Several years ago, 4x4s were treated as a menace by some in the national media. Then the recession took hold, which could have spelled disaster for a four-wheel drive specialist, such as Land Rover.
But its foray into front-wheel drive SUVs, first with the Freelander, then with the ultra-successful Range Rover Evoque seem to have attracted new customers to the brand. Dealers, it seems, love it, with very high ratings in the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey.
In the past 18 months, the two larger Range Rover models have been renewed with new, lighter aluminium vehicles, while Land Rover is seeking to capitalise on the Range Rover’s appeal as a bona fide luxury saloon alternative with a long-wheelbase version.
With registrations approaching 55,000 in 2013, and this year’s total looking likely to reach 60,000, all eyes will be on 2015 as the Discovery family is set to grow, adding a smaller model to replace the Freelander, while we should get our first glimpse of the long-awaited Defender replacement.