Range Rover TDV6 Autobiography: Living with it

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A moment’s silence, please, for the Motor1 Range Rover. It’s left us, and in doing so made us realise either that it’s very good indeed, or every other car is a bit rubbish.
The Motor1 team were worried that the Range Rover would live up to its less-than-stellar reputation for reliability and fall apart, Bluesmobile style, at any given moment. The Motor1 team were wrong. In fact, the only thing that went wrong with it was a minor electric boot opening creak which magically fixed itself.
It could have gone very differently though – the Range Rover is fitted with many, many toys, all of which are complicated and could quite happily go wrong. Massaging seats, for example, could break in any number of ways. So could the digital TV, electrically-assisted lumbar support, or even the fridge built in to the central armrest. However, over the three months it was on the Motor1 fleet it defied recent owner surveys and was as well behaved as you like.
The Range Rover was the perfect companion after a long day’s filming, a knackering product launch, trawling motorways, or sitting in endless traffic – basically it was a good place to sit and get a journey over with. The pillowy ride added to the tranquility as did the muted way in which it went about its business. This Range would also go pretty much anywhere it was pointed regardless of the conditions, although as it spent most of its time in London the most demanding thing it had to do was occasionally mount a kerb or go through a McDonald’s drive through (note to self: eat better).
Being able to sit in the car during a film shoot and watch the TV while having my bum warmed and massaged was a huge bonus as well.
Life with the Range Rover wasn’t without some troubles though. Short people, even with the car’s suspension lowered to ‘access height’, will have trouble getting in unless they’re rather lithe. The nav, a constant source or ire with JLR products, requires you to hurdle various menus just to input an address, and it’s too slow to wake up once you’ve turned the car on. Here’s hoping the next Range Rover comes with a faster system… After all in a lb115k car you want things to work when YOU want them to, not be forced to wait because of technical limitations. Oh, and it costs the thick end of lb100 to brim it – but if you can afford the sticker price…
And on the subject of costs, there is a bit of a drop in value to talk about. Our Rangie comes in properly posh Autobiography trim and then has more than lb21,000 of options added, so it was never likely to be a shining light in the depreciation department. So, after some 14,000 miles our 66-reg Rangie is estimated by Land Rover itself to be worth lb75,000. Ouch. That’s more than lb40k or, er, getting on for lb3 per mile lost in residual value. Which does bring tears to the eyes, it must be said.
Sure, a lot of the Range Rover’s rivals fair no better – it’s an inevitable hit you’re likely to be willing to take when you buy a six-figure SUV – but there’s no way of dressing that up without it sounding very painful indeed. Still, it takes the sting out of it a bit when you consider that – after a lb10k deposit and 36 monthly payments of lb1071 – buying the Range Rover and selling it on again would actually be the cheaper option in this case over a PCP finance deal.
So the Range Rover is a predictably expensive and predictably brilliant thing. It showed off how easy and peaceful driving can be, and that everything else on the road is a little bit naff in comparison.
First Report | Second Report | Third Report | Fourth Report | Final Report


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