Not much more than a decade ago, buying a Land Rover demanded a certain measure of courage. Like an orphan child with pyromaniac tendencies, the brand had been passed from one corporate foster parent to the next; and reliability and quality control had suffered along the way. One nameplate in particular, the Freelander, offered up some truly abysmal ownership experiences at one stage.
But, for the faithful, the turning point came with the launch of the Discovery 3 in 2005: this SUV was a giant step ahead of the competition in many ways. It was a model that rewarded the fans with more of what they wanted (practicality, and off-road performance), and attracted a whole bunch of new drivers by offering class-leading cabin space and driving comfort; what’s more, with its big windows, this was an SUV you could actually see out of. Since then, the 3 has been replaced by the 4, although many would argue that the Discovery 4 is more of an upgrade of the 3 than a new model in its own right.
During the same period, Land Rover also launched a new Range Rover, and more importantly − for the purposes of this article − a new model called the Range Rover Sport; this was a smaller, more lithe version of the big daddy and has gone on to be another success story for the team at Solihull. In recent times, a new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport have carried on the charge.