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1999 Land Rover Range Rover REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/4/2017

Con: High price.

Pro: Off-road prowess, lots of safety equipment.

What’s New: Engine upgrades, new color schemes, traction control and standard side-mounted airbags are some of the additions to the 1999 Range Rovers, which will be introduced later in the year. For now, interim Range Rover models called the 4.0 and 4.0S are available.

Review: Until Land Rover's upgraded 1999 Range Rovers reach dealerships, the company will be offering interim models called the 4.0 and 4.0S. The adventure-oriented 4.0 comes with a brush bar, roof rack, rear light guards, and 16-inch mud-and-snow radial tires. The touring-oriented 4.0S features 18-inch wheels with low-profile tires. Also offered in limited volume is the 4.6-liter Callaway, dressed in distinctive trim and color, with 18-inch Proline wheels and a 240-horspower V8 engine.

Virtually unbeatable in both snob appeal and off-road talent, the upgraded Range Rovers that will arrive later in the year come in two trim levels: 4.0 SE and 4.6 HSE. The 1999 model year will bring more significant changes to England's premium SUV than we've seen since the truck's redesign four years ago. The most notable of these changes is the fresh engine upgrades.

Engines for both trims receive a new all-aluminum sump, a new induction system which features a ?Thor? manifold, modified rocker covers, improved placement and mounting of the auxiliary equipment, new engine sensors and an ignition and fuel management system designed by Bosch. Both models will receive standard twin tailpipes this year. A 4.0-liter V8 that powers the SE will make 250 foot-pounds of torque and reach 60 mph from zero 6-percent faster than it used to. The larger, 4.6-liter V8 that propels the HSE will make 222 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque, and reach 60 mph 10.5-percent faster than before.

In addition to all-disc, all-terrain antilock brakes, traction control is standard this year on both Range Rover trim levels. The Range Rover can tow 6,500 pounds on the highway, or 7,700 pounds in low range. Under the sheetmetal is a ladder-type chassis plus an electronic air suspension system and beam axles. Rear trailing arms are made of lightweight composite material.

The Range Rover is loaded with standard equipment. That means leather and burled walnut in the interior, automatic climate controls for the driver and front passenger (with micro-pollen filtration), 10-way adjustable heated front seats with memory preset, sunroof, and, well, you get the idea. A new, 300-watt Alpine sound system that features a Radio Data System display, weather band and six-disc CD changer is also standard. Other interior changes for this year include refined door treatments, seats and upper center consoles. Dual airbags and new-for-99 side airbags protect both driver and passenger. In addition to a stronger engine, the 4.6 HSE adds Pirelli 255/55HR18 tires, five-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels, mud flaps, a leather-wrapped shifter and a chrome exhaust.

With the 4.0 SE priced well over $50,000 dollars, the Range Rover obviously isn't for everyone. The Land Rover company calls it ?the world's most advanced sport-utility," aimed at "discerning drivers and sportsmen." We won't argue with that description. Given a choice, we'd prefer something on the order of a BMW 740iL for ordinary highway driving. Still, if a taste of off-roading lies in your future, and a run-of-the-mill sport-utility vehicle doesn't turn you on, what better way to blast into the bush than in a Range Rover? It's not just a drive-it's an experience.

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