1997 Land Rover Range Rover from UK and Ireland - Comments

19th Dec 2001, 18:55

I also love Range Rovers - the way they look and drive. But, MY GOD, the maintenance costs are just ludicrous. My last 1992 Trocadero Red with 65,000 miles was in the shop at least five/six times a year with niggling (and some major) problems, including: fluid leaks, failed electrical accessories, air conditioning malfunctions, shot fuses, constant ball-joint/alignment issues, ABS problems, door/tailgate latch and locking jams, body trim and cladding falling off, etc., etc., etc., etc. I just gave up and sold it in 1996.

I will NEVER buy another one. Solihull just cannot build a reliable vehicle (I don't care how elegant they look and which multinational claims to be in charge). Sorry, Ford/Land Rover, but my business and love have long gone elsewhere...

27th Feb 2002, 09:28

I have very much the same experience with my Range Rover 2.5 DSE m98 in Sweden, after only 6 months ownership. Very a bad experience concerning reliability, maintenance costs and now also servicing. Have just changed from BMW (excellent) to Volvo (very poor) service due to FORD take over and fear the worst. Volvo (Bilia) charges almost twice the price of a BMW service. Did talk to 50 owners of Range Rovers before purchase and was alerted what to look out for. Many owners have had similar problems that in my mind Land Rover should pay for Here some examples: (several also from my own car)

- ACC display and functional problems

- Fuel feeder pump in tank doesn't work

- ABS pump that doesn't work (£1,500)

- Exhaust that breaks after low mileage

- Engine break down

- Automatic transmission break down

- Central locking that doesn´t work

- Stereo/CD doesn´t work when cold

- Wheel angles not OK

- Brakes that do not last

- Oil leaks from engine & transmission

- Air suspension either too low or high

- Earth connections that corrodes = electrical malfunctions

- Central computer BECAM that goes wrong

- Fueses and relay central behind battery destroyed every 2'nd year due to battery acid vapour

- Steering column shake/play

- Water leaks upper side front screen

- Corrosion various places

- Alarm problems.

This makes me think - when all these things can go wrong, how can I then trust that my airbag or ABS works when I really need them. I don´t trust anything on this car.

I have had similar experience with my former Discovery 300 TDI m98 and can just say that Land Rover Solihull cannot build (off road) cars - however they know how to charge customers and how to make them upset, changing to other better cars.

I bought my car second hand for a very low price and will still earn money when I sell it, but the depreciation and the problems that the first owner has experienced are not fair to any customer.

27th Feb 2002, 10:07

In late October 2001 I ordered a new XS Discovery on the basis of the published spec. I also specified some options including the heated front screen. After much badgering, my dealer phoned on 26th Feb 2002 to say it had landed, however a) Land Rover had forgotten the heated screen which is only a factory-fit because of alternative wiring harness and they could do nothing b) Land-Rover in their wisdom had deleted the sun-roofs without telling anyone thereby effectively increasing the price by IEP900.00 & not even giving me an opportunity to specify these as a cost-option (Thanks a lot, Land-Rover) In addition the very useful, mechanical diff-lock which existed in SII Discoveries, even though the gear-lever didn't operate it, has been deleted for '02. LR will contend that its not needed 'cos of the trac. control but what happens when that packs up (which it will). Ford, you have a mammoth task ahead yet - or do you even care? Are we guaranteed that the old British Leyland attitude of the seventies will live for ever? I hope the car is reliable, I haven't even seen it yet & I'm beginning to regret not buying Japanese already. I think I want my totally reliable '99 VW Passat back - it was delivered exactly the week specified with exactly the spec. seen at time of purchase. Its a crying shame, LR could be wonderful cars, out-selling every other manufacturer in every market...why...oh why? Its so stupid and so unnecessary...and there may not be many more either, now there's no chassis manufacturer... Frustrated of Wicklow.

30th Oct 2002, 03:01

I live and work in Angola, West Africa, and recently imported a 1998 RR 4.6HSE from Germany with 60,000kms on the clock. The car had a full service history and was immaculate inside and out. You could eat your dinner off the engine it was so clean. Its last service was less than a 1,000 kms before I bought it. The vehicle had obviously enjoyed an easy life in the care of a pampering owner.

I was immediately impressed with its ride and handling and was genuinely delighted with the car. Last Thursday, I decided to take it for a 300 km run into the interior to visit a friend's coffee plantation. A good 150kms of the road is in excellent condition, the last portion gradually deteriorates, but, I hasten to add, others traverse the same route in saloon cars.

On the return journey, now around 400kms into the trip, the rear portion of the exhaust fractured into two pieces and I had to remove it and put it in the back. A few kilometres further on, on a smooth section of the road, there was a very load hiss and I assumed that I had suffered a puncture. All the tyres seemed fine so I carried on. A kilometre further on, there was another less violent hiss and the rear of the car sank to its bump stops. I tried lowering the suspension (the front now joined the rear on the bump stops) and then tried unsuccessfully to raise the car again. I still had 260kms to go. The war has only just finished in Angola and the country through which I was travelling still can be dangerous. At night, it is murderous if you are on your own. It took me 14 hours to recover the car back to Luanda at 20kms per hour and I don't mind telling you I was a trifle nervous at times. A friendly trucker tried to get the vehicle onto his flatbed, but because the car was so low, it grounded out on the ramps so I was forced to continue on my own at a snail's pace. The ride, as you can imagine, was excruciating. After 100 kms, the warning system alerted my by now pounded senses that there had been an EAS failure.

I have always liked Range Rovers and bought this one as a present for my wife. OK, I can live with the exhaust although it was obvious that it was a stress fracture. That the airsuspension cannot handle what I would call medium terrain is a shock. I was not traveling fast. Although I was returning by myself, on the way there I was following an ancient bandeirante which on the smoothest blacktop could only manage 90kms per hour. On the rougher stuff we crawled along.

Now I have to try and figure out what the problem is and get it repaired, no doubt at enormous cost. Sadly, I would have to say that if your vehicle is mission critical, if your life depends on it, do not buy a Range Rover with airsuspension. If you want the style, sacrifice some of the handling and off road ability and convert to springs!

Tom Gowans

Luanda.