HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE
An expert’s view TONY HOOPER, WORKSHOP MANAGER, HEREFORD 4X4
“I’m a former Land Rover master technician and have owned 16 Range Rovers. My favourite was an L322 3.6 TD. I bought it because the owner had spent £28,000 over 10 years having it serviced! I thought I couldn’t go wrong and I was right – it was a peach. The L322 is the best Range Rover. It’s a ‘proper’ one – a full-blown off-road vehicle but with luxurious on-road manners. It’s a bulky, solid thing where later ones feel plasticky. The best one was the Westminster. However, some of them would let rain water in at the roof seams. It would run into the boot on the left hand side and wreck the audio control system. If you’re buying a Westminster, check there first.”
Buyer beware… ENGINE
Beware whining turbos and injector misfires on the 3.0 TD. The 3.6 TD can suffer turbo actuator issues. Check the water pump was replaced at the cambelt change. On the 4.2, listen for a rattle at idle from the supercharger. Inspect for exhaust wear and check the catalytic converter isn’t breaking up.
Check the coolant expansion tank. The 4.4 petrol suffers failed O-ring seals at the water jacket housing behind the engine, causing overheating and coolant leaks into the gearbox.
Big trouble is possible. Warning signs are stubborn changes accompanied by dashboard lights. Disregarding the ‘sealed for life’ sticker and regular fluid and filter changes will help. On early cars, check it was recalled for fitment of a CV joint on the front propshaft.
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
Check the air suspension scrolls the three height settings noiselessly, and that the bellows aren’t leaking (park the car and see if it sinks). Scrutinise workshop bills to see when the air compressor was checked or replaced. Listen for the front wishbones knocking under braking. Listen for the rear hub bushes clonking over bumps. Check brake disc and pad life.
Inspect the underside for off-road damage and the tailgate for rust – and damage from people sitting on it.
Test all the switches and buttons.
Also worth knowing
Have a technician run a diagnostic check on the one you’re considering. Get it done before and after the test drive. Google the codes to find out what they mean. It’s worth it – some faults can be fixed, only to return later.
How much to spend £2500-£4995
Early 4.4s and 3.0 TDS to the first high-mileage 3.6 TDS (2007-reg).
Still early cars but mileages closer to 120k. Many more 2007 3.6 TDS from around £7950 with around 100k miles.
More 2008-on 3.6 TDS and the first 2010 4.4 TDS from £12,250.
The last 2009/10-reg 3.6 TDS plus the first 2009-reg 5.0 V8s. More 2011/12reg 4.4 TDS with 90k miles at £17,995.
A choice of 2012 Westminster 4.4 TDS.
One we found RANGE ROVER 4.2 V8 SUPERCHARGED VOGUE SE, 2006, 106K MILES, £6000
Yes, it’s the super-thirsty one (around 13mpg) but the Jaguar-sourced engine puts a serious spring in its step. Has full Land Rover service history and, crucially, a recently refurbished supercharger and gearbox.