Buying a used Range Rover

My 22 yr old son just graduated from college, lives in Philly, and DJs for a living. I have an opportunity to buy a 98 Land Rover Range Rover w/approx 70,000 miles. I’ve heard these cars age in “dog years”: is this true? I’ve seen mixed reports by owners of problems, and it has the highest amt of problems as rated by JD Powers. Given that my son does a lot of city driving, is this the worst choice of vehicle? I’m just looking for something roomy to cart his DJ equipment, and figured it was a good buy from a friend at $2000. Anyone have any imput?

My idea of a good friend would be that he wouldbe honest with you and tell you what porblems he has had with it and why he is selling it. Try to find out what re-occuring problems the vehicle has had in your friends service.

Avoid it like the plague. I honestly would not take the vehicle for free unless I were living in the third world and truely needed a 4wd vehicle with low rate mechanic labor.

Its a terrible choice. I would suggest an Explorer or any other domestic midsize SUV besides the best choice of minivan for his work. Domestics are reasonable to fix and have average reliability.

Yes, this and a Hummer would be the worst possible vehcles for your son. Not only does it age quickly, it is also unreliable, and repair costs are astronomical.

The best vehicle is a minivan, which has tons of room inside with the rear seat folded. On a small budget, any vehicle will need some repairs, but, as staed high volume domestic vehcles are reltivelt cheap to repair.

Back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s they were THEE vehicle to use for Off-Roading…hands down.

Their quality suffered greatly. By 98 they were owned by Ford. They are still plagued with problems. Not a very reliable vehicle at all.

Find him something else…

An acquaintance bought a Range Rover new of that vintage, demanded the dealer buy it back, it was so bad! So yes, you’d be flushing money down the drain, even if you got it for free.

Actually Ford didn’t buy them until sometime in the early 2000’s. You can tell things were getting really bad because after Ford started running them their quality actually went up a little bit. Still pretty terrible, though.

This brand is consistently listed by Consumer Reports as being the most trouble-prone make of vehicle sold in the US. A neighbor of mine had one and the joke in the neighborhood was “which color is Jack’s loaner car this week?”, as a result of the vehicle being constantly in the shop for one problem or another. And, his was one of the recent vintage Rovers, which are actually better than the older ones, which were made prior to BMW’s ownership and later, Ford’s ownership of the marque. However, “better” in this case still means dismal reliability.

My advice is–unless you want to saddle this young man with a major burden, buy him something more reliable than a Rover.

This particular model is a nightmare in so many ways, but the newer cars designed by BMW and that debuted in 2002 are significantly improved. Still not mainstream reliable but much better. This goes for the LR3 as well. However neither of those cars are in your price range. In summary avoid the car like the plague-even if only one thing goes wrong the repair bill will be so astronomical you’ll think a BMW is an economy car.

I think the car to get your son would be a 1997-2002 Toyota 4runner which has a huge amount of cargo space, is reliable, and easy to find. I have a relative who has to transport hundreds of pounds of photography equipment everyday for his job and he has settled on the 4runner as being the best choice for the job after trying and owning many vehicles.

Sounds unanimous - big hint is that a 1998 vehicle (even if it is a SUV) that sold for $60,000 (!) or so new is only worth (at most) $2,000 now. There’s a very clear reason for this, as you’ve read.

RUN!,but not too fast as you may slip on the oil leaks,or better yet catch fire from the electrical system(useing the term system loosely.)of course.

This particular truck may be OK. Your son’s friend should be straight with him. But I question why your son would want to buy such a gas hog. I know the price is good, but the mileage is not. The EPA estimates are 11 MPG in the city and 15 MPG on the highway. And it uses premium fuel. I’d look at something a bit less piggy. Compact wagons like a 1998 Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer, Saturn SW, or a Suzuki Esteem all are around $2000 and will get at least twice the mileage of the Range Rover and use regular gas. I know that they are not fun cars, but they are affordable and will be inexpensive to fill up. I’m sure that the insurance will be less with any of these than the Range Rover. I had a a Porsche 914 a few years after I started work. In retrospect, it was a dumb move to buy it. And I though that when I sold it, too. I’ll also bet that any of these ho-hum cars are less of a theft target than the Range Rover, too.

I think many people are missing the fact that this kid DJ’s in Philly. Overly practical and mom/pop style cars are not going to boost this kid’s reputation too much, nor will he want them. Gas hog or not he needs something trendy or an SUV-just not a Land Rover.

Don’t buy!

My friend bought one, a 2000 model, got a deal on it. After several thousand dollars of repairs,
owed $8000.00 and got offers of a trade in, one for 3,000 and one for $5,000. She traded it in for the 5,000 and took a 3,000 dollar loss and never looked back.
Look at GM models or another roomy SUV.
Good luck,

Thanks to all of you who weighed in on this one. Although my friend has given me the lowdown on any and all repairs he’s made, it sounds like we’re better off looking for something else. I myself have owned 2 saturns - a 94 and an 05 and find them the best cars for reliability, low maintenance and gas mileage. Thanks to Dave G. for the recommendation of the 4runner. My boyfriend has bought 4 toyotas and swears by them. Guess I’ll just have to keep looking! Thanks!!