1989 Range Rover Model Year Details
1989 Model Year Statistics
Chassis & Suspension Changes
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 Powertrain Changes:
First 1989 built
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.
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
coupling unit (VCU) provided full time four wheel drive, and now had an
automatic progressive center differential lock-up (1.206 high, 3.243
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.
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.
Available Paint Colors: Alaskan Blue Metallic (393),
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
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.
Interior Changes: Available Interior Colors: Brogue Brown Cloth, Highland Gray Cloth,
Dash and console were changed from Boltura also called
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).
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).
The 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.
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
vehicle in the
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
number of the design building at the
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