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APRIL 2011 • £2.50

















4x4 MART | APRIL 2011



RE-LAUNCH OF AN ICON Land Rover didn’t rewrite the rulebook with its second-generation Range Rover, but did enough to ensure the famous luxury off-roader still impressed. And you can buy one now, all these years later, for less than £2k. Tom Phillips checks out what’s involved


he 1994 Range Rover may have been the first full redesign since the launch of the original twentyfour years earlier, but it wasn’t exactly all-new. Lots of areas, including the steel box-section chassis and EAS electronic air suspension, were closely related to the facelifted last-generation Range Rover Classic. Land Rover, it seems, was happy to use that run-out model as a test bed for its latest. Visually, the new Range Rover was also familiar, looking more like a smoothed-off and aero-honed version of the Classic rather than a complete reinvention. And this was no surprise, as Land Rover bosses wanted to keep the original clientele and ensure that all the traditional appeal of their most

profitable off-roader was retained. This was, of course, a very smart move, as a complete reinvention here would have stymied the lineage that the Range Rover now builds upon. And, fittingly, the petrol engines on offer were also revised versions of what had gone before: in this case, the V8 powerplant that had made the original Range Rover so brilliant. Now available in either 4.0- or 4.6-litre guise (though the 4.0-litre actually had the same 3947cc capacity as the former 3.9-litre model), they were developed from the original ex-Buick unit and still sounded and performed as you’d expect: smoothly, charismatically and with ample low-down torque. There was, however, a new engine

option available. The six-cylinder BMW turbo-diesel filled a gaping hole in the Range Rover line-up, providing a successful and refined oil-burning option at long last. The previous fourcylinder VM diesels had never really cut it – but this straight-six 134bhp motor was excellent, being more advanced and considerably more refined. The new Rangie retained the solid front and rear axles of the original – die-hard Land Rover engineers insisted this was the only way of retaining the huge range of bump and rebound travel (more than 24 inches) needed for offroad motoring. As before, it was airsuspended, with the front located by Panhard rod and the rear controlled by clever composite trailing links.

Recirculating-ball power steering was also fitted. Launch trims for the petrol cars were posh SE or indulgent HSE. The 4.0 V8 only came in SE trim, with an option of manual or automatic transmission. Befitting its top-line status, the 4.6 was HSE-trim only, with a standard auto. Most choice came with the 2.5 diesel, which could be bought in relatively sparse DT guise or as a DSE with a choice of manual or auto. From then, though, that was it: the model was basically left alone, apart from the usual marketing-led tweaking that most new cars gradually evolve with. Biggest change, however, came in 1999; by that stage, it was well known that an all-new BMW-engineered

APRIL 2011 | 4x4 MART



THE ADVENTURE BEGINS Looking for some excitement in your life? Fancy the idea of an expedition? Then maybe you’re ready to go overlanding. In the first of this new series, Rod Jones takes a look at what’s involved


verlanding. It all sounds rather exciting, doesn’t it? Even if you’ve no idea what it actually is, there’s something about the word that sets the adrenalin racing. You see, we all drive 4x4s. And a good many of them are capable of going further than we ever take them. Whether we drive a Land Rover or a Land Cruiser, a Jeep or a jalopy, it’s might just be the ideal vehicle for going exploring in. And that’s an intriguing thought, as we’re sat in yet another traffic jam on our daily commute. In truth, overlanding is for those 4x4 owners with a sense of adventure. The kind of folk who enjoy venturing into the unknown, visiting places that are new to them, and all without the comfort and convenience of a hotel room with en-suite facilities. Accommodation will consist of camping – but not on any cosy campsites with hot and cold running water. We’re talking remoteness and wilderness. And we don’t mean a fortnight driving round France or northern Spain; the aim of the real overlander is to drive through Africa to Cape Town, or through Asia to India… or just to drive. And to keep on driving. Overlanders tend to be free spirits –

although I’ll be the first to admit that there’s no fixed stereotype. On your overlanding travels you might come across a beard-wearing, Land Rover SIII-driving wanderer who’s palled up with well-heeled overlanders enjoying the air-conditioned comfort of their Toyota Land Cruiser. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. There’s room for just about anyone in the world of overlanding… as long as you have that essential sense of adventure and you’ve properly researched what you need in the way of vehicle and kit. This, after all, is the ultimate example of ‘getting away from it all’. Who needs a fly-drive holiday in the sun when they can cross the Channel in their own 4x4, drive through Europe and head out to the challenges that the offroad life of Africa, Asia or the Middle East has to offer? But let’s be realistic here: if you’ve not been overlanding before, then a week-long trial run through some European terrain is a sound idea. If nothing else, it’ll help to prepare you for what’s to come when you start venturing further afield – by which stage, you’ll be encountering all the complications of unfathomable paperwork, strange currencies, inevitable bribes and other challenges you’ve not yet considered.

The good news about overlanding is that you don’t need to be a wealthy sort in order to take part. The bigger your budget, the more you can invest in your vehicle, its modifications and your comforts – that’s obvious. But even if you’re planning this on a real-world budget that represents these fairly austere times, you can still go overlanding – safely, enjoyably and successfully. So how do you get involved? Well,

for starters, you talk to people who have already done it. And that’s not too difficult, as those involved with overlanding are usually a friendly bunch who like nothing more than talking about their many adventures. You’ll find most of them run either Land Rovers or Toyotas, although there’ll inevitably be those who insist on Mitsubishi Pajeros, Nissan Patrols or Jeep Cherokees to get them through the overlanding experience.

And, of course, you can also talk to the companies involved in overlanding. When it comes to learning about the modifications and upgrades necessary for your 4x4, the experts at companies like Nene Overland (see, Overland Cruisers (at www.overland-cruisers. and Land Cruisers Overland ( ) will be able to help. Those three tend to concentrate on overlanding modifications for Land Rovers and/ or Land Cruisers, but their levels of expertise are impressive. Then, of course, there are the companies that organise overlanding expeditions – something that should be of particular interest to the firsttime overlander. There’s no shame in admitting that the idea of heading off on an overseas expedition in your 4x4 (just you and a single companion, no other vehicles involved) can be terrifying first time round. But that’s where organised groups can be particularly useful, whether they’re simply friends who enjoy overlanding together or small commercial set-ups dedicated to 4x4 adventures. Check out a few websites (see the listings over the page) for more information and see which most appeals to you.


4x4 MART | APRIL 2011





he best motor show of the year is nearly always the smallest. Famously compact, Geneva is a regular on the car industry calendar, coming round each March and never failing to excel. And although this year’s event was notable for the number of electric cars on show, 4x4 fans were still in for a treat. As usual, Ford occupied the largest stand – and was proudly showing off its latest 4x4 launches. On the concept front, the Ford Vertrek previewed how the next Kuga is likely to look, this new-generation compact SUV being a jointly-developed model with the US – which means extra cost-effectiveness for the Blue Oval. It also means that this Kuga replacement will be slightly larger than the current model. And if the handsome concept is anything to go by, Ford’s rivals had better watch out. The most interesting new production Ford for us, though, was the Ranger Wildtrak double-cab – an all-new model that replaces the old-shape Ranger, a truck that sold well but which failed to create the impact of the Nissan Navara or Mitsubishi L200. All that’s about to change, though: the latest Ranger is a stand-out, muscular, Tonka-style pickup that goes straight to the top of the class in terms of style. Far better than the old one throughout, we really were taken with this cool looking truck; and if Ford’s claims are anything to go by, it should prove impressive when it comes to off-road action, too. Over at Vauxhall (or rather, Opel), the new-look Antara was on display, with better engines, a smarter cabin and a lower price. It looked okay, although we still think its sister car – the Chevrolet Captiva – remains the better alternative, not least because it seats seven. It, too, has been facelifted for 2011 (see page 3) and – along with the Antara – becomes yet another SUV

to get a two-wheel drive option. SEAT hinted at a possible crossover machine of its own with the IBx concept. This compact model boasts the brand’s new style themes, and looked particularly elegant under the Geneva lights. There’s no end of VW Group platform technology for it to draw on, so we wouldn’t be surprised if a production version arrived in due course, based on either Skoda Yeti or Volkswagen Tiguan underpinnings. VW, meanwhile, was showing the facelifted Tiguan, which now gets the latest ‘family’ face and yet another economy boost for the engine range. The compact VW 4x4 really is one of the most fuel efficient family offroaders out there, though for ultimate fuel efficiency you’ll once again have to choose the front-drive model. Not for us, thanks…

CLEVER TECH Peugeot also went green at Geneva, with the final production version of the 3008 Hybrid4 – the first time the 3008 has boasted all-wheel drive. And it looks like this crossover could represent the future of 4WD machines: the front wheels are driven by a conventional combustion engine, while the rears are powered by an electric motor. It’s clever in so many ways, not least the close communication between front and rear which gives it genuine all-wheel drive ability. In fact, the 3008 Hybrid4 is the world’s first diesel-electric hybrid, boasting a sub-100g/km CO2 figure despite its ample family-focused size and ground-crossing abilities. Citroen is likely to use the same technology in its forthcoming DS4, a high-rise crossover-style version of the Citroen C4 family hatch that’s currently under development. Indeed, so clever is Peugeot’s technology, many Jeep Grand Cherokee

When it comes to new-model launches and concept cars, few European motor shows can match the excitement of Geneva. We sent Tom Phillips along to dig out the biggest 4x4 stories

Range Rover Evoque

SEAT IBx other car makers are said to be looking at it closely, including – it seems – Land Rover. Yes, on show at Geneva (as reported in the March issue of 4x4 Mart) was the Range Rover Sportbased Range_e concept that emits a remarkably low CO2 figure of just 89g/ km. How? Through a combination of a rear electric motor and a 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel. It’s under evaluation at the moment, as one possible way of making the Land Rover line-up greener – and it already looks like a winner to us. Land Rover also displayed the new Range Rover Evoque range at Geneva, announcing the myriad of options that will be available for it. It still looks great (it’s been doing the motor show circuit for what seems like forever now…) and we still can’t wait to drive it. Not long to go now, promised the firm: we’ll even shortly find out how much it’s going to cost. Bets are on upwards of £30k. Yet another way of going green is to downsize engines, although this needn’t mean being down on power. BMW displayed its new X3 xDrive28i, which uses a twin scroll turbo 2.0-litre motor that puts out 245bhp. It replaces the 3.0-litre straight-six petrol, and is just as fast, with 0-60mph in just 6.1 seconds. Amazingly though, it emits just 183g/km of CO2 and can average 35.7mpg. There’s a huge slug of torque, too: 258lb.ft. delivered at a mere 1250rpm. This engine sounds like it’s ideal for off-road use, and we hope to be trying it out soon. Jeep, meanwhile, is planning a major rejuvenation of its British line-up over the next few months, and Geneva was the first sighting of the models that will be available. Key attraction is the new Grand Cherokee, a really modernlooking machine that’s a cut above its predecessor. We really like the style and stance of Jeep’s new range-topper, and reckon it could cause quite a stir when it does finally land here. And

Ford Vertrek

Ford Ranger Wildtrak

also at Geneva were tweaked versions of the Patriot and Wrangler, now boasting Euro 5 emissions compliance, as well as a facelifted Jeep Compass. We’ve never been big fans of the Compass, considering it second best to the Patriot in so many ways, but this latest version is much better; not only does it get a Grand Cherokee-style facelift, it’s also now Jeep Trail-Rated, which means it’s much more than a faux off-roader. We’re prepared to give

it a second chance when it arrives here later in the year. So that’s it… another Geneva Motor Show has been and gone. 4x4s may not have stolen the headlines at this year’s event, but there was still enough impetus to leave us confident of a good future in the 4x4, SUV and crossover sector. And in terms of the sheer numbers of new or updated models being lined up for UK launch this year, 2011 is already shaping up nicely. ■


4x4 MART | APRIL 2011


Prices: £36,745 to £50,745 Engine: 3.0 TDV6 diesel


Power: 245bhp @ 4000rpm Torque: 442lb.ft. @ 2000rpm Performance: Max speed 122mph, 0-60mph 9 secs Replacing the Disco 3 in 2009, the Discovery 4 was more of a major upgrade than an entirely new model – the biggest improvement being the bigger (3.0-litre rather than 2.7) version of the TDV6 engine, with a massive 442lb.ft. of torque now on tap. Combine that with amazing stability and superb grip in all conditions, and you’ve got a new tow car worthy of the top spot.


CO2 emissions: 244g/km Maximum towing weight: 3500kg

2 MITSUBISHI SHOGUN Prices: £29,149 to £39,999 Engine: 3.2 4-cyl turbo-diesel Power: 168bhp @ 3800rpm Torque: 275lb.ft. @ 2000rpm

Looking for a new 4x4 as your next tow car? Paul Guinness offers some general advice – and picks eight of today’s top buys

inding the ideal tow car can seem a daunting task, depending on the size and weight of the caravan, boat or trailer that you need to haul around. But the good news is that today’s manufacturers give us more choice of decent towing vehicles than we’ve ever had before – even if that extra choice can seem bewildering to the untrained eye. A large proportion of today’s boat and caravan owners choose 4x4s and SUVs when buying towing vehicles – and understandably so. Compared with a similarly priced conventional car, a 4x4 offers tougher suspension and a more rugged specification. But is it always necessary to opt for all-wheel drive? Well, no. But it is sensible, giving you extra traction both on the road and away from it – whether that means tackling a muddy track or a wet slipway. And if you opt for diesel power – as most 4x4 buyers do – you’ll also find plenty of useful low-down torque. But just how much weight can your vehicle legally tow? The issue of maximum towing weights isn’t

Economy: 30.4mpg (official ‘combined’ figure)

Performance: Max speed 110mph, 0-60mph 12.9 secs Economy: 30.7mpg max (official ‘combined’ figure) CO2 emissions: 211-224g/km

simply a case of quoting what’s claimed by the manufacturer. In the UK, the law is a little more complicated than that – and a good source of advice is the National Trailer & Towing Association, which (via its website: offers practical advice on maximum towing weights, gross train weights and so on. A good rule of thumb though, is not to tow a trailer combination that weighs more than 85 per cent of the towing vehicle’s kerb weight – as long as that 85 per cent doesn’t exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended towing limit. The closer the resultant figure gets to 85 per cent, the more difficult it is to tow. And that’s why it’s recommended you buy a vehicle capable of towing far more than you intend, as it will make for a safer and easier towing experience. And don’t forget that if you passed your driving test on or after January 1, 1997, there are severe restrictions on what you can tow. Go to www. for exact details of what applies to you.

Maximum towing weight: 2800-3300kg

It’s getting on in years, but the Shogun was given a new lease of life in 2010, with engine upgrades that saw it become greener, cleaner and more economical. Yet by opting for the long-wheelbase five-door (a smaller threedoor is available), you’re getting a towing capacity of 3.3 tonnes, plus great value for the spec on offer. The engine might only be a four-cylinder, but it’s a terrific workhorse.

3 BMW X5 X-DRIVE 40D Prices: £47,420 to £51,845 Engine: 3.0 6-cyl turbo-diesel Power: 306bhp @ 4400rpm Torque: 442lb.ft. @ 15002500rpm Performance: Max speed 147mph, 0-60mph 6.5 secs Economy: 37.7mpg (official ‘combined’ figure) CO2 emissions: 198g/km Maximum towing weight: 3500kg

There are other X5s available, including a high-performance V8 petrol and a lower-powered 3.0-litre diesel. But the 40d version of the latter offers incredible talent, its monstrous torque being complemented by superb on-road performance for those times when you’re not towing – all combined with (relatively) low emissions and impressive economy. Choose from SE or M Sport trim levels depending on your budget.

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