The current models are technically more accomplished of course and offer diesel economy the V8 classic models can only dream of, but their general bulk and complexity means they’re no better off road than the older cars and they do come with certain, ahem, image problems.

The thing that strikes you immediately about the Classic is that it’s so much narrower than the current crop of luxury 4x4s, but still manages to avoid feeling pinched inside. This in turn makes it easier to place in town traffic and makes it no more awkward to thread through city streets than a Ford Transit.

The early two-door models from the early ‘Seventies can feel a little agricultural now but, although BL starved the model of investment for years, development suddenly took off in the ‘Eighties and by the time the last of the classics had been produced, the Range Rover had been transformed into a refined dual-purpose car, equally capable of motorway cruising at triple-digit speeds or barrelling across fields.

This 1994 example is one of the last and is the model known in Range Rover circles a the ‘soft dash’ model, the result of replacing the angular hard plastic dashboard with the soft-feel design developed for the Discovery. The 1994-on Vogue models also featured air suspension, which gave them variable ride height. Throw in the fuel-injected V8, now stretched to 3.9 litres and 190bhp, and you had a great package.

Any Range Rover is a nice place to be and the leather-lined interior of this one comes with a surprisingly high spec for a car of this age too; heated front screen, heated electric seats, dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control and air-con (blowing nice and cold) are all on the menu (that is, if you can find the right button amid the array of chunky square controls).

With your elbows settling naturally on the armrests, you reach behind the steering wheel to twist the Rover Group key and the injected V8 bursts into life with its familiar sound. Slip the ZF four-speeder’s auto shifter into Drive, prod the welly-sized gas pedal and the Range Rover squirts off the line with remarkable pace.

At speed, the Range Rover feels much like a luxury saloon, except much higher above the tarmac, and although it requires a little more correction at the wheel than say a Jaguar or BMW, it’s just as comfortable a way to travel as either of them. Since the Vogue was so clean we didn’t fancy taking it off road but previous experience with late-model classic Range Rovers has shown us that they’re usually more capable in the rough stuff than we are.

If you really want a classic Range Rover then there are precious few tidy ones around and if it’s the late-model car you’re after then the choice is even more limited. If you can look past the fuel economy of the petrol V8 then these ‘soft dash’ cars are so usable that provided you have them properly rustproofed then there’s no reason why you couldn’t enjoy using one every day, all year round.

Engine: 3947cc V8
Power: 190bhp
Top speed: 112mph
0-60 mph: 9.9secs
Economy: 20mpg
Gearbox: 4-sp auto