AutoTest File - 2003 Land Rover Range Rover.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Big Dog on Campus: Range Rover leads the luxo-ute pack

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    While it's pedigree may confuse some, Land Rover’s hulking Range Rover sport/ute doesn’t leave owners wanting for much. Apart from its confusing stereo/GPS controls, most owners found little about which to complain. We didn’t find many faults either, as the big dog performs beyond expectations for a vehicle of its heft (all 5379 pounds of it). Of course, with a sticker around $72,000, it should perform well—spectacularly, even.

    Around town the 73.3-inch-tall box produces surprisingly little wind noise, and even up to freeway speeds the Range Rover remains quiet inside, demonstrating superb isolation from tire, engine and road noise. That’s not to say the Range Rover feels numb; on the contrary, we found the vehicle transmits a good deal of feedback. Best of all, its five-speed automatic shifted as smoothly as any automatic transmission we’ve tested, and it resisted the tendency to hunt for gears.

    The Range Rover felt confident over both rough and wet roads, staying firmly planted in the rain and refusing to pound its occupants over the bumps. But it’s on the extremes that the big truck really shines. It feels perfectly stable on flat stretches of freeway, tracking arrow-straight in flawless comfort and quiet, while off-road the luxury/ute proves it’s not too prissy to get its shoes dirty—really dirty. It tackles rocky terrain as well as any vehicle in which we’ve had the privilege of charging through a desert wash.

    Similarly, the Range Rover shone at the track. Braking and acceleration times proved superior to most other SUVs we’ve tested, putting the ute more in line with large luxury sedans such as the BMW 745i, at least in straight-line tests.

    The Range Rover used only 126 feet to stop from 60 mph, leagues better than the Buick Rendezvous, which, some 1300 pounds lighter than the Range Rover, needed 147 feet. Similarly, the 5123-pound Chevrolet Suburban required 152 feet of stopping distance. The 745i stopped in 123 feet.

    Acceleration tests ran likewise. The Range Rover did 0 to 60 mph in 8.75 seconds, with the Rendezvous reaching 60 mph from a stop in a whopping 11.35 seconds, while the similarly powered Suburban, with 3 more horses and a 256-pound weight advantage over the Range Rover, took 8.8 seconds.

    As one would guess, however, the Range Rover’s prowess was brought back to earth in the slalom, where the big, boxy ute managed only a best 39.0-mph run through the tightly spaced cones (eight in 490 feet). The smaller (186.5-inch overall length) Rendezvous ran it in 40.4 mph, but the much longer (by two feet) Suburban lumbered through at 38.4 mph. Skidpad numbers didn’t fare much better, topping out at just 0.68 gs.

    All that performance, however, comes with a serious gasoline penalty, with the EPA estimating a combined fuel economy of 14.25 mpg. We got close in our real-world test, averaging 13.45 mpg over 1042 miles but paying more than $150 out-of-pocket.

    Owners didn’t complain about the Range Rover’s gas-guzzling ways, but they did gripe about the overly confusing navigation system. “I am still learning [how to use] all the electronic GPS gizmos after two months of ownership,” said one owner. “The GPS is more complex than most other factory [units].”

    Most owners, however, only had positive things to share about their ownership experience, pointing out the first-class fit-and-finish and dramatic exterior styling as reasons they chose the British marque over similar offerings from Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln. But some owners, confused about the Range Rover’s parentage, insisted it outclassed the likes of BMW, the automaker respon-sible for large portions of the vehicle’s design and engineering, including its 4.4-liter V8 (preceding Ford’s buying Land Rover).

    Owners also raved about the Range Rover’s superb ride, handling and power, and some have already ventured off-road, with one saying, “It was a confidence-inspiring event... the off-road ability was equal to or better than our previous 4x4 vehicles: Tahoe, Cherokee and ’65 Land Cruiser.”

    Nothing in our time with the Range Rover leads us to disagree.

    LIKES
    Fresh, bold styling
    Great fit-and-finish
    Off-road ability
    Quiet ride

    DISLIKES
    Convoluted nav system
    Fuel mileage

    OTHERS CONSIDERED
    Lincoln Navigator
    Mercedes-Benz G500
    Cadillac Escalade

    [​IMG]

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    OWNERS SAY...

    This truck should cause great consternation at the headquarters of major luxury brands. It looks great, the interior design and finish embarrass Mercedes and BMW, ride quality is superb, it handles well and the engine sounds great. My wife has an S500 and I’d rather drive the Range Rover. -Thomas Martin, Austin, Texas

    The Range Rover HSE is an amazing combination of on- and off-road ability. We couldn’t resist taking it to the local off-road park the first day. It was a confidence-inspiring event, and the Descent Control is a wonderful device. Its ability was equal to or better than our previous Chevy Tahoe, Jeep Cherokee and 1965 Toyota Land Cruiser. The V8, automanual tranny, steering and electronic air suspension make it ride like a German luxury car. -Britt Wuest, Bishop, Calif.

    If you like to travel in style and comfort this is the best luxury SUV on the market. The classy bold exterior is tastefully designed and the leather interior best in class. The only drawback is the cockpit gadgets for the steering wheel, stereo system, climate and GPS, which are more complex than other systems. However, the handling is solid, responsive, and it can keep up with and pass much smaller SUVs, which was an issue with the old Range Rover. This Range Rover will be a homerun for many years to come. -Kevin Nguyen-Khoa, Irving, Texas

    I ordered my Range Rover sight unseen and got the first one in. I did this because I liked the Discovery, I loved the dealer, and read reports in AutoWeek that the new Range Rover was remarkably good. When it arrived it was gorgeous, but love quickly soured. The seats were designed for the obese and I spent more than $1,000 at an upholstery shop having them contoured so my wife and I don’t feel like seven-year-olds sitting at the big table. This vehicle has the worst ergonomics I’ve experienced since my ’60s-era Fiat. -Terry Goodkind, Boulder City, Nev.

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    OFFICAL SPECS AND ROAD-TEST DATA:

    STICKER
    tested (includes $665 delivery): $72,045
    Owners paid; average: $70,100 to $74,500; $72,321

    CHASSIS
    Unibody four-door sport/ute

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase (in): 113.4
    Track (in): 64.1 front, 64.0 rear
    Length/width/height (in): 195/75.7/73.3
    b weight/GVWR (lbs): 5379/6724

    CAPACITIES
    Fuel (gal): 24.4
    Cargo (cu ft): 62.0
    Towing (lbs): 7700

    ENGINE
    Front-longitudinal 4.4-liter/268-cid dohc V8
    Horsepower: 282 @ 5400 rpm
    Torque (lb-ft): 325 @ 3600 rpm

    Compression ratio: 10.0:1
    Fuel requirement: 91 octane

    DRIVETRAIN
    Four-wheel drive
    Transmission: Five-speed automatic
    Final drive ratio: 3.73:1

    SUSPENSION
    Front: MacPherson struts with double-pivot lower arms, computer-controlled variable-rate air springs, gas-charged shock absorbers and antiroll bar
    Rear: Double wishbone with computer-controlled variable-rate air springs and gas-charged shock absorbers

    BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES
    Discs front and rear, ABS, aluminum 255/55SR-19 Goodyear Wrangler HP

    STANDING-START ACCELERATION
    0-60 mph: 8.75 sec
    0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 9.56 sec
    0-quarter-mile: 16.80 sec @ 82.4 mph

    ROLLING ACCELERATION
    20-40 mph (first and second gear): 3.0 sec
    40-60 mph (second gear): 4.6 sec
    60-80 mph (third gear): 6.7 sec

    BRAKING
    60 mph-0: 126 ft

    HANDLING
    490-foot slalom: 39.0 mph
    Lateral acceleration (200-foot skidpad): 0.68 g

    INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
    Idle: 45
    Full throttle: 79
    Steady 60 mph: 62

    FUEL MILEAGE
    EPA combined: 14.25 mpg
    AW overall: 13.45 mpg

    RESIDUALS
    $36,850 after 36-month lease,
    51.15 percent of new vehicle price

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  2. 2DR Vette

    2DR Vette We don't freestyle the Eyes of Texas, Big Boy.

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    P-I-M-P :cool:

    I want one soooo bad- that's my choice for an SUV< hands-down. Fuck the Escalade, fuck the G500 or ML320, or the X5- that thing is TITS. :yum:
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    :werd:
     
  4. Omega6_Virus

    Omega6_Virus New Member

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    I don't remember which publication said it, but they reviewed the Range Rover fully loaded. Since it was designed by BMW, they compared it to the more exspensive loaded X5 4.6is, they said the Range Rover was the better buy.
     
  5. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

    It's nice, but they took it from something that would off-road all the time, to something that will spend more time getting detailed and parked by valet's.
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    That's all Land Rovers really.

    People in North America buy them for that reason. It seems the engineers did spend a considerable amount of time and effort making sure this model can perform well off-road when asked to. Even going so far as creating an IFS air suspension that mimics solid axle wheel travel off-road.
     
  7. Omega6_Virus

    Omega6_Virus New Member

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    It's the same sad truth about the Hummer. Both H1 and H2. See more time on the roads except for a small % of owners. I'm sure the Discos are taken out.
     
  8. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

    They are still used more off-road percentage-wise than other SUV's (besides Jeep), it's just the price of this one completely goes against that and doesn't stand a chance. Granted they will still sell a lot to rich people, but I am sure the purists are not happy.
     
  9. spooky

    spooky OT Supporter

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    Thanks for bolding the article.
     
  10. daft punk

    daft punk New Member

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    Cayenne > *
     
  11. Redline Racer

    Redline Racer Subaru Tecnica International

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    Land Rover Defender > *

    As long as we're talking about off-road ability:big grin:

    However I did read an article in Land Rover Owner that compared a new Range Rover to a Defender off-road, and the Range Rover was able to match the Defender in most areas except approach and departure angles. It may be more road-orientated than ever before, but its still got off-road ability even if it is more due to electronic intervention rather than sheer mechanical agility.
     
  12. $entenza

    $entenza Saudade, Beco.

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    Cayenne or Range, for SHO!
     
  13. T-T

    T-T Born Into Retirement

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    That's like saying Mustang or Jeep, for SHO!

    Two totally different cars, albeit sharing a whole lot of sexiness.
     

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