Some people like their leafers; other prefer comfort. Some like basic, some like gizmos. And a few – I count myself among them – get a kick out of all gradations of the Green Oval spectrum. So what’s the common ground?
The answer is a bit pathetic, but it's this. When you buy a Land Rover, you’re buying into a dream. You know the one; think Camel Trophy, Steve McQueen, Virginia McKenna, Ranulph Fiennes, the SAS, The Gulf War, Afghanistan, the Darien Gap expedition, First Overland…
These are the frontier-crossing, adversity-defeating ambitions that modern Land Rovers must live up to if they are to earn the admiration of Land Rover enthusiasts. It’s the same dream that makes Defenders about twice the price of Discovery 2s of the same age. There’s little practical reason why that should be the case – it’s all about that boxy shape, the silhouette, the simplicity, the imagery and the lifestyle it evokes (that’s evoke with a K).
And this is why the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery have earned our nod of respect – because despite their sky-high price tags and unfixable space-age wizardry, they’re beasts off-road and leave any rival for dust. We wouldn’t necessarily own one (most of us will never afford one) but we admire them.
Evoking an image, fulfilling a dream… Inevitably, this is what turns a company name into an aspirational brand, with price tags to match. But all the while Land Rover’s engineers can create vehicles which do justice to the capability and supremacy of their predecessors, there will be idiots like me who drive a Series do work, and have an L405 as their desktop wallpaper.