Range Rover - talk me out of it

scruffyponies

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Don't want to run a separate tow car, and might occasionally need to turn up looking respectable, as well as lugging random loads about, and fence posts out over the meadow.

Seriously tempted by a cheap (£3-5k) high-mileage (likely 150-200k) range rover or discovery. It is EXACTLY what I need for the job in hand - including not worrying too much about scratching it. However, my common sense is screaming about fuel costs and reliability.

Those of you who have run similar vehicles; did they do the job, or was it a painful mistake!?
 
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https://www.whatcar.com/news/25-most-unreliable-cars-part-3/n18546

Costs aside - the Range Rover takes not only the top spot but also spots 3 and 4 on this list... The Discovery takes spot number 16. High mileage ones I would imagine be even worse, as there will generally be a reason people get rid at that point, it's about to go wrong or it already has. I would go for a lower base cost and get something a little younger, or less mileage if possible - or even a company vehicle if you can find one, as they're usually high mileage but well looked after.
 

DirectorFury

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High mileage RR Classic with a 200tdi engine might not be a bad idea, though at the bottom end of your budget you’re looking at welding bills. The 200 is pretty good on fuel, we were getting 34-40mpg on a run, but I’d avoid the V8 petrol like the plague. Alternatively 5k will get you a 200tdi Disco 1 that’s sorted and had all the welding and other work done. I really really rate them and they’re a rapidly appreciating classic. I realise that this was absolutely not what you had in mind when asking the question :D.

The modern (Disco 3 era onwards) Discos and RRs are unreliable expensive nightmares. They suffer more from electrical and mechanical issues than rot but I’d rather have something rotten that would get me home over something solidish that left me on the side of a motorway!
 

PurBee

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I have a 30yr old defender. We’ve spent thousands on it...new chassis, engine, gearbox etc etc...its the gift that keeps on taking!! Lol
however, its bloody good for towing very heavy loads, in low ratio, uphill. We use it for that, mainly. Like a tractor.....shame it hasnt got a pto!

Range rovers have their downsides, like all land rovers, but generally if it has a good service history, its worth considering. The diesel engine will do 300k miles and probably more. We replaced our engine due to swimming in it in a flood...and split the internal piston chambers.(That’s when we discovered the snorkel kit hadnt been fitten properly by the previous owner!)

They are fuel hungry but for the minimal use it gets, and the type of specific jobs it does, its a cost worth bearing.

we’ve got ours on ‘classic insurance’ so pay minimal tax and insurance per year...180 for insurance full comp incl. Trailer cover.

For off road use, its only as useful as the tyres youve got on. If youve got road tyres on youll slip and not get traction in just 2 inches of mud. If youve got off road tyres on, youll be able to march mostly anywhere....muddy fields etc. We’ve been stuck in the bog, in a field, in shallow mud, with our road tyres, due to no traction, not lack of 4wd power.
You can get half/half tyres - on the road the fuel will cost more on these tyres and they’re noisier to drive on tarmac than road tyres.

Main points - check the chassis, by a mechanic, for rust...they are known for shoite rusty chassis and older vehicles wont necessarily be safe for towing. 4k for a new galvanised one.

So you may find an old one to run on classic insurance and tax, therefore cheap to have as a spare....but it may be knackered if not looked after.
Or a newer one, look for those with genuine service history, while still having a mechanic with you to check the chassis and bearings. No amount of service history will stop a chassis rotting in key areas.....unless the vehicle was garaged its whole life!
 

Annagain

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An older one with a really good service history and records of common faults having been corrected would actually be a better buy than a newer one without -e.g my Defender blew a turbo hose when it was still under warranty. It's not that big a deal and it's a common problem so the dealer replaced all 3 hoses at the same time for uprated ones which are known to fix the problem. 7 years on we've had no repeats. If I were to sell that now, the fact we could show they've all been replaced would make it more desirable.
 

Orangehorse

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We have an oldish Discovery which needs garage attention sometimes, even though OH is a pretty handy mechanic and can do lots of things. There was a Disco/Range Rover coming up for sale somewhere so OH popped round to the garage to ask if it would be a sensible buy. Do not buy - barge pole, was the verdict.

I would find a couple of local Land Rover specialist garages - there are three within 5 miles here - and have a chat. Don't buy the first one that you are offered, but try and find out which would be the best model for you to buy. There were many different engines, some have been fine, others have been terrible, other models had problems with gear boxes and electronics.
 

TheHairyOne

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We have spent more in repairs than the purchase price on ours.
Also have a landy. Also done this. Get anything else would be mine and my friendly, but having his patience worn thin, mechanic. He loathes working on it and sees it every couple of months when its behaving and every couple of weeks when its not! The other issue is mine had clearly been owned by an 'enthusiast' who'd done all sorts of things 'a bit wrong'.
 

Annagain

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It's funny, I hear lots of stories about reliability but we've had several - right through from Freelanders to Range Rovers and almost everything in between and only one has been any more unreliable than a normal car. It kept reporting the same fault but changing the part twice didn't stop it, we then changed the sensors twice and that didn't stop it either. In the end it turned out the computer itself had a fault so had to be replaced. Luckily it was under warranty as that would have been pricey but it was just the one issue that took a while to find rather than 6 separate things.

Our first Freelander had a broken fuel pump once and as I said my Defender has needed the turbo hoses changing. Other than that we've had no issues at all with about 8 cars in over 20 years. I don't know if we've just been lucky or if OH is just good at spotting the good ones to buy (Defender is the only one we've had from new). The car that's given me the most trouble in the time I owned it was a Fiesta!
 

Goldenstar

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We have two range rovers and two defenders here .
My car is a V8 superharged Range Rover it’s the all bells and whistles it’s 2006 we got it at a year old it’s been a marvellous car reliable it’s passed Mot after Mot every year I worry every year its back .
Servicing is expensive and brakes on those big fast cars are expensive to maintain but it’s a complete star , nicknamed the pickup I do everything in it that you would use a pick up for including transporting fish boxes of cement .
I have everything crossed that it will see out the building of the new house .
Then I will buy another car for my new ( clean ) life .
I also have a defender 90 she’s twenty just has a new chassis that one is called the kennel .
 

honetpot

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First find a good garage who specialises in Landrover, and get ready to give them a regular cheque. I have three friends who have had them, one from shiny new, one over just three years old, and one is a very nice looking top of the range oldie with cream leather seats. Some of newer ones the parts are not parts, they seem to be whole sections of the car, that need to be imported, and the older ones are just a labour of love, and money. A specialist will tell you the cheapest way to fix things, They look the part but I prefer the old box like Discovery that at least will fit a bale, or four, of hay in the back.
 

Sprig

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I had a Range Rover and loved it but, as everyone has said it will be a money pit. I now have a Freelander 2 HSE. I am seriously impressed with it. It's v nice to drive, great interior, tows brilliantly and has cost me nothing apart from routine servicing since I bought it 4yrs ago. It has 160,000 miles now but you wouldn't know it. You would easily buy a tidy one in your budget.
 

Spottyappy

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The cost when anything goes wrong is phenomenal. Like second mortgage required, as rarely it is anything simple.
we have had a disco 3, and a disco sport which fitted the above category so went.
we now have a newish defender, one of the last built, and It is much more reliable and less costly when something goes wrong. It’s not ideal to manoeuvre though, as it’s like a tank!
 

mini_b

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The cost when anything goes wrong is phenomenal. Like second mortgage required, as rarely it is anything simple.
we have had a disco 3, and a disco sport which fitted the above category so went.
we now have a newish defender, one of the last built, and It is much more reliable and less costly when something goes wrong. It’s not ideal to manoeuvre though, as it’s like a tank!
exactly this! They sound appealing when cheap but are SO expensive to fix. Looked at older discos and had been warned off them due to full engine rebuilds/replacements.

we also went with the defender, it was more expensive than the rangeys we were looking at but parts are so cheap and readily available and because everything is so mechanical it’s more straightforward to sort out any problems.

also. Defenders are an investment! Get a TD5, best engine made. Tows like a beast and I think they are alright to park, they are so square so you can see all your “edges”
Turning circle of a small ship though...
 

mini_b

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I had a Range Rover and loved it but, as everyone has said it will be a money pit. I now have a Freelander 2 HSE. I am seriously impressed with it. It's v nice to drive, great interior, tows brilliantly and has cost me nothing apart from routine servicing since I bought it 4yrs ago. It has 160,000 miles now but you wouldn't know it. You would easily buy a tidy one in your budget.
we had a freelander 2 which I loved, it just didn’t have the towing capacity for our trailer/horse combo. If I wasn’t towing anything that big I’d get another in a heartbeat. We bought ours at 180k and ran it to 220k and someone bought it and it’s still going strong!
 

Billyandme

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Have had about 6 Range Rovers over the years and would reiterate what others have sadlid about them. Husband os currently driving a 2010 Rang Rover which came with a full service history. Engine had been chipped and goes like the clappers. The most reliable 4wd we owned was a Toyota Land cruiser. Absolutely awesome for towing and very reliable but when things do go wrong a lot more expensive to fix than Range rovers.
 

brightmount

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Love my Range Rover Evoque, it’s the best car we’ve had. Previous to that we had a Land Rover Discovery Sport that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Before that, we had a Defender LWB which was an ideal workhorse but not that comfortable as a family car. Before that we had a Defender SWB that was too small and not a great ride.
 

McFluff

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Our Defender has just turned 16. She just sailed through her mot and service for £200. She’s only ‘lost’ £4K in value over what we paid for her 15 years ago. Not many cars can do that!
We had an original freelander - brilliant car.
My parents ran an old Disco, and she was very reliable and had 250k on the clock when they sold (I think my dad still misses that car).
They also ran a classic RR for years (v8 with LPG conversion). Went well and no more issues than any other car.
So they aren’t all bad. Get the car that makes you smile.
 
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