Land Rover’s Range Rover is one of the reasons so many people associate SUVs with luxury and status. It combined the go-anywhere capability of the original Land Rover with on-road refinement and a quality interior. Decades later, it’s still a very refined and competent SUV on pavement and over muddy grass.
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Although it’s possible to spend over N200 million on a Range Rover, there are still constant stories of faulty features and endless repairs. To this day, Range Rovers have a reputation for unreliability. This then asks the question: are they worth the cost?
Why Do People Pay So Much for the Range Rover?
By the time it debuted in 1970, the Range Rover had been in development for nearly two decades. While based on a Land Rover Series II, engineers made several changes inside and underneath. Traditionalists worried these would ruin the SUV—but they needn’t have. From its initial debut, the Range Rover was amazingly popular.
The SUV had strong but clean styling; Thrillist reports it was even displayed at the Louvre. The interior was still wash-down but upscale and comfortable. It was also one of the first SUVs to offer permanent four-wheel drive. This, plus the split tailgate that can turn into a seat for weary outdoor explorers, has continued into the present day.
Today, the Range Rover is no longer a single SUV. But from the ‘entry-level’ Evoque all the way to the almost N200 million Autobiography SV, all have been praised for styling, high-quality interior, and ability to conquer any terrain. Motor Trend reports that even the city-focused Evoque can move almost 2 feet deep into the water.
The Range Rover has also kept pace with modern technology. The 2013 model was one of the first SUVs to feature an aluminium unibody. Air suspension helps the lineup adapt to both on- and off-road situations and is linked to the SUV’s traction control and Terrain ResponseTM system. There’s also an active locking rear differential and what is essentially an off-road cruise control system. Land Rover, even on the Evoque, also lets drivers use the SUV’s multiple cameras to see the ground around them and avoid obstacles.
However, all this fancy tech does come at a price. And not just when customers put down their deposits.
What Are The Issues of the Range Rover?
Car and Driver noted electrical issues in both the 2016 Range Rover diesel and 2018 Velar used for long-term reviews. Random error and warning lights, infotainment glitches—sometimes the digital gauge cluster wouldn’t turn on. In a vehicle reliability survey performed by What Car, this report noted that 2 of the 5 most unreliable vehicles were Range Rover models.
Car and Driver didn’t suffer any suspension issues. However, this other car critic reported that the air suspension causes so many headaches people looking at a used Range Rover should make sure it was converted to coil springs.
Why Does the Range Rover Need So Much Repair?
It isn’t unusual for redesigned SUVs to suffer reliability issues. A new design, new features—there’ll be bugs to work out. But Land Rover hasn’t redesigned the Range Rover for several years. And yet, Consumer Reports still gives every Range Rover its lowest reliability rating. And still, people continue to buy them.
Part of this reliability issue—which Autotrader reports has haunted the Range Rover from the beginning, may stem from what makes the SUV so desirable. Range Rover customers expect a luxurious and ‘special’ experience from their vehicles.
This means Land Rover has to spend quite a lot of money developing new features, improving technology, and often making unique switchgear. This means the Range Rover costs a lot and doesn’t necessarily benefit from the economies of scale.
Is The Range Rover Worth It?
As always, it depends. If you want a luxury off-road SUV and can afford to buy one new, yes. Although many owners never use the Range Rover to its fullest extent, it really is equally at home in the city and countryside. If you can live with the headache of waiting on a repair, the warranty will at least keep costs down.
In all of this, a Range Rover probably won’t be worth it if you’re shopping for a used SUV. Gambling on a vehicle’s reliability is not the smartest decision, especially if you need it to work on a daily basis.