Posts Tagged ‘4WD’

Test Drive: 2001 Land Rover Range Rover Holland & Holland Edition (P38A)

On February 4, 2012, I test Drove a 2001 Land Rover Range Rover Holland & Holland edition at Clean Car Deals in Upland, California. The vehicle’s exterior color is called Tintern Green Micatallic, and the seats are in Dark Brown Bridal leather with walnut leather piping. The asking price is $13,500 with 78,000 miles. The engine is a Rover 4.6 liter V8 that produce 222 horsepower @ 4,750 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque @ 2,600 rpm. The transmission is a 4 speed automatic with standard four wheel drive. The Holland & Holland Edition Range Rover is a limited production model with only 250 units produced. This particular one is H&H edition #130.
Holland & Holland (H&H for short) is a prestigious gun manufacturing company based in London, England. The company builds handmade sporting rifles and shotguns. H&H was founded by Harris Holland in 1835. He was a professional gun shooter and was persuaded by friends to start his own business. Because Harris had no children of his own, He hired his nephew Henry Holland as an apprentice in 1861. Henry was appointed as a partner in 1867, hence the name Holland & Holland. Today, the business has three stores globally with shooting grounds near London. The stores are located in London, New York City, and Moscow. For more information on the company, go to www.hollandandholland.com.
This H&H Range Rover is the same as a 4.6 HSE model on the P38A chassis. The P38A was in production from the 1995-2002 model years and its successor is the L322 chassis Range Rover (2003-current). In the U.S., there’s the 4.0 SE with a 4.0 liter V8 (dropped after 2000) and the 4.6 HSE. For the 2001 and 2002 model years, the 4.6 liter V8 became the Range Rover’s standard power plant even in the SE model. All H&H Range Rovers were in Tintern Green Micatallic which is a bluish green color. The vehicle’s MSRP price when brand new was about $79,000. The 18 inch Hurricane alloy wheels on the H&H Range Rovers were painted on the inner spokes with the same exterior Tintern Green color. The interior of the H&H models have some slight differences from the SE and HSE models. The wood trim in the cabin is supposed to be the exact type of wood used to make H&H firearms. In the SE and HSE, the wood trim is made of plastic. Also, as I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, the brown bridal leather seats are only available in the H&H. The glove box, center console, steering wheel, and knee bolster are all wrapped in walnut bridal leather. There was a 1999 Range Rover 4.0 SE on the dealer lot that I compared to the H&H Range Rover. The 4.0 SE did not have as many amenities as the H&H. All H&H Range Rovers came with standard GPS navigation systems and 180 watt Harman-Kardon premium sound system with 7 speakers and a 6 disc CD changer. The words Holland & Holland are seen labeled on the wood trim above the glove box and there is a Holland & Holland badge on the back of the cars. The H&H Range Rovers are definitely some of the most top of the line Range Rovers built, at least until today. Now there’s another limited production Range Rover called the Autobiography Ultimate edition with a supercharged 510 horsepower V8 engine! I found one for sale in New Jersey and the dealer is asking $250,000 for it! Now let’s get to the test drive.
I was looking for a Range Rover to test drive and write a review about for the website. I came across this one on Craigslist and what caught my eye was the title of the advertisement which read “Range Rover Holland & Holland edition #130 of 250 made!” I read the description and figured that I should do some research about the vehicle. After doing my homework I had to drive this car! This was a limited production Range Rover and I may never come across another one like it again! I called the phone number listed in the ad and a man named Carlos (the dealer owner) answered. I made an appointment with him to look at the car at noon. The dealership was actually located in an office complex instead of an actual dealer lot. When I got there the Range Rover was getting washed by a detailer and Carlos was outside. He and I started talking about the car, and he said after it got cleaned up I could test drive it. He told me that he has owned many Range Rovers since he was young and broke. I told him what I knew about the H&H Range Rover and that I wanted to see what they were like. Supposedly, the car was his daily driver. He told me he took the car to a mountain town called Idyllwild during the winter (the snow would be light if there was any) with his family. At one point he had to take a call, so I walked around the SUV while he did so. I looked at the Tintern Green paint while the sun was hitting down on it. The bluish-green paint mix was glossy and it’s a unique color that most cars don’t have. The car was in good shape, but there were some imperfections. Both of the bumpers and grille had noticeable paint chips and the left part of the front bumper was pushed in as if it had hit something. In the back, the last “R” in Rover looked almost like a P, so a piece of the letter was broken off. The interior was clean and the leather had minimal wear. The unique H&H wood trim however, did not have a shiny or smooth texture like it should. I think it has to do with a lacquer coating used the cover the wood that was chipping off from sunlight. It’s wasn’t shiny like a fake plastic wood trim would be. It still looked nice in the vehicle though. There was a child’s seat in the middle of the backseat, because Carlos had a one year old son with him. Like with a majority of SUVs, it made me feel much taller when sitting in the driver’s seat. I drive an Acura RL, a four door sedan that sits low to the ground. I looked up and noticed the walnut headliner was sagging. It would need to be replaced. I looked down at the shifter knob and the shift pattern was different than that of a normal car. It was in the shape of the letter H. Carlos was still talking on his Bluetooth set when he got in the car and handed me the key.
I tried to start the Range Rover, but there was one small problem. It wasn’t the right key. Carlos ran back inside to get the correct one, and after that it started up just fine. I looked at the green illuminated gauge cluster which read odd numbers such as 10, 30, and 50 mph instead of 20, 40, and 60 mph. I tried to use to GPS to look at its map, but I couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t a touch screen either. Carlos was able to display the map on the screen and he mentioned that he preferred using a Tom-Tom that he had in the center console. I tested the electrical components to make sure they were all working. I had a tough time trying to work the windows because the switches didn’t operate the way I thought they would. For example, if I wanted to roll the back windows up I had to push the front left switch back to do so instead of the back left window switch. At least they all worked. I wanted to test the sunroof, but Carlos told me not to open it because of the car being wet from the wash, so I honestly do not know if it works. When I put the car in drive he was able to get off his Bluetooth. I asked him about the H shift pattern and he said that one was for high gear ratio and the other was for low gear ratio, or for going off-road. I was driving in the high gear ratio. That explains why the right part of the shift pattern had small icons next to it for slopes.
I made a right turn on Benson Ave. going towards the mountains. I was a little bit disappointed in the acceleration because it didn’t seem very fast. My first thought was that the 1997 Mercury Mountaineer with a 5.0 liter Windsor V8 was faster than this. Carlos made a comment that he wished we were in the mountains and if we were he would let me drive it off road! The city of Upland sets on the southern foothill of Mt. Baldy. While driving there was a small bit of static from the radio, but not much. Carlos said that the subwoofer had to be replaced and that the CD player wasn’t working. The Range Rover’s handling was moderate. It wasn’t sharp but it wasn’t loose either. I made a couple of U-turns on residential streets. When I got back onto city streets I had to stop at my first stoplight. The breaking isn’t as strong as what I’m used to. I’d just have to break a little bit sooner when slowing down or coming to complete stops. While driving, Carlos was telling me about how Range Rovers were the most rugged SUVs on the market; better than BMW X5s, Toyota Land Cruisers, and Mercedes ML-Classes. I wouldn’t know since I’ve never driven one of those, and every person will have a different opinion too. Although I’ve mentioned that the acceleration felt slow, I was able to pass slower cars on the streets to get around them. I looked at the GPS map and instead of the map moving with the car, it stayed in one position and the icon representing the Range Rover would keep going. I’m used to seeing the map follow the car instead of staying in one spot. It’s not a big deal, and I could have probably zoomed in if I wanted to. This Range Rover wasn’t exactly a fun car to drive, but I felt that it would make me look cool when driving it. If I took it off-road then it would likely be more fun. I guess I would say that the Ranger Rover Holland & Holland edition is more for looks; a status symbol.
When we drove back to the dealer, I inspected the Range Rover again. Carlos told me there was a dent on the right quarter panel between the taillight and the fuel door and that it was repaired by tapping it out. He pointed to me where the dent was and I was able to tell that there was one there before. At first glance it’s not really noticeable. I popped open the hood to see the engine, which was the Rover 4.6 liter V8. I asked him about the price and he said it was firm, but there would be no dealer fees to pay. There would just be taxes and registration. After Carlos gave me one of his business cards I shook his hand and left the dealer. I really liked the H&H Range Rover. It wasn’t the fastest SUV I’ve ever driven, but it was certainly the most luxurious and high end. I think taking a test drive off the streets would definitely persuade me more to buy it. I would buy it, but I don’t think I would enjoy parking it or spending the money on gas. I have heard for a long time that Range Rovers may be good for off-road adventures, but the reliability is awful. If reliability is a huge concern, I wouldn’t recommend it unless if the buyer is a mechanic, or if they don’t mind spending the money to maintain it. I usually refer Land Rovers as “The Jaguars of SUVs” and they literally are, since they were both bought by Ford in the early 2000s. In 2008, Land Rover and Jaguar were sold to Tata Motors. I wasn’t trying to say that Jaguars are bad cars in general, but they both had bad reliability reputations in the past. I still like this Land Rover, and if I were to buy it I would try to lower the price to $12,000. I would also take it to a mechanic before making the purchase.
Overall, the Land Rover Range Rover Holland & Holland edition is one of the highest end SUVs on the road. Some might say that it’s nicer than some of the newer luxury SUVs on the market, and I wouldn’t have any doubts about that. Whether it’s used to drive to the grocery store, or to climb non-paved trails, it will give the driver a good appearance whenever he or she is behind the wheel.
Photos taken by Clean Car Deals.

 

Test Drive: 1996 Acura SLX

On January 13, 2012, I test drove a 1996 Acura SLX at Glendora Motorcars in Glendora, California. The vehicle has a green and tan two tone exterior with a black cloth interior. The rear seat bench cushion didn’t match the rest of the upholstery in the car. It was some kind of grey, leather-like cushion. I’m not sure if it’s original or not. The car has 165,000 miles, and the asking price is $2,650. In case if you didn’t notice, the Acura SLX is exactly identical to the Isuzu Trooper. In that case, it has the same Isuzu built 3.2 liter V6 engine as the Trooper. The engine’s codename is 6VD1, which produces 190 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 188 lb-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm. The transmission is a 4 speed automatic with four wheel drive. When someone thinks of an Acura SUV, the MDX or RDX will most likely come to mind. The SLX was the first SUV under the Acura name, but it wasn’t the first one designed by the Acura brand itself. The Acura SLX debuted as a 1996 model only to the North American market. The SLX’s square like styling isn’t any different than that of the Trooper’s. In 1998, the SLX as well as the Trooper got a minor facelift with new headlights, front bumper, and grille. Production of the Acura SLX ended in 1999 because of low and unsuccessful sales. Like the Trooper, consumers were concerned about the vehicles’ potential of being involved in rollover crashes. Most of the focus was on the Trooper because of the SLX’s low popularity. I have not come across very many Acura SLX SUVs on the road or online. When I found the Acura SLX in Glendora on Autotrader, it was only one of five in the entire United States. I did come across one or two listed on my local Craigslist, but that’s about it. Now, let’s get to the test drive.
I went to Glendora Motorcars and expected a non-pushy salesperson because it specifically said in the Autotrader dealer description, “No pushy sales or finance people to bother you!” I walked in, and there was just one, middle-aged man named Mike in the office. I think he may be the only one that works at the dealer. I just told him that I found the Acura SLX on Autotrader and I wanted to have a look at it. He got the key and we went outside. He told me that the vehicle has been sitting for a few weeks and that it may not start. He was right. He went back inside the office to get a pair of jumper cables. He used a Chevy Suburban parked next to the SLX to jump start it and it worked. The SLX had a very loud start up noise. It could have been from a bad belt or a pulley. The squealing noise went away after a few seconds. While the vehicle was warming up, I walked around it to check it out. There were deep scratches around the body, especially on the light bar cover above the rear license plate. The paint on the hood was dull in color as well. No body damage other than those. The carpet in the cargo area had a few stains in it from whatever was put in there previously. The armrest cover for the front passenger seat was cracked and worn. The interior door handle on the left passenger door didn’t work, but that’s a minor fix. The radio worked, but the power and volume button was missing and I couldn’t hear anything from the front speakers. The power windows and mirrors did operate though. After a few minutes of the SLX warming up, I asked Mike to drive it. He said yes, but he didn’t want me to drive it for more than a mile down the street.
When I put the car in reverse, it slipped into neutral. The shifter in the car was very loose and easy to shift into a different gear without pushing the button. I think if someone wanted to play with the shifter while the vehicle was in motion, it could slip out of gear causing a serious problem. I was extra cautious while backing out. The spare tire would hit something behind me before the bumper would. I also drove very slowly to make a right turn out of the dealer lot, and onto Route 66. Like with many SUVs, the turning radius was not very sharp. Right after taking off, I started noticing some problems. The check engine light has been on since the vehicle has been started. When I floored the SUV as it went into second gear, the power cut off and I couldn’t go any faster than 45 miles per hour. It would then accelerate into third gear after about five seconds. I thought that the car needed a new transmission. I would not recommend driving this SLX on the freeway. I made a U-turn after driving for about a mile and started hearing a quiet rattling noise coming from the engine compartment. It sounded like a winding toy car. I then tried to accelerate and again, after hitting second gear, the car’s power would cut off at 45 miles per hour. I drove it to a residential street next to the dealer. I made a three point turn at a cul-de-sac because a car was parked at the end of it. After driving it back to the dealer, I kindly mentioned to Mike that the Check engine light was on, and the car needed work. I suggested to him that he should drive it so that he can have a better understanding of what was wrong with it. Mike didn’t seem to care a whole lot, saying that the vehicle will be sold as is and that $2,650 was a good price. He didn’t sound mad or offended, but he didn’t seem to think much of what I said. He gave me a business card, and then I left. Mike was a nice and patient guy, but he just didn’t want to fix the vehicle.
Overall, The Acura SLX is big and spacious, but it needs to be maintained well in order to run correctly. If this SLX was repaired and running like it should, then it would make a great vehicle to drive; at least if gas mileage isn’t a big concern. I really liked it, but I was disappointed that it was being neglected and abandoned on the lot. Even though the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value in excellent condition is $2,871, no one will buy it unless if repairs were done on it. Still, I think $2,650 is a little too much. The fair condition value for private party is only $1,196, and in excellent condition, it wouldn’t be worth anymore than $1,950. Basically, it’s worthless. It will be sitting on the lot for a long time unless if Mike does something about it, whether it’s fixing it, selling it for much cheaper, or junking it.

Photos taken by Glendora Motorcars.