PH Buying Guide: Range Rover (L322)

Land Rover’s upwardly mobile aspirations for the Range Rover finally went into orbit with the arrival of the third generation model L322 in February 2002. Where previous Range Rovers mixed off-road ability with comfort, the L322 pushed comfort and luxury to the fore, though it also retained the full spread of off-road ability expected of a Range Rover.

This was also the first Range Rover model to ditch a separate chassis, instead using a monocoque design that heralded a shift in Land Rover’s thinking. The L322 also ushered in a new style for Land Rover, penned by Don Wyatt, that we can still see the effects of today in the L322’s replacement, the L405. As such, the L322 now competed against luxury saloons such as the Mercedes S-Class, as well as other SUVs, which is why the car has become beloved by so many for its dual-purpose ability.

Longer, wider and taller than the P38A it replaced, the L322 has a 2880mm wheelbase, generous cabin space and comes with permanent four-wheel drive in all models. There's also an automatic transmissions for every version, initially a five-speed ’box that was then superseded by a six-speeder for the 2006 model year, with an eight-speed auto for the diesel from 2010.

To begin with, Range Rovers came with BMW-sourced engines in the shape of a 184PS 2.9-litre TD6 turbodiesel and 4.4-litre V8 petrol with 290hp. These engines lasted until the 2006 model year when the V8 was replaced with a Jaguar-derived 4.4-litre V8 with 306hp, while the flagship was now powered by a supercharged 4.2 V8 developing 400hp. A new 3.6-litre TDV8 took over from the TD6 and offered 272hp and a heft 640Nm of torque.

Pre-2009 cars featured simpler headlights
Pre-2009 cars featured simpler headlights
In April 2009, the supercharged V8 grew to 5.0-litres and 510hp yet offered slightly better fuel economy of 19.0mpg and lower 348g/km carbon dioxide emissions. A year later, the 3.6 TDV8 engine was replaced by the 4.4-litre unit with parallel sequential turbocharging to deliver 313hp, 516lbft and 30.1mpg - making it the first factory Range Rover to exceed 30mpg. Land Rover also took the opportunity to fit the new eight-speed auto to the TDV8 and restyle the front end with daytime running lights that curve around the headlights. Improvements to the Terrain Response system were also introduced, with the addition of Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control.

There’s a choice of HSE, Vogue, Vogue SE and Autobiography versions of the L322 Range Rover, which go from luxurious to downright sumptuous. There is also a wide variety of prices, going from £6000 for early, high mileage cars all the way to £80,000 for one of the last L322s before the L405 took over at the start of 2013. You can also spend even more on tuned models from the likes of Overfinch or Kahn, while armour-plated models command yet more based on their level of protection. However, we’ll stick with the standard models here that so many PHers use for a huge number of roles and reasons.

Owners Note:
"The best analogy I’ve ever heard for the ownership of a RR is: Ownership is a lot like being a drug addict. When you’re on a high, everything in the world is great but it takes more drugs/money each time to get that same high."
Dave Brennan

Buying guide contents:

Rolling chassis
Search for L322 Range Rovers in the PH Classifieds now

Comments (75) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ItsJustARide 31 Jan 2013

    Such a shame that the Canadian market doesn't get the diesels. Petrol is cheaper here (Vancouver) than the UK but it isn't cheap.

    With all the logging roads in the mountains around here a Defender/Disco/RR is mighty tempting.

  • Itsallicanafford 31 Jan 2013

    ...for such an expensive car, the list of potential problems is almost comically long.

  • famfarrow 31 Jan 2013

    Why are we not using BHP? Not being arsey just a genuine question.

  • Liquid Tuna 31 Jan 2013

    I hear the bright red ones are the most reliable.

  • 666TUR 31 Jan 2013

    Mine has been very reliable. In six years and 70k miles since I bought the car, with the exception of some early issues covered by the LR warranty it has only needed routine servicing. There are a lot of pattern parts available that all keep the costs down as do the interchangeability with BMW service items. I have also been amazed at how the dealers will discount heavily on service costs, I recently negotiated the basic oil service down to £99 at Stratstone, they also MOT it for free and for the last two years its gone straight through. In fact when I look at the repairs/parts its needed over the cars life and less components have failed on it than on my same age Porsche 996 Turbo despite having done a third of the mileage.

    There really are nt many cars that can do what a RR can. I have wafted the family down to the south of France in comfort, pulled tree stumps out of the garden, towed big agricultural trailers, waded flooded roads, smashed through snow drifts yet will cruise on the motorway at 80mph like an S class. I can't see a reason why I would ever sell it, I now run it on all terrain tyres, have the proper land rover tow hitch big bike rack and the G4 expedition roof rack which turns it from a limo to a defender. I recently took it green laning with a friend in his defender and it did every challenge he through at it, yet I sat in comfort with heated seats and a harmon kardon stereo.

    I highly recommend them!

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