I’m not coming from a position of criticising them here, I’m genuinely curious:

Why is it that so often you’ll hear auto journalists refer to Land Rovers (particularly Range Rovers) as “the ultimate car”, “possibly a better cruiser than a Bentley,” “a very stately vehicle” ?

I’m not saying they’re not, but isn’t it true that…

If it’s for off-roading, you could do just as well with a G-Wagen, Wrangler, Land Cruiser…?

If it’s for performance, you could do just as well with a top-of-the-line Cayenne, Macan, AMG Mercedes, X5M, etc?

If it’s for image or interior design, you could just get a Bentley, 7-Series, A8, S-Class (even the new Volvo XC90 has a spectacular and creative interior)?

If it’s just because they’re expensive, well, the sky’s the limit. Someone could always get a Rolls-Royce instead.

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Maybe people who are buying one don’t care, but when you factor Land Rover’s poor reliability into the mix…I just don’t get it. What is the “X Factor” that Land Rovers possess that make people overlook this so much? What negates the poor reliability?

And then, in markets outside of the EU where (AFAIK) the diesel engines are not available, there’s the not-so-great fuel economy. Again, wouldn’t that lower the car’s position in a potential buyer’s mind?

For what it’s worth, I’ll mention that I understand that they have a legendary reputation for their service out in the deserts of Africa during WWII and whatnot; I’m referring more to their modern-day perception of being luxury vehicles on par with top-of-the-line saloons and luxury cars.

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So what is it then? Is it because it’s British? Is it because of celebrities in the UK and Los Angeles who have them?

In fact, I forget what magazine/website it was, but there was a poll in the UK that asked “What is your dream 3-car garage?” The most common response was “Ferrari, Porsche, Land Rover.” THAT’S what I’m referring to. Why are they seen this way? Again, I’m not saying they don’t deserve it…it’s just not obvious me what the “thing” is about them in the way that Ferrari = performance, noise, racing heritage, or GTR = tuner culture, engine that can handle lots of mods, lap times, etc.