For many years, British automaker, Land Rover brands such as the Land Rover Defender have been known for their better on and off-road performance. They are brands known for manoeuvring through any kind of terrain.
This is a feature that Desh Kananura, a car enthusiast, agrees with, especially with his Range Rover Vogue Autobiography.
“I have driven it to Mombasa, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Gulu, among other places and it is reliable when it comes to fuel consumption. For example, from Kampala to Mbarara, I use between Shs80,000 to Shs120,000. This is at higher speeds because it then consumes less fuel and performs faster,” Kananura says of the car he bought at Shs370m.
Service and maintenance
On average, Kananura says, service and maintenance of his car is affordable at most professional garages. Its complete service involves replacing oil and air filters, air conditioning filters and engine oil, among other crucial parts. The beauty with diesel engines, he points out, is that they do not have spark plugs. This brings the cost of normal service to on average, between Shs300,000 to Shs500,000.
However, the brake pads maybe slightly more expensive by Shs50,000 or Shs100,000. A five litre jerrican of its oil costs approximately Shs250,000 by dealerships such as Castrol but normal oil could actually cost less. However, he says, cheap things end up becoming expensive when it comes to car service.
Technologically, the Range Rover Vogue Autobiography comes with intelligent Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights that have an automatic feature for high and low lighting to allow easy visibility at any time of the day or night. If another car approaches you with full lights, it will dim them and reapply the high dim mode when you have driven by. It is a five-seater capacity SUV but can accommodate up to seven passengers, including the driver.
“My particular model is a 4.4cc SDV8 with a diesel engine. It has cooling seats, panoramic roof, eight cameras, lane departure assist, proximity and blind spot. If you are going to change lanes, there is an orange light in the mirror to show that there is a car in your blind spot. If you are driving and get out of your lane, the car will make an alarm to alert you that you are driving out of your lane. If you are also driving and getting so close to the motorist ahead or behind you, it will still alert you,” he explains.
It also has an automatic handbrake and antiroll features, that if you are driving on a hill and you are waiting for other motorists to pass, when you step twice on the brake pedal and release, it will stop the car from rolling back.
This is on top of coming with 22-inch rims that Kananura downsized to 20 inches because of rough Ugandan roads characterised by potholes. He has changed the rims twice because he wanted a bigger profile with more rubber on the tyres.
Apart from the five seatbelts as some of the safety features it comes with, the Range Rover Vogue Autobiography is also manufactured with the collision assist feature.
“If you are approaching another car very fast, it will brake in case you were driving while absent minded. It can detect that your eyes are not on the dashboard and will apply brakes automatically after sensing that you will not be able to brake in time to avoid collision. It starts by making an alarm and if you do not react quickly, it starts braking for your safety,” Kananura says, adding that there is no way you can ever knock a car in front of you unless it is a head-on collision.
It is also well surrounded with curtain airbags in all doors, sides, on the steering wheel and below the leg area.
Much as you may command some level of respect and turn heads by owning this car, Kananura says when they become old, the resale value falls.
Secondly, before buying, have an expert carry out inspection to make sure it has not had an accident before. This is because when they start having electrical faults, they become difficult and costly to maintain since its spare parts are hard to get.
And if you are to import the car from the UK or any other country, Kananura recommends carrying out a Hire Purchase Information (HPI) history check. The check gives you a lot of information, including if the car has had any accident before, whether it was stolen, written off, vehicle identification data, exported or imported or even financed before, among other information.
Engines. The entry-level 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel offers a good balance of fuel economy and performance, and it’s pretty smooth too. Although more expensive, the V6 diesel hybrid is both quicker and cheaper to run than the 3.0-litre TDV6 and offers more performance than most people will ever need. Both the 4.4-litre V8 diesel and 5.0-litre V8 petrol Range Rovers are faster still, but the running costs are undeniably high.