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Are Range Rovers Unreliable?

Purchasing a car shouldn’t be a rushed decision, especially when it comes to SUV’s and second-hand vehicles. Range Rover’s, in particular, are viewed as luxury vehicles, however, they can, in fact, require lots of servicing and maintenance. As they are a premium vehicle they can come with expensive parts, which can be complicated to repair or replace.

In 2012, a report by What Car? and Warranty Direct voted the Land Rover brand as the least reliable vehicle on the road, according to a study of used vehicles based on 50,000 extended warranty policies.

Between 2007-2016, according to J.D Power, Range Rover scored 2.5 or less out of 5. The highest scores awarded to them were only 3 out of 5, or 6 out of 10. This is below average for reliability and dependability. Also, where the industry average for problems was found to be 133 per 100 vehicles, Range Rover again scored well below average, with 179 problems per 100 vehicles.

A survey from Which Car has also uncovered some more damning statistics when it comes to Range Rovers reliability. They discovered a staggering 47% of vehicles under the brand encountered a fault within the first 0-3 years. For a new vehicle, this figure is poor. In contrast, the most reliable brand had only 11%.

The survey also found that 3% of the vehicles broke down within the first 3 years of purchase, whereas the most reliable brands was just 0.4%.

The Land Rover brand finished 30th out of 31 car manufacturers in a What Car? reliability survey.

Models

Range Rover

Almost half of the drivers had to have issues repaired with their Range Rover, even if the vehicle was under 3 years old. These repairs would take an average of two days to repair. One in ten of these models required their suspension repairing. An astonishing 93% of these vehicles encountered electrical faults not related to the engine.

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque received a lowly rating of one start out of five. 45% of owners also had to take their vehicle for repairs the previous 12 months before the survey. The most common problems with this model were the onboard computer software as well as the exhaust or emission-control system. The breakdown figures for this model are almost double the average of cars this age. This vehicle finished 23rd out of 25 vehicles in a What Car? survey for large SUVs.

Common Issues

Below are some of the common issues which have been experienced by owners:

Air suspension

Air suspension was a common issue many Range Rover owners experienced with their vehicle. The air suspension was intended to improve the drive and ground clearance of the vehicle, however, over time, it begins to wear. This isn’t an issue which occurs instantly, most drivers have found the air suspension fails somewhere between 6-10 years.

The main sign of this occurring is the vehicle beginning to lean to one side. Once the air suspension does fail, most drivers decide to replace the air suspension with traditional coil springs. If you plan on purchasing a second hand Range Rover, it may be worth considering one which has already had its air suspension replaced with coil springs, in order to save you from having to do so in the future.

Oil leaks

Another common problem Range Rovers face is oil leaks. Usually, this is due to a bad seal in the drain pump. It is often a fairly cheap and simple part to replace. These tend to occur after the vehicle has travelled 60,000 miles, however, it can occur earlier.

Leaking sunroof

On numerous occasions, even the sunroofs have been reported to be faulty, with water being able to leak through into the interior of the vehicle. There is no particular timeframe for when this occurs, it has been reported early and late on into the car’s life.

Electrical problems

Electronic issues have constantly seemed to affect various models of the vehicle over the years. In particular the:

  • non-engine electrics
  • air con
  • sat-nav units.

Arguably, this isn’t just a Range Rover issue. Technology in our vehicles is advancing, however, due to this more problems seem to be arising.

Parking brake failure

Over time, Range Rovers parking brakes can come out of alignment and need to be readjusted. Signs of this happening is hearing screeching sounds when using the parking brake.

Steering shaft problems

Another common problem drivers of Range Rovers have reported is issues with the steering shaft. Loud noises when steering turning the steering wheel at low speeds are signs of this malfunctioning.

Airbags malfunctioning

Alarmingly many customers have even complained about the functionality of the Range Rover’s airbags. SUV’s are traditionally seen as extra safe vehicles due to their size and durability, however, this issue disputes this. Problems with the airbag are usually due to a misalignment of airbag springs and steering columns, which eventually causes the wiring to break. As a result of this, the airbag could deploy randomly whilst being driven, which could, of course, result in serious injuries, or worse.

Despite Range Rover having a reputation as a robust, premium vehicle, there is plenty of evidence which suggests the contrary. Range Rover’s reputation when it comes to reliability doesn’t seem to be improving either. Whether it’s the issues with the air suspension affecting the driving experience, persistent problems with the sunroof damaging the vehicle interior or alarming defects with the airbags, there are plenty of deficiencies which must be resolved in order for the reputation of the vehicle to enhance.

As Range Rovers are seen as premium vehicles, don’t be surprised to get charged premium prices to have them repaired, no matter how persistent the issues may be. JLR Essex can save you up to 60% off main dealer repairs and servicing, as well as offer you a free MOT with every service.

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