View Full Version : Land Rover...to be or not to be?

01-29-2005, 02:13 PM
Beware: Semi-long-winded post, but complicated question!

Although not a traditional Land Rover, my wife's new aquisition, the "Little Landie" is growing on me. Very car-like to drive, (but I'd lose those Michelins before next winter. Thinking of investing in a set of snows on steel rims in time for next year). The only nit that we have to pick is the gas mileage. The V6 is notoriously thirsty for a "cute ute", and you can't get the vehicle any other way over here. I've heard nice things about the (BMW-based?) turbo-diesel. But I digress. Now, however, comes my question:-

I need another vehicle, as my current lease is up in three weeks. I like the look of the Land Rover Discovery II, of which there are several used examples for sale in my neck of the woods. I don't specifically need an SUV for everyday driving, but I am planning on hauling "stuff" to classic car events around the midwest on weekends this coming summer. My wife's Freelander, nice though it may be to drive, just doesn't have the cargo area avaiable to stow a couple of folding tables, and the Disco does. Everyday driving would be offset by the MGB during the spring/summer/fall. The fuel consumption on the Disco is even worse than the Freelander, but the Rover V8 is one sweet lump, I had one in a Rover P6 3500S and I love the engine. The other vehicle that I am considering is a used Audi A4 Quattro, which in either engine configuration is much more economical than a utility.

So, finally, the question is:- Do you think that I should go with the Disco, or the Audi, buying a trailer hitch and trailer to haul behind the Freelander?

Thanks for your input.

01-30-2005, 12:54 AM
Most of the guys who haul "stuff" to classic car events around here seem to have settled on 25 year old brush-painted vans. They'll carry a lot more than a Land Rover etc and are dirt cheap.

I'm posting this sort of tongue-in-cheek but it's what I'd do if I planned on bringing tables, sun shelters, stuff to sell, and all.

I spent a week with one of my sons in Colorado a while back and he had an old Ford van ("The Great White Whale"). It was set up as a delivery van with no rear windows or seats. Of course it didn't handle well and so on but it was great fun to tool around in. We had far more fun with it than we would have had with a modern car.

I looked at a couple of new delivery vans last year outfitted with shelves and cabinets in back & their list price was surprisingly low - less than the fancy soccer-mom vans.

Buy an older one and use the money you save to stay in fancy hotels and B&B's when you're off to the various events.

01-30-2005, 07:56 AM
I'm with our pragmatic New Englander on this one.
Most of the modern SUVs I see are not only too thirsty, but they are also too small inside relative to the outside space they occupy.
Last week, a friend of mine told me that his son was buying an Accura MDX SUV as a family car. He wondered what I thought of the MDX? I suggested they look at a Honda Odessey minivan(sp?) instead. The minivan is far roomier, gets better gas mileage, handles much better and is safer in crash testing. The MDX might be better at plowing snow, but they're not interested in that sort of thing. They bought the Honda minivan this week and are real happy.
One of my neighbors has a very, nice old-style Dodge minivan for sale for $1400. There are probably thousands of these minivans for sale for very reasonable prices. In my view, minivans have far more utility than SUVs. If I didn't have "Unit 512" (aka "Vanna White") (https://www.ccm.edu/engtech/sprite_512.jpg) I'd have a good used minivan for utility purposes.
And modern minvans are really nicer to drive than most of us realize. Grassroots magazine tested the Honda minivan and found it could outrun an XK-E in an autocross!
If it was going to be your only car, I'd say get the Audi (but you already have the MGB).
As always, however, buy what makes you happy, no matter the rest of us say. G'luck!

01-30-2005, 12:17 PM
Hmmmm, the van might be a consideration. My drive to work is only six miles each way, might work. Have to consider the variables here......not as if I live in a warm climate though.

02-01-2005, 02:34 PM

These guys may be onto something with the van thing. As much as I am not a Chrysler fan the Caravans are a realy good bamg for the buck. My cousin, a real car guy is on his 3rd used one for familty transport & he really does a lot of it. He usually goes for the Grand Caravan with all the bells & whitles & swears by them for all around good hauling.

Being an ex Landie (88' Rangie Rover) I can say I loved the truck, tough, dependable, cool looking, but expensive to run gas & maintainance wise, even staying away from the dealer.

Now I'm driving a 2000 Landcruiser, talk about sweeeet!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

02-01-2005, 02:57 PM
The Chrysler minivans have huge issues with the transmisions. They tend to blow up quite regularly (unless its a really old one with the 3spd auto - those seem ok).

02-01-2005, 03:03 PM
I'd be more impressed with an S4 and a tow bar on the freelander. Those box trailers are really good, hold loads but tend to get nicked on a regular basis. Make sure you keep it clamped.

02-01-2005, 11:03 PM
Steve find an old International Travelall. Very dependable can pull more then anything else in its class. Has a large storage space behind the rear seat, much larger than a subrban, and you can fold up the rear seat and have a nearly 7 foot storage space. The heater usually work really well in them, when I was little we lived in crestone colorado, it got well below freezing alot and I never remeber being cold in ours. You can also comfortably seat four adults in the thing, and it has great visibility. Plus if you get one with a 304 Cu In. engine you can get around 16 miles to a gallon. Not to mention the 304 is not at all cold natured and puts very adequate power; 190 horse, 225 Lb Ft torque. Thats my two cents anyway, James may back me up.

02-02-2005, 01:01 AM
Well, new developments today. My father is looking to buy a VW Touareg in the spring, and he is going to buy a trailer for it......I need only shell out for a tow bar on the little Landie and I'm on my way. So, it's likely that I'll be getting a sporty car after all. I'll keep you posted. Appreciate the input, though.