Land Rover Range Rover (1994 – 2002) Review

Land Rover Range Rover (1994 – 2002) At A Glance


+Fantastically able and comfortable over tough terrain. Better road manners than previous version. Strong image.

-Poor build quality and reliability problems. V8 guzzles petrol. Standard BMW diesel very slow unless chipped.

With the arrival of the Discovery in 1989, Land Rover had an opportunity to reposition the Range Rover. Based on the Range Rover, the Discovery was cheaper and would go head to head with recent Japanese offerings like the Mitsubishi Shogun. This allowed Land Rover to move the Range Rover upmarket, making it increasingly expensive and – unusually for a 1980s Rover Group product – increasingly profitable. 

But then, the company was run by Germans. With BMW moving in, Rover got its act together and created the second-generation Rangey. The P38 as it was known (named after the building in which it was assembled), was offered with diesel power courtesy of BMW’s 2.5-litre six-pot, and by 1999 it was rocking Bosch fuel injection. BMW knew how much love there was for the original Spen King-designed model though, and kept it in production for a year badged as the Classic.

Even today, the P38 is a fantastic machine. No, it’s not perfect and if you’re serious about buying one you’ll have plenty on your check list – but it is still a very capable car. Possibly only bettered by its replacement. While the Shogun and the Trooper never had the off-road capability, the P38 could give the Jeep Cherokee a run for its money over the gruelling Rubicon trail (like the Nurburgring for farm cars). The P38 also had another ace up its sleeve – style. And it still looks great today.

Ask Honest John

Are P38 Range Rovers becoming valuable?

"Are Range Rover P38 becoming collectible classics and are their value gradually increasing?"
Now that Range Rover Classics are proper collector's vehicles, the P38 (second-generation) model appears to be following suit. A few years ago you could get one in good order for £2000. You'll need three times that now and they're still on the up. But they do require patience and specialist maintenance!
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Are the BMW diesel engines in P38 Range Rovers reliable?

"With the weather becoming more unpredictable and winter soon upon us I've been looking at a 1999 P38 DT 2.5 DSE with the BMW engine. 1. Are there any known common faults with that engine? 2. Is the engine run by an ECU or is it a pretty basic diesel with a manual pump etc? 3. According to the owner this model 2nd Gen doesn't suffer from rust worm as badly as others, it does look very good topside wheel arches, doors etc but I can't slide under it to look at the chassis."
The BMW M51 diesel engine fitted to the P38 Range Rover is known for its longevity and reliability, but it is important to remember that this engine is approaching 25 years old so some problems are to be expected. As with many diesels of this generation EGR valves can become clogged, so cleaning the intake and EGR valve can assist smooth running. Frequent oil changes are recommended to maintain the health of the turbocharger, and ensuring the engine is allowed to get up to temperature when driving and allowing it to cool at the end of your journey is also helpful. The fuel injection is operated by a Bosch ECU. As for rust, unfortunately a thorough examination underneath is the only way to be sure about the state of the chassis.
Answered by David Ross

What SUV will hold its value over the next five years?

"Can you suggest a reliable SUV under £9000 that will hold its value over 5 years? I live in Bristol so was leaning towards petrol."
Unfortunately, unless you buy a classic car, any SUV you buy will depreciate in value over five years. You could go for something like a classic Range Rover – a tidy one could be a good investment but it'll need regular maintenance. Otherwise, a reliable SUV for £9k would be a Suzuki Vitara or, if you need more space, a Honda CR-V. We'd recommend a petrol if you live (or regularly drive into) the centre of Bristol.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What cars would you recommend as possible future classics?

"What cars would you recommend as possible future classics? They must be automatic and reasonable to maintain."
You could have a look at a Mercedes-Benz SL (R107) although these are expensive now. Maybe a P38 Range Rover or a Bentley Arnage Red Label. If you'd like to go a bit more modern, then perhaps one of the first Audi TTs with the DSG box like the 2003 3.2 is an option (although the boxes are fragile) or something like a Smart Roadster. Also worth a look might be an American muscle car like a Mustang, or you could go for a high-performance model like a BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz AMG. Feeling flush? Then how about a Nissan GT-R.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Land Rover Range Rover (1994 – 2002) cost?