1989 Range Rover Model Year Details

1989 Range Rover

1989 Model Year Statistics
Powertrain Changes
Chassis & Suspension Changes
Exterior Changes
Interior Changes
Special Editions

Photo: Bjorn & Beatrice Hori's 1989 Range Rover.  Note this example has the hidden front door hinges and wider plastic rocker trim strip, placing it in the later part of 1989 production.  It has the optional sunroof but not body-colored wheel centers, indicating it is the base model rather than the County model.

1989 was a year of major upgrades in the US Range Rover model. Land Rover was applying experience to date in the US market to provide a number of improvements demanded by American customers, including more power and various refinements in trim.

1989 Model Year Statistics

Number built  4,372 U.S. (25,674 Worldwide)
First 1989 built September 30, 1988
Last 8 digits of first 1989 U.S. Spec. Range Rover VIN KA351876
7th digit of the VIN now a 2 representing the 3.9L V8 (1987-1988 had a 1 representing the 3.5L V8)
Base Price $36,350 (increase of $2,400 from 1988)
Curb Weight 4,372 lbs. (increase of 69 lbs. from 1988)
Gross Vehicle Weight 5997 lbs.

Powertrain Changes:

The engine displacement was increased to 3.9L (3947cc), 3.7"bore (up from 3.5” last year) x 2.8" stroke with 8.13:1 compression ratio now put out 178 hp @ 4750 rpm, 220 lb-ft torque @ 3250 rpm.  New Lucas 14CU Multiport L-Jetronic Electronic Fuel Injection.  The 1989 is almost 3 seconds quicker than the 1988 to 60 mph.  Top speed is now over 100 to 107 mph. A Bigger radiator with an oil cooler (in addition to the external oil cooler that the Range Rover has had in front of the radiator since 1987) was added, and the electric cooling fans would now stay on to cool the engine after shutdown if necessary.  Land Rover recommended using premium unladed fuel in the 3.9L Engine.

Borg-Warner 13-61-004 2 speed transfer case with viscous coupling unit (VCU) provided full time four wheel drive, and now had an automatic progressive center differential lock-up (1.206 high, 3.243 low) rather than the manual lock up in 1987 and 1988.  It was chain (vs. gear) driven to reduce noise, and still had the built in parking brake. California models no longer had the vacuum advance delay valve that improved emissions.  The third catalyst was eliminated.

EPA 12 mpg city, 15 mpg highway

Chassis and Suspension Changes:
Tires were now Michelin XM+S 244 205 R16 radials, on the same 7x16 inch three spoke alloy wheels.  Wheel centers were painted body color on the Hunter and County models.

Exterior Changes:
Available Paint Colors: Alaskan Blue Metallic (393), Chamonix White (354), Colorado Silver Metallic (391), Eastnor Green (419), Portofino Red (390), and Savannah Beige Metallic (365)
Available County Model Paint Colors: Beluga Black (Clear Coat) (416), Cairngorm Brown (408), Trocadero Red Micatallic (467)
All Hunter Models had Cypress Green (367) paint
The lower edge of the front spoiler had four slots added to it and a plastic panel (part #BTR3510) added to the base of it under the engine to help engine bay cooling.
The muffler and tailpipe of the new exhaust system are different and the tailpipe now points down
Front window washer jets heated this year, and squirters on the hood were bigger.
Exposed door hinges were hidden in the first half of the model year (after VIN KA374641)
The hinges were still exposed on 1989's built 1/89 (VIN KA370371) but hidden on 1989's built 2/89
All models with hidden hinges have deeper black plastic under body sills.
Models with hidden hinges have different fenders/wings (part #MXC1408&9) cowl panel (part #MXC8057).  The rear doors also got different hinges.
The black rub strips on the front doors and front fenders are also different on 1989s with the hidden hinges.
The electric grid on the heated rear window was changed to cover more area and improve radio reception (the grid was also the radio antenna)
Front windscreen was now electrically heated.
Side window glass thickness was reduced from 5mm to 4mm to make the glass lighter so the power windows would go up faster with the same motors.  The fixed load space glass was also reduced from 5mm to 4mm.
Land Rover had some problems with the thinner front window glass getting sucked outward at freeway speeds and designed a small plastic guide to push it in to the track at the top.  It is not clear if Land Rover ever put them on any 1989s.  I have seen the guides (Part #ALR6498) on some 1989s, but they may have been added by the owners (They didn’t cost much and were easy to install so I put them on the 1989 Range Rover I owned).
The Land Rover badge on the grill was now green with gold letters

Two 1989s

Kevin Kelly's early 89 Range Rover behind Alexander Cooper's late white '89. Note the visible door hinges on the earlier model. Alexander has removed his front spoiler for better approach angle off road and his Range Rover had dealer painted body color wheel centers. On Kevin's Range Rover you can see the factory spoiler still in place and the optional front mud flaps.

Alexander's later model has the wider plastic rocker trim panels that were introduced along with hidden hinges in mid-1989. Kevin has added these wider panels to his. Kevin has also added the two tone euro style front turn signals and euro fender (wing) flashers in place of the original NAS reflectors that can be seen on Alexander's RR. Kevin's RR also has the silver 1994-1995 LWB "Cyclone" wheels with the newer style lug nuts and the newer style rocker panel. The mag mount CB antenna on the roof is stuck to the steel sunroof (the rest of the roof is of course aluminum).

Interior Changes:
Available Interior Colors: Brogue Brown Cloth, Highland Gray Cloth, Winchester (dark brownish) Gray Connolly Leather, Sorrell (light tan) Brown Connolly Leather.
Dash and console were changed from Boltura also called  Bokhara (blueish) gray to Winchester (dark brownish) gray.  A smaller two position shifter for the new automatic locking transfer case
The light to remind the driver that the center differential was locked was no longer on the dash to the right side of the radio. (this was not necessary with the automatic locking transfer case)
Door panels were revised and now had a thin strip of lacquered American walnut rather than the door cappings in 1987-1988.
The new door panels had two more speakers to bring the total to six, bigger storage pockets, and different interior door locks.
The central locking was extended to the tailgate, the lock actuator was hidden with a black plastic cover.
New Clarion AM/FM anti theft stereo cassette
Power seats now 8 way, most 1989’s had leather seats
Heated windshield switch was added to the dash next to the heated rear window switch
New windshield wiper switch with variable delay lever
The rear wiper had more complex wash wipe features
Ignition override of head lamps, turned head lamps off with ignition, the headlights on audible warning was deleted, however the parking lights still stayed on with the ignition off
Single touch down driver's power window switch was added.  The rear view mirror was now glued to the front window, rather than bolted to the top of the window.
A higher capacity evaporator was added to the air conditioning system that improved output by 20% and fresh air to the passenger area was enhanced with a new vent control system.
Passenger grab handles above the doors were changed from black to off white to better blend in with the headliner.
The black plastic tabs on the center of the tailgate now say lift and hold in white (these can be replaced with the shorter tabs from the outer side of the tailgate after they snap off).
Push buttons replaced the pull tabs to release the rear seat backs
The VIN And GVW information on the drivers door was now on a sticker, (it was on a metal plate in 1987, 1988).

1989 Model Year Range Rover Special Editions:


There was a very limited edition of 120 Hunter models sold in 1989 they cost $2,000 more than the base model (see 1991 section for other Hunter model).  The brochure that came with all Hunters said “Range Rover has long had a close association with equestrian activities worldwide.  This association is marked by the Range Rover Hunter.”  All the 1989 Hunters had “the same comprehensive specifications as other Range Rover vehicles, plus the following features standard”:  Cypress Green metallic paint, with Cypress Green painted three spoke wheel centers and silver rims, Electric tilt and slide sunroof, Electronic auto-dimming rear view mirror (the same the anti-glare control rear view mirror as the County), Brogue Brown cloth interior (leather was not available on the Hunter).  American Walnut was on the doors (like other Non-County 1989s), but an additional piece of American Walnut was also around the shifter on the center console (but not on the dash or around the power window switches like the County).  The Hunter had a sticker on the tailgate of a person riding English style on a horse jumping over the letter H in Hunter.  The word Hunter was in the same script as the word County on the back of the 1989-1992 County models.  The 1991 Hunter model had the same sticker on the tailgate but was a very different model (see below).


1989 Range Rover CountyThe County model was introduced mid-way through the 1989 model year (The earliest one I have seen had a January 1989 build date) and cost $7,300 more than the base model.  All County models came standard with the electric slide and tilt sunroof, Connolly leather seats, and front mud-flaps that were optional on the base Range Rover, they also came with polished Burl walnut on doors, dash and center console  (base models had American walnut on the doors only).  Chrome bumpers replaced the black bumpers, the wheel centers were painted body color and a pinstripe was added to the body.  The County model also had anti-glare (or auto dim) control rear view mirror with a photo diode that senses light and dims the rear view.  A premium Pioneer sound system with CD changer and subwoofer is listed on some spec. sheets as optional, but all the County’s I have seen had the sound system and CD changer.  The County had emblems in script on the dash, tailgate and all four wheel centers.  The passenger grab handle was leather wrapped.  Many County’s had dealer installed front brush guards and rear light guards.

Photo: Leon MacCorkle's late 1989 County model with body-colored wheel centers.


Range Rover was #1 in the J.D. Powers national survey of customer satisfaction at the end of 1989.


Four Wheeler magazine named the Range Rover “Four Wheeler of the year”


Automobile Magazine calls the Range Rover a “Top Choice” among all sport Utility Vehicles and calls it “One of the World’s 10 Best Cars”


Range Rover wins the Motorweek award for best multipurpose vehicle in the U.S.


Honda Motor Company purchased a 20% interest in the Rover Group this year.


Range Rover wins a gold medal for coach work at the Birmingham International Motor Show.


Land Rover Discovery 2 door is launched in September at the Frankfurt Auto Show based on the Range Rover chassis and powertrain.


After the launch of the Discovery the code name for the new Range Rover was changed from Discovery to Pegasus, and later 38A (38A is the number of the design building at the Solihull factory site)


Many 1989 (and a small # of other model year) Range Rovers had a small round Great Divide Medallion added to the left side (some were added to the right side) of the tailgate by dealers to commemorate the Great Divide Expedition held in August of 1989 These are not Great Divide Edition Range Rovers (see 1990 and 1991 model sections below for more information on the Great Divide Expedition and Great Divide Edition Range Rovers). The medallion was just over two inches in diameter and said Range Rover at the top and Tread Lightly at the bottom, with Great Divide Expedition in the middle.


European Range Rovers did not have the  3.9L V8 option until the 1990 model year.  The Euro 3.9L put out 7hp more if catalytic converters were not ordered (they were optional in Europe)

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Page revised February 10, 2012