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Designed and engineered by BMW, the new Range Rover is the best British SUV yet.
Vastly superior to the one it replaces, sumptuous interior, nonpareil off-road capability.
Price premium, poor reputation for build quality, difficult to use stereo and navigation system.
Available Range Rover SUV Models
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As this is just the third new Range Rover in 31 years, one might hope that the 2003 Range Rover hosts some significant improvements. Indeed it does. Land Rover has focused on improving drivability and livability. As such, this updated flagship SUV features unit body construction, a four-wheel independent suspension and a BMW-engineered V8 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It also boasts more interior space, greater ground clearance and a beautifully revised interior.
Introduction: Arguably the ultimate rough-and-tumble adventure vehicles, Land Rovers appeared just after World War II -- Britain's answer to the popular American Jeep. The Range Rover, Land Rover's flagship SUV, debuted in England in 1970, and made its American debut in 1985. In 1994, BMW thought it would be a good idea to buy Land Rover in order to give the company entry into the lucrative high-end sport-utility market, but the acquisition proved to be expensively unfruitful. In order to cut its losses, the company unloaded Land Rover to Ford in 2000. During its short ownership period, however, BMW completed a significant amount of engineering work on this latest Range Rover, hence the 4.4-liter engine and very Germanic interior. Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: The only available options for 2003 Range Rover are bi-xenon headlights and the heated accessories package which includes heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Included with the vehicle are a voice-activated navigation/entertainment system, a six-disc CD changer, and a choice of various wood and leather trim to your specification.Powertrains and Performance: A4.4-liter V8, a close cousin to the one that powers the popular BMW X5, motivates the 2003 Range RoverIt makes 282 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. As with the previous Range Rover, the only transmission choice is an automatic, though this time it's a five-speed featuring a sequential-shift manual mode.. Zero-to-60 mph acceleration for this 5,379-pound vehicle is about 9 seconds, and maximum towing capacity is set at 7,000 pounds. Safety: Safety has not been overlooked for this luxury SUV. Every safety feature in the Range Rover are standard, and this includes systems such as dynamic stability control, brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, side curtain airbags and park distance control. Interior Design and Special Features: As with all Land Rovers, the Range Rover is monitored by Hill Descent Control, which utilizes engine braking to control downhill speed while boulder bashing. Some of the Ranger's quirky British ergonomic issues have been resolved with a more logical control layout. Driving Impressions/Opinions: Built for the bush but bought for bragging rights, Range Rovers are more likely to be found in Beverly Hills than Botswana. With its high price tag, the Range Rover obviously isn't for everyone. Still, if a taste for off-roading lies in your future, and a run-of-the-mill sport-utility vehicle doesn't turn you on, what better way to blast into the bush than in an image-building Range Rover? It's not just a drive -- it's a lifestyle.
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