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Good Morning Everybody,

I'm new here from Indianapolis and my wife and I are looking at trading in my Acura TL on some kind of SUV. For a while I was stuck on an 09-10 Cayenne GTS, but now our search has expanded and after test driving an '11 RRS HSE Lux at the local LR dealer my wife and I were both quite surprised at how awesome it was (the off road "test track" was a nice treat.) The Evoque is really neat looking, but isn't too baby-seat friendly in the back so that's off our list too. So here's the situation:

'11 HSE Lux, ~69k miles @ $38.9, I haven't confirmed but I think the miles were too high for the dealer to certify it, so it'll have a 12mo/12k warranty on it.

I'm no stranger to forum use or turning a wrench (restored a 1988 BMW 535is from the ground up thanks to the e28 community) and short of internal engine work I'm not squeamish about doing repairs and maintenance myself as long as there's a process. I'm not as familiar about Land Rover as I am BMW so I read through the first 60 or so pages of threads to see what sticks out, read through the sticky FAQ and whatever "buying guides" I could on the L320. Here are the questions I still have:
  • The buying guides talk of transmission problems with these across both the GM and ZF boxes, but most were written before the HP26 transmission started appearing in the RRS and are very vague about what actually happens that causes the transmission to fail in the first place. Has the newer ZF box been proven to be better, and is failure really a result of not regularly changing "lifetime" transmission fluids?
  • I've scouted prices on typical replacement parts: Brakes/Pads, thermostats, even strut assemblies (rear from what I found) and the prices seem pretty comparable to parts I would buy for my BMW 330xi, have the DIYers here found that to be the case?
  • I heard of the digital-only service manual for these, does this in fact exist? Bentley manuals have been indispensable to me and I like the idea of access to a shop manual for this chassis
  • If you could pass on any other advice, or if there was something you wish you knew before you got knee-deep into a Range Rover Sport, what would that be.
Thanks in advance for your help, here's a picture of my e28 for some eye candy :)

 
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