Automobile's SUV special issue in April, 2002, gave the new 2003 Range Rover a very tough and thorough going over, and concluded that they were very happy with the new BMW engine, among other things.
"We were happy with all of it, actually...We came here looking not for a luxury sedan but for an extreme off-roader with better on-road manners than its predecessor. We found all of that, wrapped in exquisite raiment. It's modern, it's roomier, it's quiet, it's beautiful, and it works like crazy." What more can you say?
Road & Track was also impressed with their first drive, especially with the interior: "Inside, Land Rover's stylists have made the most obvious improvement, crafting an interior that not only surpasses its predecessor, but also rivals that of most luxury cars. Drawing inspiration from such diverse sources as premium yachts, fine furniture and even first-class airliner compartments, the Range Rover's cabin puts a refreshing spin on the standard formula of leather, wood and aluminum. Elegant simplicity reigns throughout with well-executed use of burled walnut or cherry wood complementing the aluminum accents and leather piping. Helping matters is the high-quality feel of the BMW-sourced switch gear, controls and navigation system."
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