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Why a LandRover LR3?

tm255tm255 Posts: 7
edited March 7 in Land Rover
i was planning on starting the search for a new SUV within the next couple months, or even waiting until the 2008 vehicles were available (especially the toyota highlander, which is getting some favorable press). i don't know a lot about the current models on the market, so i would be keeping my options open with full time 4wd being the only thing i really feel like i have to have.

anyway i just came across an 05 LR3 for sale that seems to be well maintained (i know the owner) and is reasonably priced. i drove it (first time in a land rover) and was very impressed with the ride and handling.

so, i'm considering jumping on this, but am concerned about 2 things

1) it is an 05, which was the first year of the LR3 and supposedly most problematic (owner says he has had no trouble with the vehicle, which i plan to check)

2) i'm not really sure about what the competition is like, except there are a number of SUVs that are less expensive

so, what i'd like to know is, what specifically do you owners really like most about your land rovers? what are their biggest strengths compared to what else is in the SUV market (toyota, nissan xterra, etc.)?

i guess another way to put this is, it is a relatively high priced vehicle, and more service issue prone than others -- what does it offer that offsets these issues?

thanks a lot!

Comments

  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    Buying a Land Rover is a very rewarding experience if you go into it with the right mindset.

    You are not buying a Chev or Ford, so there are probably less dealers in your area to service it.

    An LR3 can pretty much go over, around or through just about anything on the planet, but most people will never take it off the tarmac.

    Honestly, the LR3 is a bit of a status vehicle - something like buying a Porsche Boxster - it tells people you're doing well - but not quite well enough to buy the Range Rover. (Full size, not sport)

    If you plan on taking it offroad, there is no better vehicle around, Range Rover notwithstanding. Jeeps are nice, but I find them a bit spartan as a dual-purpose vehicle (on and offroad).

    You'll definitely get a lot of looks in the LR3, and develop a certain amount of pride in it. However, there is always a nagging desire to take it offroad, which is probably madness until it is paid off, or you are very well off and don't care. If you're not extremely well-off, then the desire now turns to getting another Rover (Series, Defender, etc) just to prove to yourself that in buying an LR3, you really have the soup and nuts to carry yourself with the big boys in the slop and muck, dirt and rocks.

    Or, you may just be looking for a soccer-mom mobile?

    In either case, the LR3 is an excellent vehicle - it is built like a tank, gets terrible gas mileage, and provides tremendous peace of mind that unless you get into an accident with a tractor-trailer, then you'll pretty much crush anything else you run into.

    A word on maintenance: they can be a bit touchy - lots of electronics, and some early-on issues might crop up (MIGHT). If you keep the LR3 in good repair with regular trips to the dealer, then you should be fine. I've had mine (2006 LR3 HSE) in about 10 times in 6 months... a bit high, I admit, but the worst was a faulty coolant resevoir valve - the rest were niggly little things with trim.

    You may think this is a lot, but with my last vehicle, it did not go in as much, but what it did got in for was much more serious. (Faulty dash electronics, faulty body control module, rear door had to be cut off because latch had seized, miscellaneous ghost alarms that would pop up then go away and the dealer could never find the fault, driver seat stuck in the wrong position, radio stopped working for no reason, etc, etc, etc - BTW, this was from a GM product that cost over $34K - In the four years I owned it, I kept track of how much I would have spent on it had it not been under warranty - around $6k.)

    All-in-all, I would say the experience of owning a Rover has been exceedingly positive. I love the vehicle, the convenience features are spectacular, and when it really comes down to it, the feature that stays with your when the glam has worn off, is "How does it drive?" The LR3 with the V8 motor is silky smooth - the transmission is almost imperceptible, and it never ceases to amaze with what it can do if you do get stuck in something (Can you say snow storm? - While the rest of the province shut down, I had fun on the roads with the whole road to myself - except for two other guys I saw out - both driving Rovers.)

    Just last week, I went to pick up my wife from the train station, when a flash snow storm came in - I wound up in the ditch in my other car. I walked back home (I was only a 45m walk from home at that point, and when I called for a tow truck was told it would at least be 2 hours) got in my Landy, swung by my brother's place to pick him up to help, and drove back to my car. With a couple of tow straps, I pulled my car out of the ditch and got it home with help from my brother, then went back to the train station in Landy and picked up my wife. No problem.

    To answer what the competition is like - I researched SUVs for almost two years before buying the LR3 - After all the research, I was down to four vehicles:
    Volvo XC90
    Porsche Cayenne S
    Range Rover Sport
    LR3

    I dismissed the Volvo because I hated the limited space for storage, and limited offroad ability, although it had a beautiful motor. I also hated the seating position for the driver - very uncomfortable for me, and I am only 5'11" tall.

    I dismissed the RR because it also is smaller than I wanted.

    In the end, it was the Cayenne S vs. an LR3 HSE - I chose the LR3 because the resale was expected to be higher than the Porsche, and for the money, you got a lot more vehicle than you got with the Porsche. Sure, you could load up the Porsche with options to make it equivalent in options, but then you would be paying $20k more than the LR3 and have none of the offroading ability. (Once read an article where a guy saw a Suzuki samurai tow a Cayenne out of a sandbank in the US southwest)

    In any case, the only thing I can say is that if you get the LR3 and it is a good one as your friend says, then you will love it.
  • tm255tm255 Posts: 7
    thanks for the detailed reply!

    interesting that you used the porsche boxster as a comparison. i had that in mind, also -- meaning that one can buy a less expensive, capable, and more reliable car than the boxster but by and large the boxster owners that i have known LOVE their cars.

    honestly, the LR3 is overkill for me as far as the offroad capabilities go, but i do need full time 4WD. i just need to decide if this would be a better fit personally than a new nissan, toyota, etc.

    thanks again for the info.
  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    Well, my analogy for the Porsche was one I picked up off of Top Gear.

    They were doing a show on the Boxster, and said something along the lines of:
    "The Boxster is a nice car, and it tells people that you're doing pretty well - but not well enough to buy the 911"

    Same thing applies to the LR3 / RR.

    One of the factors I had in buying the LR3 was that Yes, I am buying an expensive truck, and I would like to take it camping, and possibly on long treks across the country - and probably little-to-no offroading - BUT how would one feel if I got a stone chip / door ding / branch scratch on this one compared to a RR or a Porsche Cayenne. The other two seemed a bit more puff vehicles, and this one seemed like the more serious of the bunch. (The Volvo was almost certainly made to be a soccer-mom mobile - the driving position was terrible for your average sized male, but my wife had no problems with it.)

    You may think you'll never need the offroading ability, and that may be true, but I certainly feel much more secure in bad weather on-road in Landy. She's never let us down yet through several really bad snow storms.

    It's 6 months on now from when we bought her, and I always ask my wife this after having bought a new vehicle: "Knowing what we know now about this vehicle, would you buy it again?"

    We've only ever owner 5 cars together, but this is only the second time she has said yes. I should add that she did say that if we buy out the LR3 at the end of the lease, she may go for a Porsche, but not the Cayenne. The Cayenne only piqued her interest in Porsche to the point where we may be replacing one of our cars with a Boxster, Cayman or 911. That being said, she is also extremely interested in the LR2 as a lighter-duty CUV..

    We'll see in 2010 when the lease is up what direction we'll go.

    Have you had a chance to drive the LR3 yet? If it has the V8 motor, it's a very nice drive. Not too many people pick the v6, as the mileage is about the same as the V8, and the extra power is worth the cost. (Not to mention the extra options you get on the HSE!)
  • tm255tm255 Posts: 7
    yes, i drove the LR3. it has the V8 in the SE package. i thought that it was a very nice ride, both on the street and on washboard gravel. i was especially taken with the comfort of the seats and the driving position. it has been awhile since i drove a land cruiser, but from what i remember i liked the LR3 seating a lot better.

    i'm not sure how much over invoice new ones are going for these days, but it looks like for not a whole lot more than this used one i could get into a new one but with the V6. that might be a better option for me, as i could take my time looking at the competition. plus this used one has a number of accessories that i would never use (winch, heavy duty roof rack, light bar).

    any suggestions of other www sites where i might further my LR "education?"
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    any suggestions of other www sites where i might further my LR "education?"

    There are dozens of discussions here loaded with helpful information and insights. You can start here: Land Rover LR3

    Also, click the "Consumer Ratings" links at the top of this page.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    Personally, I'd try to stick with the V8, but that is a subjective issue. I prefer the extra oomph of the v8, and the extra torque.

    Lots and LOTS of sites out there..

    rovergirls.com
    drivearoundtheworld.com
    neneoverland.co.uk
    best4x4xfar.co.uk

    TONS more...
  • Just FYI, tm255:

    The LR3 six cylinder model has been discontinued for the year 2007.

    Best regards,

    Matroskin
  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    The LR3 six cylinder model has been discontinued for the year 2007.

    In NA only..

    it lives on in Europe in a TDV6 incarnation..

    I'll be checking one of these out in about 4 weeks - I am renting one to do a driving trip from Amsterdam to Brugges, Luxembourg and France.
  • tm255tm255 Posts: 7
    thanks for all the info. i'll check those other sites, as well as looking at the other threads here.

    >The LR3 six cylinder model has been discontinued for the year 2007<

    it is odd that the LR USA site lets me select the V6 when i'm "building" a new vehicle. maybe the site is not up to date?
  • I can give you my input on 'Why LR3'..

    Over the past 4 months my wife and i test drove every 'suv' with a 3rd row (3 kids on 1 row = pain).

    The top contenders:

    2007 BMW X5 3.0: Bigger then years past.. 2nd row doesn't feel as cramped now (thanks to the way they carve out the front seats). BMW's joke is what they call the '3rd' row.

    2007 Volvo XC90 AWD: it SCREAMS soccer mom. My wife really liked all the safety features, booster seats and kid friendly stuff. We both thought it was rather bland.

    2007 Audi Q7 3.6: Both my wife and i loved it. I'm a little biased though... i've put 90k miles on my A4 in 4 years with zero problems. Im a huge audi fan! Our only concern was its size. Its not something you'd want to take to HomeDepot for remodeling supply's :)

    2007 Nissan Armada SL: Big, Plastic and powerfull. My wife loved the size and the ride. I didn't like the plastic parts on a $50k car.

    2007 LR3 SE V8: Made for 4x4 hard-core with a little bit of luxury tossed in. We loved the looks... we loved the ride.. The 3rd row is about the best we'd seen.

    We've had the LR3 for 2 weeks now and my wife loves it more each day. In an area where 3 out of 5 SUV's are Black & Chrome Escalades on 20inch rims (the other 2 are X5's) she loves the simple/modern look of the LR3 (ours is Black/Black).

    We're going on the local Land Rover club's Moab(utah) run this spring... it should be a blast to see what the car can do. My guess... we won't see any of the other cars we looked at on the trails :shades:
  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    My guess... we won't see any of the other cars we looked at on the trails

    Here's one for you.. go to youtube.com and do a search on "Top Gear Rover Hummer H2"

    Top Gear went to the US Southwest and did a head-to-head with a Range Rover vs. a Hummer H2 vs. a Escalade.

    Challenge was to get to the top is a fairly steep hill/mountain that the locals said "You CAN drive up there, but you need a pretty good vehicle to do it."

    Guess who won?

    Or for something more relevant, do a youtube search for or "Top Gear LR3 Discovery 3"

    They drove an LR3 up a Scottish mountain where nobody had ever been able to drive there before.

    You may also want to do a youtube search on "Top Gear Audi Q7" where they describe it as 6% uglier than your average Troll" I tend to agree with them. For an Audi, it lacks a lot of the design queues that attract me to that brand.

    Personally, I love my LR3, but I would have liked about 4-6 more inches of space behind the 3rd row for baby strollers, bags, etc..
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,964
    They drove an LR3 up a Scottish mountain where nobody had ever been able to drive there before

    Because every other landowner had protected the site from abuse before a bunch of money was waived around, and even then they had to dig the LR3 out of the bogs a few times. The pics of guys having fun at Turkey Bay in Kentucky are way more fun than seeing that LR3 churn up the grass. :P

    Now, Top Gear's coverage of the Ariel Atom - now that was a movie. :shades:
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    V6 LR3 is discontinued for 2008 not 2007. I have several 2007 V6 LR3s running around as service loaners right now.
  • The information regarding 2007 LR3 V6 has been provided to me by a manager of a local LR dealership. According to him, they have stoped receiving the LR3 V6 models since February, 2007. The bottom line is that the inventory of the above model is limited, so will be the tech support in the nearest future.

    Matroskin
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Well 2007 MY was a short production run for all Land Rover models. We ordered our first set of 2008 MY Land Rovers last month.

    2007 MY V6 LR3 models exist out in the market place and you will be able to buy one for quiet some time.

    As for tech support considering the V6 LR3 is exactly the same as the V8 model except for the engine, which is shared with many other Ford Family products, I wouldn't worry about tech support.
  • I hope I'm not too late on buying an 05 0r any LR3. Make sure you check wholesale prices. A used 06 in Chicago with a $49,900 sticker is now $27,000. Nobody even wants to take it on trade. Chicago Land Rover Naperville and Land Rover Schaumburg dealers are selling used Calf lemon law cars,beware.
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