Long-term wrap-up: Mash’s 2005 Range Rover Vogue
We’re done with the Range Rover. It’s been almost 4 years since we bought it, and we were supposed to sell it years ago, but we kept it for this long because it was just so darn satisfying to drive around in. But we finally made up our minds and put it up for sale on just our genuinely-popular Facebook page, and sold it in less than a week.
At the beginning of this year, we went about cleaning up the car with new front and rear badges, got the door handles and other shabby trim repainted, replaced the front tow-hook cover that apparently has a tendency to go missing, replaced a leaky wiper-water tank and finally got the electric-folding functionality back on the right side-mirror after replacing it with a used Dhs 1800 unit. Including a minor service for Dhs 1200 as well as a new battery, the total bill came up to Dhs 6480 at Premier Car Care.
A couple of months ago, we decided to get the leaky valve-cover gasket replaced for the fourth time. The dealer botched the job the first time 3 years ago as the leak came back in 6 months, and then a BMW specialist garage botched it a further two times. The leak was minor and our oil levels never dropped, but it made a mess of the engine and we didn’t want anything going up in flames.
Ahmad, one of our Arabic editors, suggested we take it to his friend’s Autocar Garage in Umm Ramool. There, they showed us how poorly the valve-cover gasket was stuck on and that there was a certain procedure to do it right. So we got the valve-cover gasket replaced yet again, and had the messed-up engine surface repainted, all for Dhs 2480. Since then, the engine remained clean, so we assume it was finally fixed.
More recently, it started throwing up suspension errors that was freezing the suspension height adjustment, which we simply reset with our previously-bought software after a few tries.
At this point, we quickly made the decision to sell our well-maintained Vogue to someone who would have the time to keep it going with all its quirks. We had already put more money into it than it’s worth, so we had reached our tipping point, while the next owner would get pretty much one of the most well-maintained 2005 Range Rover in the country, aside from a few door dings. Surprisingly, most of the physical bits such as the body paint and the leather held up very well even while always parked under the sun, no doubt because we invested in paint protection and premium tint.
Did we regret buying it? Not one bit. When you have the money, it’s totally worth it. By money, we mean a budget of about Dhs 10,000 a year for maintenance and repairs, which we hear is the average with BMWs as well. And please don’t show us ridiculous cost-per-kilometre calculations — a car needs regular maintenance, whether it does 10 km or 100,000 km in a year. We also ended up paying more because we daftly went to the dealer for a while, and then had to fix the same issue numerous times.
Truth be told, it did see the back of a tow truck about three times, once being a false alarm, and the other two being age-related issues. But even with its other problems, it never let us down when we needed it, and the tows were always from my home, and not the side of the road. I drove both my recently-born kids around in it, having spent the money to make it as reliable as possible over time. It drives practically like a new car, even after a decade.
We put our car up for sale on our highly-popular Facebook page to give our readers a shot first, and sold it within a week to a Honda enthusiast who lives nearby. We got Dhs 32,500, which is a fair price for both of us, and we didn’t have to entertain any low-ballers. So we’re sure to still see it around a lot. We seem to sell most of our cars to people we know, contrary to the notion that you should only sell to strangers. It’s easier when you have nothing to hide.
If you want to do the man-math, we bought the car for Dhs 71,000 almost 4 years ago. We sold it for Dhs 32,500. And we put in Dhs 47,000, not including registration, insurance and accessories. That’s almost Dhs 90,000 for the privilege of driving a Range Rover and not getting hounded by tailgaters and taxis on the highway. A brand new Mercedes-Benz G-wagen depreciates by that much in just one year! I’d say we got a bargain, and we’ll be revisiting the brand again in the future.
Our next long-termer is a 7-seater, as necessitated by my growing family. We should be picking it up this week.
Original Mileage When Bought: 99,980 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 118,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 19.1 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 6760
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 2200
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 46993