear headroom and three rear armrests: a centre one and two that fold out next to the doors!
Whilst the car isn't the fastest on paper, to me at least it seems very good for the type of vehicle and its age. It has excellent shove for A-road overtaking and the Rover V8 makes a fantastic noise upon hard acceleration.
Having not driven a coil-sprung Range Rover, I cannot make comparisons, but my air-suspended version does roll a little in the corners, certainly more than the Jeep Cherokee of a similar vintage. On the other hand, it never feels precarious or like it's about to let go, and the air-suspension also allows for a much more composed ride than the Cherokee's.
The geared steering gives very little feedback; some who have driven my car found it slightly disconcerting. I feel that it's characteristic of the car, and once you get used to it, you can hustle the car with confidence.
In the years we've had the car, we've always serviced it regularly, and waxoiled the chassis. This has meant that it's never failed its MoT, and garages have commented how good the condition of the chassis is, bearing in mind its age. I don't feel that the Range Rover deserves its reputation as expensive to run, or unreliable. It has never broken-down on us, and parts have been cheaper than on our other cars. It would admittedly be expensive to run on petrol, but its acceptable on LPG.
Overall, I am very pleased with the service the Range Rover has given over the past four years. It was a premium car when released, and as such demands regular servicing. Many of the problems I've heard stem from neglecting maintenance, and its certainly true that the Range Rover won't put up with this in the same way that many Japanese cars do. However, good and regular maintenance should see that the car remains reliable. We intend to keep the Range Rover, but should I be in the market for something similar, I would only look at Range Rovers. I'd be tempted to look at the P38, purely for the increased space and consequent comfort it allows the taller driver. And I'd also want a lower-mileage example, so that any neglect by the previous owners is proportionally lesser.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th October, 2008