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Range Rover Classic Vogue

It’s easy to see why world’s first luxury 4x4 was such a big hit.

Innovation has been a key factor in the history of Land Rover. The Discovery and Freelander both reinvented existing market sectors – although the Range Rover can be credited with creating a brand new one.

When it debuted in 1970, the car had three doors and a workmanlike hose-clean interior. However, its combination of on-road comfort and mud-plugging ability made it a huge hit. It evolved into an upper crust off-roader with five doors and a luxurious interior, and spawned a host of rival models. To see how desirable it became, look no further than our test car. Prince Charles used to run it around the Royal estates of Highgrove, Sandringham and Balmoral.  

When it arrived, equipped with smooth-riding coil-sprung suspension, the level of comfort was in a different class to the leaf-sprung Series III Land Rovers of the time. Powerful V8 petrol engines and automatic boxes were the combination of choice for most buyers, but this car features Land Rover’s 300 TDi diesel and a manual transmission.

It’s not as refined as the petrol variants, but provides more acceptable economy and plenty of torque. Time hasn’t been kind to the interior, although the floaty ride and distinctive view out across that enormous bonnet live on in the latest Range Rover – and for that we should be grateful.

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