We en­joy the Range Rover and put it to the test

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - DRIVING -


While the unas­sisted steer­ing can make ma­noeu­ver­ing a bit of a work­out and the V8’s love of a drink means you’ll strug­gle to top 20mpg around town, the Range Rover’s ver­sa­til­ity makes it ideal for reg­u­lar use. The great all-round vis­i­bil­ity makes it far eas­ier to squeeze through nar­row streets than you might ex­pect and the split rear tail­gate make load­ing su­per­mar­ket clut­ter a dod­dle. The grippy Miche­lin tyres, am­ple ground clear­ance and per­ma­nent four-wheel-drive make it an ideal clas­sic com­pan­ion at this time of year too – it’s what it was de­signed for, after all.


The great thing with the Range Rover is that you don’t have to jack it up to reach its un­der­sides, which speeds up jobs like oil changes. There’s plenty of space be­neath the clamshell bon­net to work on the V8 too, and there’s a healthy sup­ply of spares from Land Rover spe­cial­ists if you are look­ing for re­place­ment parts.


There aren’t many places a Range Rover won’t go – and that in­cludes the na­tion’s clas­sic shows. Not only does its V8 earn it at place at the RoverFest cel­e­bra­tions of the en­gine this sum­mer, but early ex­am­ples are now el­i­gi­ble to take part in the Good­wood Re­vival’s ‘Over The Road’ car park, and the Range Rover Reg­is­ter reg­u­larly takes part in shows across the UK, in­clud­ing the Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show at the NEC. We’d highly rec­om­mend the Land Rover Owner Show too, run by our sis­ter magazine ev­ery Septem­ber.


While the Rangie’s per­fectly ca­pa­ble of travers­ing the Dar­ién Gap – in fact, it was the first ve­hi­cle to do so – it’s also more than happy to whisk you down the mo­tor­way to the West Coun­try or the Scot­tish High­lands for a few days away. There’s plenty of room for you and three of your pals to stretch out in com­fort, and more than enough space be­hind the rear bench to eas­ily ac­com­mo­date your lug­gage. It won’t be the qui­etest com­pan­ion on a long run – for that, you’ll want a later four door model – and you’ll have to al­low for the fuel bills, but if you want to ven­ture far reg­u­larly it’s worth con­sid­er­ing hav­ing an LPG tank fit­ted.


The Range Rover will tackle tight roads com­fort­ably, but there’s no es­cap­ing the body roll if you throw one into a tight cor­ner. There have been plenty of sus­pen­sion kits avail­able over the years to tighten up the han­dling and later mod­els were fit­ted with anti-roll bars, but we reckon it’s bet­ter to leave the early one stan­dard, don’t com­pro­mise its off-road prow­ess and re­lax a bit on the as­phalt.

WHAT TO PAY // ConCours £40k+ // Good £30-33k // us­able £12-17k // ProjeCt £6-10k

cabin is sparse but com­fort­able enough – es­pe­cially com­pared to se­ries land rovers. Note the elon­gated gear­lever.

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