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I sold our 2008 Land Rover Range Rover – Some ownership thoughts

I have owned several Land Rovers over the last 15 years and I have loved each one of them in spite of their unending flaws. My first car was a 1995 Discovery that developed a tractor like knock and had engine failure around 180k miles. I had a 2003 Discovery for a few years that leaked oil so badly I never had to change it. The supply was renewed by adding two liters during each fuel stop and sometimes in between. When I put the list of the VINs of all the cars I owned on my web site (part of where the idea for VINwiki came from), the newest owner of that Discovery contacted me from Puerto Rico to ask if I had any ideas about how to stop the leaks.

Regardless, I have continued to own Land Rovers. I even bought a new 2014 Range Rover but sold it the next day for $45k over MSRP to a Russian exporter.

4 years ago exactly, on July 4, 2013 we bought this 2008 Range Rover HSE Lux with 83,992 miles on it. I purchased the car from a client while I was at Motorcars of Georgia who was trading it in on a Ferrari F430. I paid $20,000 for it.

I sold the car for $13,500 with 137,063 miles on it. We owned the car nearly exactly 4 years and my wife daily drove it for that entire time.

Our total mileage was 53,071.

Here are the maintenance records I have from VINwiki:

10/11/16 – Emissions – $25
3/22/16 – TPMS Repair – $201.45
11/24/15 – Service – $131.76
10/26/14 – Emissions – $25
10/21/14 – Battery and Service – $294.65
4/1/14 – Tires – $1,254.91
1/20/14 – Shock replacement and oil change – $859.68
11/25/13 – Aftermarket Warranty repair to AC Compressor
9/17/13 – Radiator repair and service – $625.52
8/4/13 – Emissions – $15

I don’t have the RO convenient but we spent approximately $2,600 in 2015 repairing the AC System replacing the compressor, fan assembly, and switch control panel. That was a nightmare to address.

I spent approximately $1,500 on a short aftermarket warranty from Easy Care.

Estimated total spent on servicing and repairs – $6,060

Total depreciation cost – $6,500

Cost to insure: $80/mo x 48 months = $3,840

Estimate fuel cost – 53,071/16 mpg x $2.50/gallon = $8,292

Total cost of ownership = $26,192

Cost per mile = $.49/mile

I found the car to be more problematic than I was anticipating. We were coming out of a 2004 Porsche Cayenne S when we bought this car and other than the anticipated maintenance – coils, brakes, tires, etc. that the cars are known for, it was very dependable. This car left us a little more concerned on a regular basis.

We had a lot of fun memories in it. We took it to Trunk or Treat at our church.

We rescued lots of friends that were stuck during the Atlanta Snow-pocalypse

My son locked himself in it at the car wash

And we took it on a lot of fun trips.

Here are a few remarks about ownership:

  • Over the time I have owned Land Rovers, the quality of service at their dealer network has deteriorated drastically. Land Rover North Point was by far the worst offender of late. If we buy another Rover I am going to try the Gwinnett store for service.
  • It chews through tires and brakes pretty fast
  • The suspension was more reliable than I expected it to be
  • It goes through light bulbs like crazy
  • The keys are utter garbage. The dealer destroyed two of mine trying to fix them. Fortunately they lost one once so they had to buy me another one so I ended up with 1 working and 2 non-working keys. The door locks were a bit problematic. When I sold the car, the driver’s door did not respond to the remote.
  • The bluetooth was very bad
  • The CD Changer never worked
  • The leather is far too soft and wears really badly, particularly with children
  • The headliner in every Land Rover I have owned sagged badly over time. This was no worse or better than the others.
  • The car has more driver’s seat room than any other SUV I have driven. I love it.
  • The car is terrifyingly slow and the brakes are terrible. The comfort and interior ambiance is worth a lot but this is a scary car to drive due to the poor road performance. You have to brake hard and early and plan acceleration moves far in advance. The Supercharged version is probably the way to go.
  • Headlight lens quality was very bad, terrible oxidation
  • Some of the plastic panel quality is pretty weak and discolors pretty badly
  • The windshield chips easily and is very expensive to repair/replace due to having a built-in heater
  • As you would expect, it is utterly brilliant off road, in ice, and in any low traction situation. Cannot be matched in this regard.
  • Visibility is excellent
  • Cargo space and usability is awesome
  • Rear folding seats are super easy to use
  • The way the front seats are attached makes them very difficult to clean around
  • The only front-accessible 12V port is in the glove box
  • The doors ding easily and the paint scratches easily. My wife is hard on cars and this one did not stand up to it as well as the Cayenne did.
  • The TPMS sensors are temperamental

It was a little more expensive to own than I expected and I grew concerned with what the ongoing reliability was going to be like. I was pleased to sell it when we did and get the price we did for it. Here is the recent MMR (Manheim Auction Results) for it.

I think the car was worth $7-8k wholesale in its condition.

That is an interesting thing about Land Rover ownership. When you really drive them to the point where they are in rougher condition, you get more for them than you expect you might. I find Mercedes to be the same way. The initial depreciation is terrible but the long term depreciation is not bad at all.

You can’t ever be mad that you owned another Rover. We may trying something different this time around but I am sure there will be more of them in our future.

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