Is this the lowest-mileage diesel Range Rover on the market? We look at the 15,000-miler for sale in the AutoClassics classifieds
While Range Rover purists and those with deep pockets seek out V8 genesis and two-door perfection, there is much to be said for ownership of later, diesel-powered variants.
The Range Rover Vogue Turbo Diesel may not emit the riotous exhaust note of an eight-cylinder model, nor is it the fastest 4x4 on the road – but it will travel much further per tank, leaving every other V8 Classic far behind in terms of miles per gallon. Land Rover itself managed to get over 50mpg from a late diesel on a Land’s End to John O’Groats experimental run. Realistically, you can achieve up to 31mpg - if you are lucky.
Off-road performance is largely unaffected by swapping to the devil’s fuel. You’ve still got mountains of torque for pulling a horse trailer or plugging though the mud. The grunt on offer is more than adequate for serious antics off the beaten track, whereas the running gear is more forgiving when wading through headlamp-deep water.
The Turbo Diesel isn’t as smooth as the petrol models, granted, but it isn’t a clattering dinosaur, either. A well-heeled classic Range Rover diesel can still teach modern rivals a few things about refinement – as is exemplified by this extremely solid example currently up for sale in the AutoClassics classifieds.
This remarkable specimen has covered an incredibly low 15,000 miles from new, and it remains immaculate in all respects. The Alaskan Blue metallic paintwork is original and unmarked, while the velour interior is fresh in both appearance and smell. The latter is something of a rarity, as velour trim usually succumbs to fading regardless of treatment.
A comprehensive report undertaken by a specialist in 2017 confirmed the chassis and underpinnings to be ‘undamaged by use or corrosion’. The covering of factory wax is even still in place.
Even the shortest of drives confirms that all mechanicals work well, with the car firing up from cold enthusiastically via the strong glow-plugs. The manual gearbox is especially positive in action, changing smoothly and without judder.
Supplied new by Land Rover main dealer Knowles of Epperstone to one Mr Taylor, a local customer also based in Nottinghamshire, the Range Rover was collected on August 1, 1988. The original invoice on file details the transaction, and shows that Mr Taylor traded in his 42,000-mile 1974 V8 for the Turbo Diesel.
He retained his new 4x4 for two decades, using it sparingly and caring for it meticulously. He returned it to the dealer – later renamed Merlin – for maintenance and servicing, and the original stamped service book showcases the work undertaken. The service invoices are also included in the sale.
As Mr Taylor grew older he seldom used his beloved Range Rover, and he eventually decided it was time to let a younger enthusiast take the reigns. Three further owners have since added 1000 miles, making a total of 15,000.
The opportunity to grab a solid diesel Range Rover Classic doesn’t arise very often, and certainly not with so few miles on the odometer. This is one of the finest on the market – and possibly the cleanest, too. Grab a closer look in the AutoClassics classifieds.