The new Land Rover Range Rover -- introduced in 1994 -- soon became a massive international hit. With major sales in a wide range of countries including Australia, Canada, Japan and the US the Land Rover Range Rover soon dispelled any fears that it would never be able to live up to the original, which had remained a favourite for over 25 years. In fact, the manufacturers made sure they had their backs covered by keeping the original in production for another year; an unnecessary step as demand soon exceeded supply for its successor.
While the newer version of 1994 was considerably more costly than its much loved predecessor, it was also significantly more classy. The choice of both a 4.0 litre and a 4.6 litre petrol version in addition to a 2.5 litre turbo diesel version was offered. In the case of both the diesel and the 4.0 litre petrol version buyers had the choice between a basic or the more luxurious SE trim while the 4.6 model came with executive HSE trim as standard. The diesel turbo engine was based on the much acclaimed BMW motor.
Only when a luxury 2.5DT HSE diesel version was introduced did the used Range Rover range undergo any alteration. That is up until 1999 when both the petrol versions received something of a makeover. The aim was to provide more low-down pulling power and to this end an Electronic Traction Control four wheel transmission was introduced as standard throughout the range.
Bang for your Buck
Long regarded as the finest 4x4 in the world it is perhaps only its successor that can ever come close to this version of the approved used Range Rover -- at least in terms of its off-road capabilities. Indeed, many consider the Range Rover to be so far and above its Asian competitors with regards to both style and wheel articulation that the latter's productions don't deserve to be placed in the same class of vehicle.
In fact, it is perhaps only the Jeep Grand Cherokee that can touch the Range Rover for off-road ability while even this model doesn't get close to the latter's style. As for the popular Troopers and Shoguns -- no chance! While the British-built master can power through the deepest of marshy bogs it will never be out classed even parked beside a Merc or a Jag.
What You'll Pay
Fortunately there are plenty of used Range Rover cars for sale on the market. For an original 4.0 litre petrol version with standard trim you could pick one up for as little as £4,000, while the significantly less economical 4.6 litre versions with the HSE trim can go for up to £6,000. For the later models, say a 99-plate 4.0 litre model, you should expect to pay around £8,900 while the later 4.6 HSE versions may set you back at least £13,000. For the latest models that range from an 01X DSE plate to a 02 51-plate TD HSE, they will be anywhere between £16,000 and £20,000.
What to Check
It is best to steer clear of any second hand models that do not have either air conditioning or automatic transmission. This is basically because the majority of buyers want an approved used Range Rover as a luxury car and these particular specs will make it far easier to move on again should you wish. In addition, if you can find one that has spent most of its life on the tarmac rather than in the muddy fields of a farm -- then go for it. Scratched plastic panels, ripped headliners and torn carpets are certain signs that the car has had a tough life.
Unfortunately replacement parts are fairly expensive. For a basic clutch expect to pay around £250 and up to £500 for a full exhaust system. Electrical parts such as starter motors and headlamps go for around £200 and £120 respectively. Brake pads are approximately £60 for the front set and £45 for the rears.
How it Drives
The important point to remember is that this is a 4x4 and that you will need to drive accordingly. That said the second hand Range Rover is certainly the best 4 x 4 for handling you will ever drive. Pulling power and torque are at a premium with the V8s and while the turbo diesel may feel a little sluggish at first, they too have plenty of pulling power and with a great 23-28 mpg are perhaps the better option for those with a slightly smaller wallet.