Hello Thanks for having such a useful website, I look forward to your updated book coming out in August.
I’m looking to get my first 4×4 and my wife wants something that isn’t ‘like a trunk to drive’ with a few nice options (leather seats, sat nav, sun roof etc). Given my budget we are going to have to look at used cars to get all this. We think either an 2007/2008 range rover sport TDV8 or a BMW X5 3.0D will suit us.
The primary use is touring, some gravel roads but no true off road and occasional towing plus need lots of space for bikes, dogs, fishing/diving gear (no kids yet). We are looking to keep the car 8+years and get ~100,000km out of it (based on current annual driving) I have located a MY08 2007 RRS TDV8 locally with 125000 km driven, I’m told the previous owner is a commuter and it’s only highway/town driven and looking at the underside there is no evidence to believe otheriwise.
I really like this car and can’t find a fault, but I’m no mechanic and I’ve heard stories of used range rovers being very expensive to run and keep I the road. Is this probably a bad purchase? It’s done 125000km, should it last till 250000km?
I would be buying it without any warranty, is this a mistake? Do Landrover have an approved range similar to BMW? Would a Automobile club pre purchase check (RACT or RACV) be useful for a 4×4? You seem to really like these cars too, but do they have any mechanical faults or recurrent problems, I realize a luxury car equals more electronics which means more potential problems but are the rumors of RR regularly failing no longer true with new models?
Thanks for any help Dave
The first point with any ‘what should I buy’ question is to work out your requirements, which are:
1. The primary use is touring, some gravel roads but no true off road and occasional towing plus need lots of space for bikes, dogs, fishing/diving gear
2. my wife wants something that isn’t ‘like a trunk to drive’ with a few nice options (leather seats, sat nav, sun roof etc).
so from that I’d question the shortlist of a Sport and an X5, because while both meet the second part of the needs neither is good on interior space which is the first part. I would instead consider a Discovery 4 or Pajero Exceed, both of which have roomy cargo areas. While you can fold down the second row you state no kids (yet) which leads me to believe you’ll need to use the second row for non-cargo purposes sooner or later! I have suggested the Pajero over the Prado as the former is a much better and rewarding car to drive than the Prado, but consider a top-spec Prado too. The LC200 would I think be too truck-like for your wife. It is for mine anyway!
Yes indeed the Sport is one of my favourite cars, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s always the right choice and I don’t own one myself, as the D3 is more practical. The reasons why you’d want a Sport or X5 come down to, practically, whether or not you’d want to drive hard and fast on bitumen roads which is where these cars excel. Of course, some love them for the pose factor, but that’s another story. The X5 shades the Sport onroad, but not by much and both are great fun.
You also mention touring. So you may well want a bullbar, second battery etc and here you’ll find the Pajero and Discovery well looked after, in contrast to the Sport and X5 which do not have suitable aftermarket gear. And depending on the model your X5 may not even have a full-spare available, which would rule it out of remote-area touring in my view.
If you consider that the Sport and X5 do have enough interior room for the future then I would add the VW Touareg to your list which is in much the same mould as the other two, but again lacks rear cargo space. Of the three the Sport is by far the best offroad, the VW a distant second and the BMW behind that as it lacks low range but does quite well neverthless, although it really isn’t a bush wagon.
Bear in mind that anything Euro and luxo can and will cost money to service and fix when it goes wrong, while these cars are far from unreliable – that reputation is built on the older models – you must be prepared to spend money as and when appropriate and that may be thousands, and that’s true of any of the cars mentioned, but less so of the simpler Pajero. I would not have any concerns about the cars lasting till 250k if looked after nicely.
The TDV8 Sport is an amazing car, but to be honest it won’t be that much quicker in the real world than the 2.7 as last I checked the speed limit is 100km/h. So, I’d consider a 2.7 with 17″ rims which are better for rough touring tracks. The 2.7 is cheaper and simpler too, but it does lack that rorty TDV8 exhaust note and amazing torque delivery. Depends how much that’s worth though, as there’s no practical reason to have it but who needs practicality, life is for living!
I would get the cars inspected by specialists – search this site for the Land Rover specialist garage shops, and there would be independent BMW specialists in your area too.
Hope that helps, post to the Facebook page or comment here when you’ve made a decision!