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MARK III/L322 EARLY ISSUES

In this section we compiled some early experiences (whether good or bad) of Range Rover owners to serve as a resource for others who may be considering buying one. This section is intended to catalog the overall experience of ownership; for specific details of the most common problems encountered by owners, please see the Common Issues And Repairs section. We also have real time forums for discussing Range Rovers.

OWNER REPORTS


November 2006: Bob Pearson purchased a new 2005 model last year in France, and found "it spend seven months of its fourteen month life in the dealer's. broken". The main culprit appears to have been the notorious front diff failure. 


February 2005: "I feel very disappointed in the Range Rover with the 2 Front Diff failures. Not impressed at all. I have decided to return to normal motoring and am very impressed with the New Audi A8 car. The 48 Hour test drive along with the Dealer experience and build quality has swayed me to change." 


February 2005: "I purchased a 2004 model end 20004 and to date it’s been a great joy to own. Previously I owned a 2004 model Discovery TD5, and whilst it also was good to own, the difference in quality of interiors was noticeable. The down side of the V8 Ranger Rover is the incredible thirst compared with the TD 6. Under half the fuel consumption stings just a little!! I’ve had to install the optional side step due to the height stepping in and out of the vehicle. Something I was initially reluctant to do as it spoils the over all look of the vehicle. Other minor complaints relate to the silly light cream leather interiors the agents order their vehicles with. Unless I placed a special order (min 3 months) I had to have a vehicle already in stock. Needless to say once a week we clean the leather. Also electrics are far too complicated. However, all vehicles are the same these days. I use my vehicle extensively off road most weekends in Oman – fantastic." 


August 2004: C.B. Reports "I was so proud and pleased when I brought my new 04 Range Rover Vogue (diesel). As I'm writing this I am waiting once again for Land Rover recovery to come out again, this being the fourth time to fix my flat battery. Why does this keep happening I ask? Not forgetting I have paid nearly £60,000 for the man to tell me and he's not the only one the other men who have came to get me started again have told me the same "you're not driving it far enough you have to give these cars a good run 1 or 2 a week." Well I'm sorry I just dont buy that load of bull. Its not just my battery either. My car is going in to the dealers in 2 days to also get another problem fixed -- THE SHAKING STEERING WHEEL. Whenever you hit 55mph it starts. This will be the third time it's been back with this problem too, despite them keeping it overnight to fully charge its battery too (that was useless). First they said it was due to tire pressure; because tyre pressure is not included in the warranty we had to pay £45.00. The problem happened again so they balanced the wheels, this worked for a couple of days and now it's back again. Oh, and not forgetting the radio fails to work, I dread to think whats going to fail next. But if it comes back this time and the problems are not fixed it's either change my car or refund me my money. What happens if I'm out at night with my children, far away no mobile so I cant call for recovery and the battery goes again? The anger I'm feeling at the moment with this car (a car they say is the best 4x4 you can drive). And I've only had it 2 months!


April 2004: "I owned a 2003 Range rover which was a replacement for my 2000 rover (replaced by land rover). I am sad to say that I just replaced it with a G55. I started to hear a metal grinding noise as I accelerated...This would happen after a long drive...Dealer could not replicate and told me it could be the differential and that it would have to fail for them to replace it or at least hear the noise....I drove up to LA and heard the noise again. That Sunday I ...picked up the G55. Bottom line...for a car that cost so much it should be built better...I also had many of the other minor problems noted by other owners in addition to having the radiator replaced at 10K miles..Again, for a year old car too many problems. Hope Ford can improve a beautiful car...." 


"Like most air suspended cars the low speed ride is a bit bumpy compared to coil springs." 


"I have a 2003 Range Rover and in general have been extremely happy with it. But that’s not to say it has not had its share of problems. Having owned a Discovery for a number of years prior to owning this car, it was not unexpected." 


"I recently purchased a new 2003 Range Rover. I was extremely happy when I purchased it. Unfortunately I have been having a difficult time. It's been in the service shop 4 times so far and I only have about 8,500 miles. The problems consisted of: 1. Something to do with the steering column--by the 3rd time it was entirely replaced; 2. The driver's window would often times stop working--dangerous in the rain when you can't return it to the up position. The service shop could not locate the problem so on the third attempt to fix it they replaced every part in the door that has to do with window movement. 3. On a road trip to Niagara Falls with my wife, for roughly 100 miles we had a strong gasoline smell coming from the air vents that caused both of us to get headaches. It occurred after I personally filled the tank (no, there was no overflow). They have yet to reproduce this problem. Quite honestly, I enjoy the car tremendously, however, for the huge price I paid, I don't feel my experience is appropriate and I am very disappointed. I have written to the president asking for a new car because I am terribly worried I will have more problems... I found lots of people with stories that were much worse than mine regarding their RR. However, I would still recommend the car--it's a work of art."


"I live in Edinburgh and have recently purchased a new 2002 Range Rover 4.4 V8 Vogue. Over the past two years i have also owned, and tested both the BMW X5 and the 4x4 Merc. However, Range Rover is by far the most capable on, and off road, it is simply unparalleled. If anyone who reads this is considering purchasing a luxury 4x4, TRUST ME, go with the Range Rover. Its combination of high luxury and Land Rovers famous off-road capability make it the most impressive 4x4 to grace the face of the planet. Truly an amazing vehicle I will never buy anything other than a Land Rover again so long as I live". 


"I AM VERY PLEASED WITH THE EXTERIOR AND THE HANDLING OF THE NEW ONE [but] THE INTERIOR OF THE NEW RANGE ROVER HAS BEEN CHEAPENED BY THE OVER USE OF HARD AND RUBBERY PLASTIC.... NO CONOLLY LEATHER, ACCOMPANIED WITH A RICH PLEASANT SMELL OF FINE FURNITURE. INSTEAD THE INTERIOR REEKS OF PLASTIC.. THE SEATS ARE FLAT AND EXTREMELY HARD. THE SEATING POSITION IS WORSE AS THE SEATS NOW SEEM LOWER AND THE DASH LINE HIGHER, ADVERSELY EFFECTING VISIBILITY." 


"First off, they've done a great job with this truck. Here are some observations: Torsional rigidity, handling, general tightness, absorption of impacts....etc etc. It's a fabulous chassis/body. Engine: typical BMW. Smooth, aurally tuned...could use another 50hp... Tranny: smooth. good shift program. Steering: very good, direct,correct effort, but odd sensation when braking. I've tried another 2003 to confirm. I think a computer is at work here, Brakes: strong, no fade, nothing extraordinary one way or other Weight: why another 500lbs over the 4.6, i dunno. You certainly feel the weight and it's not desirable. Wheelbase: much more directly stable; better ride; worse 'turn in' Build quality: magnificent. really top notch. Styling: weird, but draws a crowd. Gills are particularly weird. I've gotten used to the styling. It's somewhat handsome in an odd way. Seats: quite good (tough act to follow old one) Nav sys: ergonomic disaster. various bugs." 


"I have recently purchased a 2003 Range Rover after looking at X-5s, ML's including 55 AMG's, Cayennes, Lexus LX 470's, H2's, etc etc etc and let me just say this vehicle is rewarding to own. Every time my wife and I go somewhere, we rave about how nice this vehicle is............Yes it could use a few more ponies but it still performs extremely well and rewards the driver with a sense of operating a high performance luxury vehicle with incredible on road smoothness as well as off road worthiness the others dream about. After all, these things weigh close to 6000 lb. It doesn't have to race stoplight to stoplight against anyone to prove a point. If the opposing driver knew the credentials these incredible vehicles hold, and could afford one , he too would own one......If you want a sports car, buy a sports car. If you want a truck, buy a truck. On the other hand, if you want a luxury vehicle that makes you feel proud for your hard work, will get your family into Gods country and back without causing internal organ relocation, and still performs beautifully on twisty roads FOR A 6000 LB SUV, Buy a Range Rover. You will be overwhelmed!" 


History of a New Model Land Rover Range Rover Vogue 4.4 First registered 01Sept 2002 Date Description Days at Dealer

02Sept 2002 New Range Rover Vogue supplied.

23Sept 2002 Air suspension inactive after pressing “on the move” lowering button. Dealer reset it. Could not find the fault. 1

28Oct2002 to 01Nov2002 Re occurrence of "Air suspension inactive" after pressing “on the move” lowering button. Dealer working on it - Tuesday it is decided to order a new compressor - this arrived Thurs 31Oct2002. They loaned me a 2.5V6 Freelander for the duration. New compressor fitted. 5

11Nov2002 Range Rover in for intermittent underside Suspension knock when steering right. Checked out – nothing could be found. 1

14Nov2002 to 15Nov2002 Underside knock is unresolved. Car kept overnight. Again nothing found. It was decided to get the factory to look at it. Loaned a 1.8ltr Freelander. 2

28Nov2002 Underside knock persists. Telephoned dealer to find out what was happening. I was told that they thought that this had been resolved and that that no further action had been planned. This was not my understanding of the situation. Anyway I was told that they would get back to me by the end of the day. 29Nov2002 Heard nothing. The intermittent knock is far from satisfactory on any car let alone one costing £60K. It surely is no coincidence that there was no knock before the compressor had been changed. 05Dec2002 Factory Rep to inspect car with regard to suspension noise. Decided to some new lower suspension parts. (ball joint & arm). Parts ordered. I was loaned a new Range Rover Car in from 10 till 2 1

13Dec2002 to 14Dec2002 New Ball Joints fitted to both sides. No Improvement. It is decided to change the entire front subframe. Car will go in again on Wed 18DEC2002 I was loaned a Discovery TD% 2

18Dec2002 to 20Dec2002 Front subframe being replaced - I was loaned a New Range Rover HSE Problem now solved. 3

27May2003 First inspection Service Mileage 15353. Dealer damaged front bumper and agreed to have it repaired. 1

02Jun2003 to 03Jun2003 Bumper repair above & warranty work required from service:- Replacement O/s/r hub flange distorted & o/s/r outer gaiter split. 2 06Oct2003 Front Brake Pads required 1

25Oct2003 Total Loss of Drive – car had to be transported back to the dealer. On inspection – Prop Shaft Diff Splines worn out! Fitted New Diff & Prop & Realigned. Given a hire Jag X type due to total breakdown 4

14Feb2004 Noticed that the Climate Control had “lost control!”. Reported this to the garage. 19Feb2004 to 20Feb2004 2nd Inspection Service – Mileage 30522. New ECU fitted for Climate Control Loaned a Freelander 1.8 2

23Feb2004 Squeaks coming from the rear suspension and a knock from the drivers side front suspension. Booked in for 26Feb2004 26Feb2004 to 27Feb2004 Went out with dealer technician – the car produced all the noises below to order! Suspension noises - dry bushes to rear. Knocking from from Drivers underside over bumps. Squeaky Brake Pedal & Tailgate New O/s/f Shock Absorber & Suspension arm fitted. Discovered that the problem was the steering rack - now on back order to be replaced. No loan car available. Collected car and was told about the back order situation regarding the rack. Suggested I book it in for 05Apr2004! – a month with this fault! 2

3 March 2004 Update: They are picking a "steering rack" from the RR production line to keep me happy. Delivery of the rack "BMW" sourced is indefinite!


"I LOVE my Range Rover and feel that it was money very well spent in virtually every respect. It is beautifully put together and is soooooo comfortable. Within 3 weeks of purchase I took it on an offroading session and having offroaded both my Freelander and taken my Defender across the some of the nastier parts of rural Scotland, it is a wonderful machine offroad, certainly as capable as my Defender, possibly more capable as my Defender doesn't have HDC or Traction Control. It has been to places on it's road tires that my Defender needs it's Grizzly Claw mud tyres to go! This beast has to pay me back in it's fun factor. Off road there has never been so much as a squeak or rattle from the body or trim. (Photo at right courtesy of Tim Oliver)


The TD6 engine is only just powerful enough for the job, at low revs it doesn't have enough torque or power to drag such a heavy beast along on normal roads, there is also a noticeable lag in requesting more revs and them arriving! However, floor the loud pedal at 50mph and it just picks up it's skirts and flys, smoothly and quietly and can certainly give some hot hatches a nasty surprise. Mid range power and torque is quite sufficient for most folks - it is a diesel after all. The waste-gate on the turbo is too loud for a limo - taking your foot off the gas results in a quite audible whistle as the waste gate opens and closes... The TD6 has a wonderful growl when 'provoked' into a quick blast but at tick over/ idle it is too noisy for a luxury car. LR have done an exceedingly good job of masking the diesel engine's vibrations, you just don't feel them.


[On taking delivery] I drove the car from Stirling in Scotland to Southampton and back - a round trip of 990 miles. On the trip south the fuel economy was so good I had to pull over at fill up because I thought I had found my 1st problem - a lying fuel computer and gauge! I had managed 500 miles on 3/4 of a tank of diesel - in fact my spreadsheet and the trip computer concurred that I had been using diesel at 28.8 miles per imperial gallon! On the way north the fuel economy was a bit worse but nothing to sneeze at for a luxobarge - I managed 28.2mpg! Consider this - for all but about 60 of those miles the car was sat on the motorway with the cruise set at 69mph... I could have done the trip south on a single tankful.......... The 60 odd miles were town traffic and cross country in the English Lake District on the way home - all up hill and down dale with little 5th gear work, all 3rd and 2nd gear! OK so Mercedes S Class diesels can get 40mpg but they are not a luxury SUV."