ExteriorFirst things first, the L322 series Range isn't that old a car, it hasn't actually been out of production that long, its successor only went on sale in 2013. Despite this though, prices for the last gen Range have done that thing which mainly afflicks big cars with lots of leather; they've gone south, fast. This is bad for buyers who forked out that whopping great sum I mentioned at the start but great news for people who want some luxury on a budget. So what do you get for the money? Well firstly you get a sort of style and class which can only come from a British built car, the L322 is a masterpiece. It took the boxy appearance of the classic Range Rover and brought it into the 21st century with the use of aluminium accents, lots of glass and an upright stature. It's contemporary and still looks good today, in fact I think this model of Range looks better than the one which replaced it. The newest Range is too much of a footballers car and I'm not talking about, built like a brick shit house American Footballer either. I'm talking about "don't mess with hair" English premier league footballer. The new car has been bejazzled with LED diamonds and although yes, it is a nice piece of design, it is a bit too manicured and not as rugged as a Range Rover should be. The L322 on the other hand, hit the nail on the head with its design and I've not even got to the interior yet.
InteriorThe contemporary flair continues inside, leather, wood and aluminium all feature to create a feel of real quality. There are gadgets galore too, duel zone climate control, sat nav, electric heated seats, heated steering wheel, bi-xenon headlights, auto wipers, 12 speaker stereo and a whole lot more came on the top spec Vouge model (the one I've picked).
Off Road ProwessOff road though the Range Rover really comes into its own. The car calls upon numerous systems which allow it to pretty much get out of any tough situation all while you sit in the plushest of arm chairs. Naturally the car features permanent 4WD, with a centre differential capable of sending power to whichever end of the car needs it most. There's also a low range gearbox so you can crawl over obstacles and hill decent control to stop the car rolling away too fast downhill. Air suspension takes care of the ride, allowing for axle articulation so all the wheels can be kept on the ground for maximum traction, this system also means the on road ride of the Range is as smooth and relaxed as its opulent cabin would have you believe. Search Range Rover L322 on Youtube and there are plenty of videos showcasing what the Range can do, I just picked this one to give you an idea.
PerformanceThat air suspension is built for cushioning rather than hunkering down though. Even equipped with the BMW sourced 4.4 litre V8 the almost 2.5 tonne Range Rover is no sports car. Producing 210kw and a massive 440Nm of torque the V8 gets the Range to 100km/h in 9.2 seconds, impressive for its size but not frighteningly quick. Not that this matters though; a Range Rover is for cruising on the road, not ripping it to shreds. While off road it's built to conquer anything it's driver points it at and with that torque figure it'll do that all day long. Fuel consumption for the lazy V8 isn't great of course, if that sort of thing concerns you Range Rover also did a 2.9 litre V6 turbo diesel. For more technical details click here.
Ok, I want oneThere we have it, The Range Rover, essentially a palace that can go off road all for under $20k. The running cost might be a little more but maybe you should treat yourself to one instead of that Toyota Land Cruiser you'd always thought of getting. There is after all only one great plush mud pluger and I certainly know which of those two I'd rather show off to my mates.
My pick of the classifieds is this 2002 Vouge, featuring the lovely 4.4 litre V8 and very few km's given its age. Appears well looked after with just a couple of scuffs on the exterior and some marks on the interior. Nothing too major and I suspect this car hasn't seen much off road action. Being a Vouge it comes loaded with kit and as a bonus has NSW rego until September.
2002 Range Rover Vouge, £19,000