The Mk3 Range Rover was a game changer

The third-generation Range Rover was, in my mind, one of the most influential cars to ever hit the road. The Mk3, or LR322, was made for 10 years and was one of the most rubber-faced cars you could ever hope to drive.

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It would wear a stern look as it ebbed down a red carpet, a perky smile while it did the day-to-day drudgery, and finally it'd grin like a loon the moment you showed it a muddy, rutted off-road playpen. It's a car that'd be happy and able to tackle literally anything you'd care to throw at it.

While taking all the punishment you'd care to throw at it, passengers were treated to top of the line luxury -- swathes of leather, wood, and carpet combined to treat occupants to an environment akin to either a high-class burlesque joint or a fancy restaurant (both if you've been to Circus in Covent Garden, London).

However, ability and looks weren't the Mk3 Range Rover's only forte. No, that was how it was perceived -- the Range Rover became a pop-culture favourite. It was referenced in films, music, and the like as a product that showed its owner had the utmost taste and style. Its sales soared to as yet unheard of heights. To that end, the decade that saw the Range Rover's introduction saw more "mainstream" brands try to take it on -- you could argue that the Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, etc., wouldn't exist without the Range coming into vogue.

Yes, before the Mk3 the Range Rover was a desirable product, but was it so far forward in public consciousness? Was it so celebrated? Did you see so many of them kicking about town? No, not at all.

You also have to remember that as well as being incredibly capable, luxurious, and chameleonic in its nature, the Mk3 was looked after by three different companies. First BMW, then Ford, and all face-lifts were courtesy of Tata Motors. The Tata Motors influence is important -- Tata's stewardship of Jaguar Land Rover has led to a massive boom for the company, in no small way helped by the Mk3 Range.

This one car saw a decade of service and huge change not only in the landscape it occupied, but for its parents, too. All that while simultaneously being brilliant at everything it turned its hand to. Good for it.

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About the author

Alex Goy is XCAR's Cars Editor. He loves all things on four wheels and has a penchant for British sports cars - the more impractical the better. He also likes tea.

 

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