Home » Why This Early-2000s Range Rover Is Worth Keeping An Eye On

Why This Early-2000s Range Rover Is Worth Keeping An Eye On

Range Rover Gg Stately Ts
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Every so often, you come across a Bring A Trailer auction result that beggars belief to the point where some online posters will start throwing around RICO accusations. This could be one of those times. An early L322 Range Rover just sold for $30,000 on Bring A Trailer, complete with BMW V8 engine and all.

That transaction price is a bit shocking as these cars typically are only worth a small fraction of $30,000, especially with the BMW V8 that has a reputation for eating its own timing components. So what gives? Is it just a matter of this particular Range Rover being an outstandingly nice example, or is there something greater at play here?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I reckon it’s a combination of factors. Condition, certainly, but also nostalgia, style, spec, and the fact that driving a good L322 Range Rover is an immensely pleasurable experience. Let’s dive into where the Range Rover of the noughties stands today.

What Are We Looking At?

2004 Range Rover Profile

The L322 Range Rover was where old met new for Range Rover. It was the first unibody Range Rover, the first Range Rover to not offer a Rover V8 at any point in its life, and the first Range Rover to come without a manual gearbox. It was a fully modern 4×4 for the new millennium, and it became the darling of every wealthy sect from the British Royal Family to the MTV Cribs set.

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From images of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Matt Damon getting off a jet and into some Range Rovers for the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix to Jeremy Clarkson still keeping an L322 around, this car is a cultural icon that’s just starting to approach the age where it can be considered a future classic. It’s an upscale slice of cool Britannia, a rolling monument to a pre-recession world.

Weren’t These Things Unreliable?

L322 Range Rover Bmw Engine

Oh, catastrophically. The early L322 Range Rover wasn’t a high water mark of dependability, partly due to its blend of failure-prone German components and sheer complexity. The BMW M62 V8 engine had a reputation for eating timing components, the air suspension is, well, early-aughts air suspension, the car’s appetite for brakes is enormous, ignition switches go bad, rear suspension bushings age heavily, the list goes on. These aren’t cheap vehicles to maintain, and as such, they’ve developed a fearsome reputation on the second-hand market.

Why Did This One Sell For $30,000?

2004 Range Rover 1

Many of the L322 Range Rovers you see are specced in fairly boring color combinations and/or are completely trashed. Fifth owner status is real, and as these vehicle depreciated and changed hands, they often didn’t receive the maintenance they needed. Over time, it wasn’t unusual to see some of these L322 Range Rover with lop-sided suspension and in questionable visual condition.

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2004 Range Rover Interior

In contrast, this 2004 model has 21,000 miles on the clock, and a history of three keepers who seem to have cared a great deal. Sure, the door handles and grille are a bit patinated, but the red paint still gleams, the black leather looks showroom fresh, the rubber floor mats look nearly new, and the satin burl wood has a certain allure to it. As it stands, this is an exceptionally nice example of the Range Rover for the new millennium that isn’t far away from being genuinely perfect.

L322 Bat Values

Still, $30,000 is an uncharacteristically strong result. Looking at this chart of L322 sales on Bring A Trailer, there isn’t a hugely discernable pattern here. It’s a scatter graph that’s all over the place, certainly not helped by Bring A Trailer continuing to pump volume over the past few years. This is the second-best result for an L322 Range Rover this year, and it has one of the least desirable engine options. How about that?

Is This A Sign Of Things To Come?

2004 Range Rover Front

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Prognostication is a tricky game, but the L322 might be on the up-and-up. Nostalgia works in 20-year cycles, and the hands may soon hit twelve o’clock for Range Rover’s gem of the aughts. Let’s start with the appearance. On first glance, the L322 is imperiously rectilinear yet not obnoxious, an incredibly tricky balance to pull off. It’s utilitarian yet unmistakably expensive, like a waxed jacket or nice boots. Dare I say, in the face of modern top-tier SUVs like the Lamborghini Urus and BMW XM, it’s actually tasteful.

L322 Range Rover Interior

On the inside, the tastefulness continues. Sure, the aluminum-look plastic hasn’t aged the best, but all the leather and matte wood still feels proper in 2024, as it’s the direction most of the industry has gone in. From the BMW 3 Series to the Lexus LS, big swathes of leather are in, but they’ve always been there in the L322 Range Rover.

2004 Range Rover Steering Wheel

Then there’s the comfort. You don’t so much drive an L322 Range Rover as you sort-of guide it, easing it along the tarmac complete with large body motions. Braking, acceleration, and cornering all happen fairly slowly, creating a sort of pulse-lowering zen that’s been largely abandoned in favor of ever-better performance figures. All the while, you have this tremendous view out, outstanding visibility, and the wingback comfort of individual armrests. Driving an L322 Range Rover, when it’s working, is calming and empowering in equal measure.

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2004 Range Rover Console

Finally, there’s the fact that the L322 Range Rover is actually capable. It has air suspension that goes up to the sky, a proper low-range reduction gearbox, a wading depth of just over 19.6 inches, and was designed to be used both on-road and in the country. If you want to have a picnic up the side of an enormous hill, it will take you there and you can use the split tailgate to assemble the charcuterie board. There’s something pleasing about that.

2004 Range Rover Trunk

While SUVs were hotly debated in the 2000s, the dust has since well and truly settled, revealing SUV-like body styles as the prevailing victor in the marketplace and the L322 Range Rover as simply a lovely thing.

2004 Range Rover Rear Three Quarters

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So, will we see more collector-grade examples trading for surprisingly high prices? Perhaps, but perhaps not. It’s definitely something to watch, but the more driver-spec examples should stay cheap for a long time. If anything, it makes me want to put my butt and gear and buy one this winter. A 2006 model, the last year with a mechanical handbrake.

(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
1 month ago

I’ve owned two L322 Range Rovers (a 2003 model and a 2004 model) and they were both pretty solid. Yes, I had to take care of timing chains on one of them and a whole bunch of little things on the other, but they never left me stranded. Them being BMW’s underneath (for the 2003-2005 models, at least) means the mechanical parts are readily available and not all that expensive. Air suspension woes are easily remedied with Arnott air struts, which are easy to install, cost a fraction of what the OE struts cost, and come with a pretty good warranty. There’s a pretty good community for the L322’s online, they’re fairly DIY’able as far as a luxury SUV goes.

Mine were both amazing in their ability to cruise at triple-digit speeds and then go off-roading in some pretty crazy places, and then back to triple-digit speeds like it was nothing. Towing and hauling stuff was easy too.

FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
1 month ago

I think this is the best looking of the post “classic” Range Rovers. It maintains the proportions and large greenhouse that has been squeezed every generation since.

It made me chuckle when you wrote, “…the air suspension is, well, early-aughts air suspension…” I must say something about air suspensions: it could be a 2024 air suspension or the year 3000 air suspension and it would still leak. Air wants to get out and be with the other air and it will not be denied. Also it feels weird. I’ve driven two different MB airmatic cars that, when one is driving with spirit and happens to roll over an expansion joint mid-corner while pulling maybe half a g, both felt like they stepped suddenly to the outside.They did not and just did the thing where the outside shocks suddenly firm up, but they firm up NOW and it was eerie.

Torque
Torque
1 month ago
Reply to  FleetwoodBro

Why do air suspension bags in cars and light trucks (especially European makes) seem to leak so damn much?
Semis have been using air suspensions for decades. I can’t imagine air suspension bag failure rates in semis are anywhere near the failure rates found in ‘luxury’ European cars/light trucks…

Which begs the question what the he’ll design wise is so different between air suspension bags for cars/light trucks vs. semis?

Temp differences (where said vehicles operate) should not be different, if anything semis regularly work in more difficult environments (logging, oil/gas country, etc…)

Shouldn’t be cycle times either as semis regularity (lifetime) exceed 1 million miles easily +5x avg. Lifetime miles any average car/light truck experiences

FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
1 month ago
Reply to  Torque

That’s a very good question and somebody around here smarter than me will know the answer.

Jnnythndrs
Jnnythndrs
25 days ago
Reply to  Torque

This is old and you probably won’t see it, but there’s a couple answers to your question:

First, rubber ages from time as well as miles, and semis run so many miles that they’re often scrapped or sold to low-end companies before they’re eight or ten years old, an age where car/SUV airbags tend to crap out.

Second, the semi’s air bags DO fail, but a ton of trucks use the same parts, so they’re cheap, and they only take about an hour to change, so it’s no big deal. When you drive a heavy truck, you both hear the hiss of a bad bag and see your air pressure drop more quickly than normal, so you tend to get them fixed before they fail completely.

And, as one would expect, the rubber is thicker and heavily reinforced in a truck’s bag.

Torque
Torque
25 days ago
Reply to  Jnnythndrs

Those are good points.

I guess if auto manufacturers are going to use them I would expect at least a 10 year service life and do what’s needed engineering/design/materials wise to ensure that’s a reasonable.
It would be interesting to find real world failure ages and rates to compare commercial truck air bags vs. Light duty vehicle air bags against.

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago

I daily drive a 2011 L322, the 5.0 supercharged V8 version with 500 horsepower. I love it. I’ve had it for about 6 years and it has 120k miles on it now. Reliability fears are wayyyy overblown. Sure, things are expensive, but the rover cost $120k new according to my window sticker. Worth every penny in upkeep. Just need a good local mechanic that knows these cars, every major city has one. Highly recommend.

Ron Bitter
Ron Bitter
1 month ago

I love Range Rovers but would never want to deal with the maintenance costs. When I was the headline I assumed the late Queen or someone very famous was the original owner.

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Bitter

Her favorite year was 2009 in Galway Green.

Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

I love the look of these, and low key really want one, but I’m hesitant to make the leap.

I know a guy who runs an overlanding outfit in the northeast, he swears by these. The L322 and LR3 are his picks for budget builds. He told me to avoid the first few years with the BMW engine, and to avoid the 5.0 as well.

From what I gather, the Jag 4.4L is supposedly fairly bulletproof, and the air suspension works so well it’s worth fixing if it goes bad. I’ve checked pricing on the components, it’s not bad at all. This goes for the LR3 as well, and even more so since it’s a less complicated vehicle.

I think paying this price is crackpipe, really anything over 10K for one of these is.

James Colangelo
James Colangelo
1 month ago

As an L322 owner, lots and lots of mistakes and misnomers in here. It was difficult to read frankly. But unless you own one I guess you wouldn’t know all the ins and outs and minutiae.

The prime years are 2007-2009. The “ the BMW V8 that has a reputation for eating its own timing components” is not present here and that is a massive error here. There are no issues with the 4.4L V8 in these years with timing. You’re likely thinking of the 5.0L Supercharged V8, which is one to stay away from unless the guides have been replaced, in which case you’re good to go for a while.

Enthusiasts have been onto these for years.. you’re way late to the game, but, welcome anyway. Next time maybe do a bit more research on what you’re writing about.

Jim

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago

Counterpoint: one of the things I appreciate about the Autopian (and Thomas’ writing specifically) is that technical information (such as alleged issues with the M62 engine) is almost always supported with hyperlinks, and not just asserted.

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Its appreciated but not necessarily correct. The BMW M62 and Jag AJ41 were reliable engines. The timing chain tensioner issues were a problem on the 2010+ model year 5.0 liter engine.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
1 month ago

You seem to be the one who is a bit confused. You do realize that ’02-’05 L322s used the BMW M62, right? Which is the range this 2004 fits into? The AJV8 was not employed until a significant refresh in ’06.

And, there are MOST DEFINITELY timing issues with the M62. Not as legendarily terrible as the early 5.0, but, a quick search will turn up tons of info on M62s with timing issues.

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

I dont think the takeaway from the comment was that the M62 was flawless. Like he referenced… the prime years were 07 – 09 using the Jag AJ41 engine. If the article is referencing the L322 platform as a whole, it should be noted that there was a more reliable engine option in the Gen 2 model. Being the owner of an 08 and an 09, I agree with his opinion.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Peters

Yeah, the reference was to something not mentioned in the article. The article was specifically about the early M62 Range Rovers. Go try to ‘Both Sides’ something else.

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

Point to spot on the doll when the L322 touched you…

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago

Couldn’t agree more as a fellow l322 owner myself. People have some wild perceptions of these. Way overblown. Great vehicles. Great drivers. Very reliable other than little quirks that every car has. Cheers!

Fruit Snack
Fruit Snack
1 month ago

Sure it looks nice but just look at all those old fiddly electronics and wiring looms. You have to be off your rocker to want this. It’s bad enough in an early 2000s Nissan or whatever, this would be ten times worse.

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Fruit Snack

But how many early 2000’s Nissans are still turning heads today?

Fruit Snack
Fruit Snack
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Peters

I shake my head at an Altima-committed crime every day on the road. What is your point? This SUV is classy but entirely unremarkable in appearance.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
1 month ago

My favorite design feature is how the top of the center dash stack goes straight down but the crossover of the vents goes out and over it. It’s an interesting and well designed thing and I’ve always liked it. There was one for sale locally for $2500. I was temped for 0.658847 seconds.

Jj
Jj
1 month ago

I feel like I’ve seen these offered for surprisingly little money with more miles than this, but in very good condition – close to the condition of this one.

I’ve always liked the styling, but I consider this too maintenance heavy even for a Sunday-only car.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago
Reply to  Jj

I just saw a couple private seller listings around $13k. Well under 100k miles, looks nice anyway. Who knows what may lurk underneath I guess.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
1 month ago

That thing isn’t worth 5K, let alone 30k. I sold these things (and lots of other LR/RR products used in the late 00’s) and holy shit they are all piles of hot garbage. We’d joke every switch/button had a life of 15 touches.

James Colangelo
James Colangelo
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

haha wrong.. some models perhaps but I’ve daily driven mine 20K miles in 2 years, almost no issues – the only things that have gone wrong would have gone wrong in a Chevy, all normal maintenance.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
1 month ago

keep up that positive attitude!

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
1 month ago

Is the buyer from Toronto? Unreliability at this scale may be the perfect anti-theft device.

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
1 month ago

“Why This Early-2000s Range Rover Is Worth Keeping An Eye On”
Because it might burst into flames?

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
1 month ago
Reply to  Ariel E Jones

For it to burst into flames requires it be running for an extended period of time…

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

Some of what makes an old Land Rover desirable is simply that it has survived. The severe attrition of componentry that failed has already done so, and what remains of the vehicle should be more sound that the day it left the factory.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 month ago

It’s an all BMW/Bosch Land Rover. Nope, nope, nope.

Yes, it’s quite nicely preserved and it’s a lovely vehicle when it’s running. Very nostalgic for people of certain ages who drooled over them in car mags and on screens. But not worth the hassles that will come with ownership.

If you want a “real” Rangie to drive, find a nice Range Rover Classic. Yes, it’s from an earlier era, particularly in the suspension department, but it’s every bit what made Range Rovers the definitive luxury SUV to begin with. And surprisingly comfortable and well-mannered for something with the underpinnings of a tractor. But that’s where a lot of the durability came from.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago

When they are new they are lux’d out imposing SUV’s under warranty.

Used, well it’s just a collection of early 2000’s electronic doo-dads that are one sneeze away from being non-functional and unrepairable. Too expensive to use offroad, makes you look like you bought it from a buy-here-pay-here lot, and drinks gas.

I guess somebody though it was worth 30 large though.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
1 month ago

$30k for a pristine 2007-2009… Okay still a bit steep but I could at least talk myself into it. However, $30k for a BMW powered L322? Mr ssmcars, how fucking high are you?

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago

According to the auction comments, he bought it for his soon to be college graduate daughter to pull horse trailers. Probably living a different lifestyle than most of us.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
1 month ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Hope he buys her a second more reliable 07-09 L322 to pull horse trailers when this one is in the shop for it’s annual engine replacement.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
1 month ago

30 large? Wow. Just wow. It really doesn’t matter how well-cared-for these things are, just no.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 month ago

Fuck. Now I kind of want one if it’s cheap enough.
No way no how will this be my daily but if I can find a nice one in the teens I may just do it.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

I generally support bad decisions, but I have reservations in this instance.
Still, I admire your pluck, and wish you the best: may your suspension never sag, and your windows always work. Godspeed, you maniac!
🙂

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

They’re available all day long in the teens. I paid under $15k for both of mine (2008 &2009). Hands down the most comfortable vehicles I’ve ever driven. Jim Colangelo (above) is correct… Car guys have been into these for a while. The general public is catching up the fact that you’re getting a LOT of truck for the money at this price. BTW – I maintain both of mine myself. Not an issue.

Querty
Querty
1 month ago

Keep an eye on it, or you may miss it when it breaks

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Come on a vehicle selling for more than it is worth is due to two morons thinking it is or will be worth more in the future. This is a pig in The poke and minus a dead George Clooney in the back a losing purchase. We alway read about cars selling for a fortune but Noone comes out and admits losing fortune. Like this guy will.

R53forfun
R53forfun
1 month ago

lol.

Nostalgia’s a hell of a drug, etc.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
1 month ago

All the chipping and scratches on that center console silver plastic, on a well-maintained 30k mile vehicle, tell you everything you need to know about Land Rover quality in the aughts.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago
Reply to  DialMforMiata

Steering wheel looks worse than my 35 year old Acura that’s lived in the desert sun

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago
Reply to  Rabob Rabob

I’ve seen enough used car listings where the steering wheel is trashed and the buttons are worn off on new-ish vehicles to conclude that some people must have like caustic hands or something. Or maybe my hand hygiene far exceeds many people. I don’t know what is going on there.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

It’s a Range Rover. They’re only designed to hold up until the lease period is up.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 month ago

I love this gen of Range Rover. I love how they look, I love the sense of nostalgia I get when I see one but boy do I sure not want to own one. It’s a car I love to observe from a distance

Addlightness
Addlightness
1 month ago
Reply to  S13 Sedan

Could not have said it better myself.

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  S13 Sedan

Wrong.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
1 month ago

As much as I appreciate old Land Rovers (and I have owned a few), BAT is a window into a world that I do not understand.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago

Dumb gen-Xers going through mid-life crisis with their inheritance money basically.

Jj
Jj
1 month ago
Reply to  Rabob Rabob

I’m in that group, I think we’re too old to be nostalgic for this version of the Range Rover. Youngest gen Xers would have been around 30 when this arrived.

Tim Peters
Tim Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Jj

I am at the very end of GenX and I love these. IMHO its the last of the true Range Rovers. About as heavy as a Suburban and 7700lb towing capacity… I have yet to find a more comfortable daily driver with amazing visibility (I have no inheritance money to throw around either). They were always great looking trucks with presence… and happen to be bottoming out on price the last couple of years because of a number of factors – mainly misconception. I think the P38 reliability issues really hurt the Range Rover brand and the L322 struggled against that mindset. Check out Clarkston and Harrys discussion about the L322 on YouTube.

This was a bucket list car for me. I have a 2008 and a 2009 that I maintain myself. They are thirsty, but the design focus of this vehicle and initial owners prioritized comfort over fuel economy. I think they made the right choice.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Peters

I just don’t get it I guess. It’s a rich mommy blogger SUV. Endless amount of better cars to lust after.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
1 month ago
Reply to  Rabob Rabob

I resemble that remark in every way except the dumb bit. And the inheritance money bit.

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