By christophersaul on Apr 22, 2008
Here's Mrs Saul's new car. The saga of its purchase will be related later.
It's a 2003 Range Rover Vogue. In the interests of protecting the planet, it's a V8 4.4 litre. In the interests of fashion it's 'Bonatti Grey', which matches one Mrs Saul's many toenail shades.
After 5 years of rattling around in a Vitara and a Wrangler, life is now much more comfortable on the road. The quality of the ride is incredible.
We took it to Dibba beach last Friday after landing back from a short holiday in Sri Lanka. Trips to the East coast in the Wrangler and long and rattly, with the camping kit jammed on the back seat. The Range Rover just floated us down there at highspeed and bounced gently across the beach. Incredible.
We'll continue to use the Jeep for desert driving, but I'm itching to take the Range Rover on some simple desert trips. I know it's just as capable, if not more so, than a Patrol. I suspect a dented front bumper is a bit more expensive to replace though.
After driving the Range Rover, the Wrangler really feels like two deckchairs strapped to an engine. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it doesn't mean a particularly comfortable ride.
There are some odd things in terms of build quality. For a car that's so expensive new, you'd think that Land Rover would have made sure that the plastic on the window controls and steering wheel wouldn't peel off. You'd also think that the plastic Land Rover centre pieces that fit in the middle of the wheels wouldn't fall out either, costing $20 a go. Some glue will fix that.
We searched long and hard to find a good one, so other common problems I saw - badly fitted panels and faded door handles - aren't present on ours.
In short, it's lovely. Land Rover may have been German owned when it was built (then US and now Indian owned since) but it's a British car and I've always wanted one.
Don't let me down, Land Rover. I don't want to be writing a blog entry in 12 months' time swearing that it'll be nothing but Nissan or Toyota from now on....
You may see me behind you on the Sheikh Zayed Road, flashing you out of the way as we whizz along in our leather sofa on wheels.