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My grand parents got one of these about 3 years ago; they had just gone into retirement and wanted to get a practical but sporty looking 4x4.
This model had:
- Electric windows - ABS - Remote central locking - Power steering - Cassette player (fm, am, radio) - Sun roof - Removable hard top - Electric mirrors - Leather seats
The first thing you notice when getting into the car that it's more like getting into a tank. My nana (who has trouble moving) has to use a small stool to get into the car; I didn't think that this was very practical for their needs.
Once in the car you feel like that your sitting on a moving high chair. It gives the feeling of being safe as you are elevated above other cars and you have the dashboard and bonnet that feels extremely long.
The seats were very comfortable, they didn't wrap around you like a sports car (lets face it you're not going go around flogging this car) but they did however keep you in place, and you don't tend to slide around while driving like with some cars with leather seats.
In the front there was more than enough leg room for myself (I'm 6 foot 2 inches), however the back seats were very cramped with very little leg room and (when there was 3 of you in the back) there wasn't enough room to even put your seat belts on.
A big letdown of this car was the noise that it made. When we were on the motorway I found myself having to shout to the other passengers so that they could hear me.
I also didn't like how close the gears were, it felt like I had to change gear ever couple of seconds, but I later found that because of the torque of the engine you could "skip" gears and the car would still pull you up to speed without any trouble.
The ride I found to be a very smooth one, with only the odd bump disturbing the gentle ride.
The outside of the car I think looked great, with its big wheels and its high cab. The car has a rustic "get up and go" look but sum how it still has a sporty ness about it.
The interior had a modern stylish look and feel to it. The colours that my grand parents decided to have (Cream with green) complemented the car and just set it apart from any other Land rover I have ever been in.
I am disappointed to say however that this is all let down by the poor quality of materials used in the car. After only 2 1/2 years the paint on the grill covering the speakers started to rust and the paint fell of leaving a horrible mess. The chrome affect on the handles started to peel away, and left sharp burrs that cut my hand once or twice.
I think that this car is a very modern and stylish car but is let down by the quality of finish.
I am glad to say that the car starts to claw back its credibility in this section.
This car has only ever had to have a new back bearing during the time that it's been in our possession. With regular services and a little T.L.C. I can safely say that this car shouldn't ever let you down.
This engine is not very fast, but that's not what it was built for. However the engine does have a lot of torque and should be able to pull/tow most things.
A handy little feature is the 4x4 differential lock that is on the gear stick. This is used when driving in muddy conditions or when you get stuck. This helped us when we were in Cardiff dock, we were launching a boat and my grandfather reversed the boat and trailer in to the water, when he tried to come back out he found himself stuck. This wasn't much of a problem once he put the differential lock on, he just gently let the car pull itself out of the mud, awesome!
I found that this car is rather heavy on the juice and it was cheaper to buy a second small car to do the running around in, than what it was to pay for the fuel for the Land rover.
Over all I think that this is a well designed car that went 99% of the way but fell flat on its face at the final hurdle. If the quality of the interior was to be improved I would say this is a perfect example of what a 4x4 should be, but until then this just falls short for me.