Range Rover ‘L405’ – Should you…?

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Range Rovers have always had a bit of a mixed reputation on a shoot.  Maybe even a cliché; ‘Range Rover and black Labrador, Sir?’

 

I can certainly remember when I attended a very nice shoot in Berkshire that didn’t use a gun bus.  Every gun, bar one had a Range Rover.  All black (other than mine, which was completely different in dark blue…).  Seeing the guns head off was like being a part of a Sicilian security detail!

For me though, I think they’re one of the best cars I’ve ever owned.  I’ve had six RR’s, with my first one being a rather special Classic Lichfield variant, with a 5.0 TVR Griffith engine.  It didn’t take long for me to realise I couldn’t afford to run it when living in London at the age of 22, so was sadly a brief affair.

 

The L405 model, or ‘current model’ or ‘Vogue’ as many people seem to refer to it.  (No doubt to avoid confusion of a Sport or Evoque….) This is the best so far and with prices for a good one now hovering around £30k and higher mileage one’s early twenties, make for A. Lot. Of. Car.

 

My choice was a 2014, 4.4 SDV8, which I’ve now owned for a little over three trouble-free years.

 

With a family of five with three young teenagers and five dogs, it has been a delight to own.  Long journeys give (near) equal rear seating comfort with a quiet and relaxing cabin and smooth effortless drive.  Previously the family 4×4 was a Discovery 3 and then 4.  Big, big difference to interior and on the road comfort!

 

The 4.4 SDV8 is a swift car if required, with a 0-60mph time of 6.5 secs and an impressive 740Nm of torque.  Although in reality, you’re unlikely to be throwing it around like a sports car, it’s nice to have and very accessible on some roads.

The TDV6 is arguably the more ‘sensible’ choice with a slightly quieter engine and better fuel economy.  The performance and torque are naturally reduced (7.9secs / 600Nm), however for the 100Nm of decreased torque, the V6 is also 100kg lighter than the V8, assisting in improved MPG in the mid-thirties and perhaps with an eye on the future, emissions of 196g/km.

One thing the TDV6 does not have however, is the Dynamic Response system, which monitors and independently adjusts the front and rear suspension, to decrease body roll when cornering.  This is only available (as standard) on the V8 models and for me was a deciding factor.

Off-road, let’s talk in terms of shooting, rather than green laning, it’s as good as anything you could ever want or need.  Even with road tyres, the RR will waft you and your guns through rough woodland, over fields and back on to roads with ease and total comfort.  The manual settings of grass, gravel, snow, mud, ruts, sand and rock crawl, in both high and low ratio are all there as one would expect, but the Auto mode is usually more than sufficient and selects what’s appropriate for the conditions.

The Range Rover’s standalone ability as a luxury 4×4 remainstop end and class leading, so if you’re a character who prefers to get a bit grittier, consider the 303mm clearance in off-road mode and impressive 900mm wading depth!

 

 

Finally, some views on running costs and reliability.  Land Rover, rather ironically has never really been ‘up-there’ with regards to winning awards for reliability and certainly the current Sport and Velar are near the absolute bottom of the pile on visits to the dealerships and customer satisfaction.

 

My personal experience with the L405 has been a very positive one, never suffering break-down, just wear and tear.  I’ve had to replace front lower suspension arms (£390 fitted) and anti-roll bar mounts to remove a ‘clonking’ noise, but this is pretty standard for heavy cars over time and especially tough at the moment with the state of the pot-holed roads.  Brake pads can suffer heavy wear due to the weight of the car and tend to cost around £300 front and rear fitted or £950 for pads and discs. I choose to use a Land Rover specialist for this type of work, making sure all parts are OEM.

 

For annual servicing, I’ve maintained this through the Main Dealer network, which although could be cheaper, I like the fact they go through the car in reasonable detail.  They look to lessen your wallet between £500 – £950 depending on the service, but I’ve found that once the car is past 3 years old, you can negotiate this, to a far more reasonable figure. Probably the most annoying cost is tyres, as a Pirelli Scorpion is around £240 fitted.

 

Some summary stats:

 

• First Range Rover with an all-aluminium body, saving 420kg (or 4 adult guns and a large black Labrador)
• Launched in 2012 and still current, albeit with a slight facelift in 2019
• 909 litres of luggage space (2,030 with the seats down)
• Three (relative) engine options: 3.0L TDV6, 4.4L SDV8, 5.0L V8 petrol
• Three model variants: Vogue, Vogue SE, Autobiography

 

Some random facts:

 

• Dynamic Response is only available on SDV8 and 5.0 petrol models
• Soft-close doors are standard from Vogue SE variant upwards
• Wilton carpets and Alcantara headlining standard on Autobiography variant
• Electric retractable tow-bar is a good option, as was near £900 from new and costs more to retrofit

 

So, returning to the subject question; Should you?  My answer would be Yes.

My choice would be the SDV8 Autobiography (just choose exterior and interior colour, as they come with everything!) or the TDV6 Vogue SE – got to love the soft close doors…

These are examples of what cars are available.

All Black Range Rover Here

Dark Grey Range Rover Here

Dark Green Range Rover Here

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