Their reputation as a go anywhere vehicle is well deserved for they have incorporated many features making them rugged and practical off road: one such feature is their offset placement of both differentials.
Just exactly what does that mean and why is it significant?
It’s important for a couple of reasons. First, a four-wheel drive vehicle (which all Land Rovers are) has a front and rear differential. The front differential must be offset to one side as the engine oil pan sits low and would collide with a center-mounted differential on bumps. Land Rover wisely also makes the rear differential with the same offset allowing extra ground clearance on one side of the vehicle: very handy when straddling logs or avoiding boulders.
There is one other vehicle which incorporates this brilliant design and that is the Toyota Landcruiser. In many ways the Landcruiser is a Land Rover copy (and a very good one at that).
On the downside past generation Land Rovers suffered along with many English vehicles with wiring problems. Fortunately vehicle wiring was simple in the past, and while troublesome, it presents little concern compared to the wiring complexity found in today’s vehicles. Fortunately Land Rover, along with Jaguar now build very reliable products.
In this part of the world most Land Rovers rarely see the off-road especially the Range Rovers which are highly luxurious sport utility vehicles. In spite of their paved road existence and the fine fit and impeccable finish the Range Rover is a very tough truck and can easily be driven confidently through the worst of terrain. With such beautiful paint and body trim it would however be a shame to scratch it up.
Though the Land Rover is a complex vehicle and the Range Rover even more so, these vehicles are relatively trouble free in their early years. They do have the potential however to be very costly to repair especially the suspension systems some of which feature height control and active cornering. If you own one of these, be sure to keep a few extra thousand in the bank for the day when things wear out.