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Range Rover Classic buying guide (1970-1996)

Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door When it comes to Range Rover Classic there is plenty of choice from the highly-prized early two-door coil-sprung models to the well-appointed and electronic fuel-injected air suspension variants.

Early vehicles had the 3.5-litre Rover V8 carburettor engine which was superseded in 1984 by electronic fuel injection and later enlarged to 3.9 and 4.2-litres in the LSE long wheelbase model.

Three diesel engines were fitted: the Italian 2.4-litre VM unit with its unusual individual cylinder head design, and the more practical and dependable 200Tdi and 300Tdi Land Rover units, though all diesels give good, if relatively slow, service.


Interior trim is important, so check for damage, including the headlining, which tends to sag. Check the chassis for rust, but the main rust issue is in the body structure: A-posts, B-posts and the door shuts, rear tailgate, rear load floor, sills, inner wings and underbody.

Be wary of LPG conversions, unless certified and serviced. V8 engines like oil changes, so look for a good service record and a quiet top end soon after start-up. A noisy top end may need a new camshaft and valve gear. Later models received more electrical gadgets which all need to be tested before buying. Noise from below needs new bushes and joints to cure, but check for transmission wear/noises, too.

Reasons to buy 

These early first-generation Range Rovers are now all recognised classics so, although many examples are still needing work, there is good reason to invest time and money in them. They are still a very practical family car and, as ever, a totally capable off-roader.

Reasons to avoid 

V8 engines are thirsty, and diesels feel a tad slow in the Range Rover, though 300Tdi is the best option. Body rot can be expensive to repair, and bodged air suspension systems likewise. Non-standard engine conversions now detract seriously from the price because they reduce the classic status of the vehicle.


Range Rover 1971-1983
Engine 3.5-litre V8
Power 125 bhp
Torque 185 lb-ft

Range Rover 1986-1989
Engine 3.5-litre EFi
Power 165 bhp
Torque 206 lb-ft

Range Rover 1989-1996
Engine 3.9-litre EFi V8
Power 185 bhp
Torque 235 lb-ft

Range Rover 4.2
Engine 4.2-litre EFI V8
Power 200 bhp

2.4 VM turbo diesel 1986-1992
Power 112 bhp
Torque 183 lb-ft

Words: Ed Evans (Land Rover Monthly's Technical Editor)
Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door Range Rover Classic 3-door
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Land Rover Range Rover cars for sale

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Land Rover Range Rover
24850 123995 GBP
  • Type: Used Year: 2011 Make: LAND ROVER Model: RANGE ROVER SPORT Trim: 3.0 SDV6 SE 5dr Auto Body: Station Wagon Trans: Automatic Mileage: 56555 Engine Size: 2993 Ext Color: White

    • Last update: about 20 hours old

    • Mileage: 56555 mi

    • Engine size: 2993

    For sale
  • see details
  • We are delighted to be able to offer for sale this exceptional Range Rover Autobiography 4.4 SDV8. Finished in Santorini Black with Black Leather. Supplied with the balance of the manufacturers warranty. Standard Equipment Anti Locking Brakes, Driver and Passenger Airbags, Remote Central Locking with Alarm/Immobiliser, Four Zone Climate Control, Panoramic Sliding Glass Roof, Heated Front Windscreen, Electrically Adjustable Exterior Mirrors, Rain Sensing Wipers, Bi-Xenon Headlights with High Beam Assistant, Day Time Running Lights, Leather Headlining, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Illuminated Aluminium Tread Plates, Driver and Passenger Airbags, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Keyless Entry and Start, Surround Camera System, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, DAB TV Tuner, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Connectivity, Navigation System with Touchscreen, Dual View Screen, Grand Black Wood Facia, Front and Rear Winged Headrests, Soft Door Close, Heated Wood and Leather Steering Wheel, Homelink, Proximity Mirror Camera, Heated Steering Wheel, Electrically Adjustable Front Seats with Memory, Massaging Front Seats, Start/Stop Function, Optional Extras Rear Entertainment System, Black

    • Year: 2014

    • Last update: about 24 hours old

    • Mileage: 4000 mi

    For sale
  • Bramley
    01483 898159
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  • JUST IN - Range Rover Evoque SD4 Pure 6 Speed Manual registered June 2012 finished in Fuji White with Black Leather interior. Finance available on request - subject to status. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; 12 Months MOT; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome. See our Youtube channel or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

    • Year: 2012

    • Last update: about 24 hours old

    For sale
  • Targa Florio
    01243 641117
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  • 2014 (64) LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER DIESEL ESTATE 3.0 TDV6 Vogue Auto, 4 Door 4x4, Santorini Black, Oxford Leather - Ebony, previous owners 1, number of keys 2, 40 miles, The Range Rover is a large luxury four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by British car maker Land Rover, a subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover, and serves as its flagship model. The model, launched in 1970, is now in its fourth generation. The fourth generation Range Rover, codenamed L405 was exhibited in September 2012 at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It is the epitome of opulence and luxury and commonly called 'The Rolls Royce of the 4X4 Vehicles'! More Information ***** VAT QUALIFYING ***** ***** VAT QUALIFYING ***** ***** VAT QUALIFYING ***** ***** VAT QUALIFYING ***** Our car is a 2014 / 64 Registered vehicle with delivery mileage. It is presented in gleaming Santorini Black with Oxford Leather in Aspen & Moonstone Stitching to the interior upholstery. The Specification includes: Satellite Navigation Panoramic Roof Reversing Camera DAB Radio Xenon Headlamps with Signature Lighting + Automatic Headlamps with High Beam Assist Atlas Body Moulding Inserts Cruise Control Privacy Glass 22" Five Split-Spoke 'S

    • Year: 2017

    • Last update: 1 day old

    • Mileage: 170 mi

    For sale
  • Amari Supercars
    01772 663 777
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