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2003 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility

4dr Wgn HSE

Starting at | Starting at 12 MPG City - 17 MPG Highway

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  • $71,200 original MSRP
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2003 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility

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2003 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility

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2003 Land Rover Range Rover

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Everything about the 2003 Range Rover is totally new, save for the badges and tailgate latch. It's quicker and more agile on the road than the previous version, yet it retains Land Rover's pedigree for traversing the backcountry.

This marks only the third time that Land Rover has revamped its flagship since the Range Rover's introduction in 1970. What you won't notice at first glance is that the newest Range Rover is loaded with technology and BMW engineering. What you will notice once you open the door is that it comes with a beautiful interior.

Unlike the previous versions, the 2003 Range Rover was engineered with assistance from BMW. Land Rover belonged to BMW briefly, but has since been purchased by Ford. Land Rover is now part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, along with British automakers Jaguar and Aston Martin. Land Rover builds four-wheel-drive products exclusively.

Land Rover says its flagship sails in a class by itself. That's largely true. Legendary off-road prowess comes in a cabin that will coddle and comfort you, as well as nestle you in the latest in safety refinements. Upscale competitors include the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon with notable 4x4 capability but a utilitarian cabin, and the Lexus LX 470, essentially a Toyota Land Cruiser with bland Lexus styling cues that offers a well-appointed cockpit but less competence off road.

Model Lineup

Range Rover is available as one model for 2003. It's powered by a 4.4-liter BMW engine. Though only one trim level is offered, Land Rover offers a choice of interior styles, woods and leathers.

The 2003 Range Rover ($71,200) comes free scheduled maintenance for the duration of the new vehicle limited warranty. Now standard are bi-xenon headlamps and a premium harman/kardon 15-speaker surround sound system.

Walkaround

Though easily recognized as a Range Rover, its exterior is completely new and cuts a distinctive profile. Its design was inspired by the Riva Aquarama, an Italian speedboat that is often considered one of the world's most beautiful objects.

Overall, the look is as heavyset and boxy as its predecessors, but with a modern twist. The front end is strong and horizontal, capped by Range Rover's trademark clamshell hood. High-tech headlamps (with power washers) and a prominent air dam are flanked by functional power vents that help feed air to the engine. Taillights echo the futuristic look of the front.

Viewed from the side, the new Range Rover features a high beltline, with a flat expanse of sleek metal and Brunel-finish power vents.

Underneath the skin is a steel monocoque structure with an integrated chassis that increases torsional stiffness by 32 percent over previous models. Increased body rigidity improves ride and handling and gives the Range Rover the ability to tow, haul and tote just about anything on or off road.

Overall, the new Range Rover is taller, wider, longer, and higher off the ground than ever before. It's more than 9 inches wider, with a wheelbase that is more than 5 inches wider than that of its predecessor. This model also clears the ground by 2.6 inches more than last year's version, with a whopping eleven inches of ground clearance.

Interior Features

The new Range Rover features a cavernous interior. Fans will not be surprised by a host of luxurious amenities, but some Range Rover loyalists may be surprised by the austere, straight lines of its upgraded interior.

The interior is light and airy, with styling cues coming from ocean-going yachts and first-class airline seating, as well as fine furniture and jewelry.

There is more head- and legroom than ever before. Seats are big and comfortable with adequate side bolstering and lumbar support and comfortable headrests. Optional Contour front seats feature folding armrests. Rear seats have power split backrests.

Flat panels and upgraded gauges dominate the dash, with a discrete metal finish used for detailing around the instruments and controls. There is a choice of four interior themes for the upper and lower trim: Aspen/Ivory, Jet/Charcoal, Navy/Parchment, and Jet/Sand. All offer contrasting piping on the seats and a choice of decorative finishes: traditional burled walnut or avant-garde cherry.

An in-dash LCD displays essential vehicle information, and an on- and off-road navigation system is standard. Four cupholders are adjustable and accommodate many different sizes of cups and cans.

A premium harman/kardon 15-speaker surround sound system has been added as standard equipment.

There's plenty of room for gear and tailgating. The tailgate was designed to support the weight of two adults. The cargo area is longer and taller than before. The rear seats are split 60/40 for versatility when moving cargo and people. Luggage hooks on the floor of the cargo area are designed to keep items secure. A full-size spare tire is stored in a well under the cargo floor. A power sunroof is standard.

Safety equipment is comprehensive. Eight airbags come standard: front, side, and head airbags for driver and front-seat passenger, as well as head airbags for rear outboard passengers. Security is also a high priority, which comes with deadlocks and an ultrasonic alarm system. Land Rover notes that the new model includes a "panic button" that activates locks for "strong resistance to attack." Sounds like useful protection while on safari or in the urban jungle.

Driving Impressions

The new Range Rover retains Land Rover's legendary off-road capability, but what's most amazing is its vastly improved handling on the road.

It handled a 200-mile trek on narrow, winding roads in Scotland with the poise of a sheep dog, dodging and darting with the utmost steadiness. In sharp contrast to the previous Range Rover, the new one exhibits relatively little body roll, or lean, in corners.

This is the result of a highly refined air suspension system. Cross-link valves automatically allow softer spring and wheel rates for enhanced comfort. They also permit the driver to lower the ride height making it easier for passengers to get in an out. A new Access setting can be pre-selected so the body can be the correct height as it rolls to a stop, allowing it to lower more quickly for passengers too impatient to wait.

BMW's smooth and powerful 4.4-liter V8 delivers far greater power than the old 4.6 Rover engine. Output has been raised from the previous Range Rover's 220 horsepower to 282 horsepower at 5400 rpm in the new version. Torque is up 10 percent to 325 pounds-feet at 3600 rpm.

This gives the new Range Rover much quicker performance, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9 seconds (as opposed to previous Range Rover's 10.8 seconds), with a top speed of 130 mph. Emissions have been reduced and fuel efficiency has been improved slightly to an EPA-estimated 12/17 mpg, City/Highway.

The V8 is mated to a new five-speed automatic transmission developed by BMW and adapted for Land Rover and Ford. The transmission features CommandShift, one of the newest manual/automatic hybrids now coming to the luxury market. The news here is that CommandShift in the Range Rover can operate in both high and low gear ratios for use on and off road.

While it's clear that the greatest difference with the new model is its on-road handling, its off-road prowess has been significantly upgraded as well, which we discovered on some of Scotland's rugged off-road tracks.

Increased ground clearance (11 inches) and an improved angle of approach (35 degrees) along with the stiffer chassis made negotiating Scotland's muddy, rutted backcountry a breeze. The new Range Rover boasts the slowest low-range crawl speed in the industry: just 2.4 mph at 1000 rpm, good for traversing the world's worst terrain. Its gearing is the lowest in its class.

An unusual feature is that the transmission can be switched between low and high range on the fly, at speeds up to 30 mph from low to high range, eliminating the need to stop in the middle of a mud bog to change gearing. Additionally, advanced electronics provide for a dual-range throttle with on- and off-road calibrations. That makes for quicker throttle response on the road, while allowing precise throttle adjustments in extreme off-road situations.

Blazing trails can be done with more confidence thanks to an undercarriage protection system including a plastic shield and Kevlar engine protection layer. A traction control system allows drivers to tread lightly by minimizing wheel spin, and therefore trail damage, off the beaten path.

The new Range Rover is capable of towing a two-horse trailer or a large powerboat. While many of the body panels are constructed of lightweight aluminum, this monolith weighs more than 5,300 pounds, 500 pounds heavier than the previous version.

Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are backed by electronic Brake Assist, which applies full braking force in a panic stop even if the driver mistakenly relaxes brake pedal pressure, and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which helps reduce stopping distances by balancing braking forces front to rear.

The Range Rover is also equipped with Ford's Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, which helps drivers stay on their intended course by preventing a skid. This system helps maintain vehicle stability at the limits of tire adhesion via a combination of yaw rate sensors, the antilock brake system, and the traction control system. When required, the system applies the brakes at one or more wheels to correct excessive yaw. For example, if the vehicle's yaw rate exceeds the driver's intentions, a situation called oversteer or 'fishtailing,' brake force on the outside front wheel helps keep the vehicle on the desired path.

Summary

Land Rover's all-new Range Rover moves the bar for style, prestige, luxury, and capability. Boasting an all-new monocoque body with integrated chassis, all-independent suspension, five-speed automatic transmission along with Land Rover's legendary four-wheel drive, the 2003 Range Rover will take you anywhere, from the Sahara to the South Pole.

The 2003 Range Rover offers style and pedigree, something the Lexus LX 470 does not have. It offers off-road capability and cargo space that BMW X5 drivers can only dream about. And it'll drive circles around the Mercedes G500 on the open road.

In short, the new Range Rover lives up to its reputation as the standard to which other SUVs aspire. It is a pleasure to drive and it's easy on the eyes. For many, it truly is the SUV heavyweight world champion.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Range Rover ($69,330)
Engines: 4.4-liter 32-valve V8
Transmissions: 5-speed electronically controlled automatic with Steptronic
Safety equipment (standard): dual front, side and head airbags for driver, front-seat passenger and head airbags for rear seat outboard passenger, side door impact protection, ABS with Electronic Brake Assist, undercarriage protection, off-road traction control software, ABS, traction control
Safety equipment (optional): none
Basic warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in: Solihull, England

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Range Rover ($71,200)
Standard equipment: leather upholstery, power seats, power windows, power locks, power sunroof, heated front windshield, Park Distance Control, security system with deadlocks, in-dash driver information LCD display, harman/kardon 15-speaker surround sound system, bi-xenon headlamps
Options as tested (MSRP): none
Destination charge: ($665)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $71,865
Layout: four-wheel drive
Engine: 4.4-liter 32-valve V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 282 @ 5400
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 324 @ 3600
Transmission: 5-speed electronically controlled automatic with Steptronic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 12/17 mpg
Wheelbase: 113.4 in.
Length/width/height: 194.9/86.3/73.3 in.
Track, f/r: 64.1/64.0 in.
Turning circle: 38.1 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 40.2/NA/38.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 38.3/NA/35.5 in.
Trunk volume: N/A
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 7700 Lbs.
Suspension, f: cross-linked electronic air with MacPherson air strut
Suspension, r: cross-linked electronic air with double wishbones
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 5379 lbs.
Tires: 255/60R18
Brakes, f/r: ventilated disc/solid disc with ABS, Brake Assist
Fuel capacity: 26.4 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of September 30, 2002.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges.

N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-FINE-4WD - www.landrover.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2003 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Opt
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Std

Security

Alarm Std
Printable Version

2003 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

Land Rover Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Up to 6-Year / 100,000-Mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty - calculated from the original in-service date and zero miles.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Less than 5-years old and less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 150-Point Inspection
Return/Exchange Program 3 day exchange
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2003 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility

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