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Land Rover reacts to parallel import threat

Land Rover

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Land Rover has dropped the price of all Range Rovers by £3,000 in response to the number of personal imports. The BBC's Watchdog programme recently reported savings of £12,000 on an imported 4.6 LSE.

Chrysler's new Voyager is launched at prices close to those of the outgoing model although the base model, the SE priced £18,495, now has a 2.4-litre engine in place of the 2-litre. A new common rail diesel engine is offered from £19,695. The long-wheelbase Grand Voyager starts at £23,895 for the 2.5CRD LX – a premium of more than £1,700 over the shorter model.

Vauxhall has introduced some short-term benefits aimed at private customers buying before the end of March. It has knocked £500 off the Corsa Expression, making it £6,995, and £1,250 off the Vectra Club, down to £11,995. Other models involved are the Corsa Comfort and SXi, Astra Expression and Zafira Club, which also get extra equipment. The Omega gets a new range-topping engine, a 3.2 V6 in place of the 3-litre. Prices are up £1,000 for the MV6 saloon and estate, now from £24,495, but the Elite remains unchanged, from £29,695.

Aston Martin's Vanquish will cost from £158,000 when it goes on sale in the summer. This compares with £170,358 for Ferrari's 456GT, its direct competitor.

Subaru has upgraded the Forester with a new facia trim, a bit more power and cruise control for the Turbo and CD player in the standard car. Prices are down by £1,000 to £20,745 and £15,495 respectively.

Mitsubishi has added a third model to the Space Wagon range, the Classic. This gets a 2-litre engine in place of the 2.4, giving improved economy. At £16,995, it undercuts the 2.4 Equippe by £2,000.

Nissan has added another Activ limited edition model to its range, this time based on the Primera. Priced £12,995 for the 1.6 and £13,495 for the 1.8, it takes the £400 cheaper base model, the E, and adds £1,400 of kit.

The Government-backed Powershift programme – which gives a £1,000 rebate to buyers of hybrid vehicles – is to be extended by a further injection of funds. It will mean buyers of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight will pay £15,495 and £16,000 for these vehicles.

Toyota is marking the 50th anniversary of the Land Cruiser with a special edition. Priced £46,845 for the 4.2TD and £46,245 for the 4.7V8, they gain colour information screen, DVD navigation and specially trimmed interior.

Volkswagen has reintroduced the Lupo SE. Based on the Lupo 1.0 E, it is £45 less at £7,195 and adds a set of alloys.

Also driven: Land Rover Discovery 4 HSE 3.0 SDV6

In the wake of Evoque’s sales conquests it could be overlooked that Land Rover has long been selling superb premium vehicles.

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