From a recent Land Rover newspaper advertisement. “The 2009 Range Rover Sport is a wise choice in these uncertain times.”
Really? What says practical recession-era transportation better than a $60k luxury SUV that gets 14 mpg overall and has much-worse-than-average reliability? Should things get tough, you could make a coat out of the leather seats, but there probably isn’t enough wood on the dashboard to burn to keep you warm. (Doing either would incur a damage penalty when the lease ends.)
The ad goes on: “No matter how the landscape changes, it responds with the right balance of power, control, and all-terrain capability.”
“And with 75% of all the Land Rovers we’ve ever sold in this country still on the road, our durability is proven over time.”
There are lots of layers behind that statement. As noted in the fine print, Land Rover has only been here since 1987, so the history isn’t all that long. The bulk of Land Rover sales have been over the last few years, so you’d sure hope those trucks are still on the road. And since older Land Rovers are stylish and upscale and very capable for the off-road hobbyist, they inspire owners to dump money into them to keep them going.
So, they’re still on the road, but that’s a lot different than being trouble-free, as our subscriber survey shows. Land Rover consistently brings up the bottom of the pack in our survey, as well as others.
“Maybe that’s why our Range Rover Sport earned the ALG Award for the highest predicted residual value of any vehicle in its class for the past four years in a row.”
Congratulations – the Range Rover Sport has the best residual value of any Luxury Utility Vehicle at the end of a lease, which lowers the monthly payment. But as the ad says in the small print, “Residual value has no impact on the resale or trade-in value of a vehicle.” And our owner cost data shows that that Range Rover Sport will cost you $74,250 to own if you buy it and sell after five years. Hold on to it for eight years, and we predict owner costs will be $96,750. (Learn more about owner costs.)
I enjoyed driving our Range Rover Sport. (It’s for sale right now, but I’m not rushing to put down a deposit.) But let’s face it - any “Luxury Utility Vehicle” is going to cost a whole lot of money to own, making them a less than sensible recession ride.