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Car reviews - Land Rover - Range Rover - HSE 5-dr wagon


The third new Range Rover in more than 30 years is more than a pretty new face

9 Jul 2003

AS probably the most capable multi-purpose off-roader known to man, the Range Rover has won the hearts of many. But it has also caused anger and frustration over the years, mainly for a lack of reliability and silly, annoying operational faults. Although Ford now owns Land Rover, the new model is a complete BMW development owing much to that company's X5 soft-roader. This might set off warning bells for traditionalists but actually proves to be the new Rangie's saving grace. Bigger than before, and heavier, it is a formidable on-road presence yet is actually reasonably zesty and responsive. In the realms of $100,000-plus off-roaders, the Range Rover manages to combine outstanding off-road ability with on-road ability unchallenged by any other large four-wheel drive heavyweight. And reliability issues should now be a thing of the past.
Model release date: 1 August 2002 to 1 July 2005

Previous model

Range Rover HSE V8

Released: May 1995
Ended: August 2002
Family Tree: Range Rover

THE previous, second generation Range Rover appeared Down Under in May 1995, following a 25-year model for the original Rangie that appeared in the UK in 1970 and in Australia in June 1972 as a two-door, four-speed manual only. A three-speed auto was added in 1980 and in April 1982 a five-door joined the range, eventually usurping the two-door RR two years later. A 4.6-litre version of the original Rangie's 4.0-litre V8, which itself was a development of a Buick 3.5 V8, became de rigeur for Range Rover MkII, while the HSE variant name also joined the range then. BMW took control of the Rover Group in early 1994 and was responsible for development of the new, third-generation Rangie launched in 2002 after Ford snapped up Land Rover.

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