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How to Read a VIN Number on a Range Rover Sport

by Brian Brown

Like other vehicles, Range Rovers are distinguished by their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is a 17-digit alphanumeric code as mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Bureau. The VIN of a Range Rover is unique in that it contains coded information about the vehicle's model, body type, engine and transmission. This makes the VIN a most valuable tool.

Decoding the VIN Number

Locate the number. On all vehicles, the VIN is displayed on a plate at the bottom of the windshield on the driver's side. Depending on model and year, the VIN will also be somewhere under the hood, usually on the right side of the chassis.

Begin reading the VIN with the first three digits. For Range Rovers, these digits will be SAL, with S representing the country the vehicle was manufactured in (United Kingdom), A representing the manufacturing company (British Leyland, at the time of writing a division of Ford) and L representing the division (Land Rover)

Next read the fourth digit of the VIN, which is the Range Rover's model. This digit will be one of six letters: D (Defender 90 or 110), H (Range Rover Classic), J (Discovery I), P (Range Rover 4.0, 4.6 or sport edition), N (Freelander) or T (Discovery II)

Read the Range Rover VIN's fifth digit, which corresponds to the vehicle's emission system. Several letters (C, E, H, N, V, X, Y) are used to denote whether the vehicle meets the emissions standards of all 50 states or all states except California. Vehicles with a C or Y meet the emissions standards of 49 states (excluding California), while vehicles with an E, H, N or X meet all the requirements of all states, including California. V identifies a 49-state emission on the Defender model and all Range Rover models except the Classic, which has a 50-state emission standard.

Look at the the sixth and seventh digits, which are numbers indicating body type and engine type, respectively. For body type, a 1 is a five-door model, a 2 is a two-door model, and a 3 is a three-door model. For engine type, a 1 is a 3.5-liter V8 engine. A 2 is a 2.5-liter V6 engine or a 4.0-liter V8 engine (depending on model). A 3 is a 4.2-liter V8 engine. A 4 is a 4.6-liter V8 engine.

Read the eighth position on the VIN, representing the transmission type. A 2 represents a five-speed automatic. A 4 represents a four-speed automatic. An 8 is a five-speed manual.

Read the ninth digit. This is an internal check code, which a random digit or an X. Next look at the 10th position, which is the vehicle's model year. For vehicles manufactured before 2001, this is a letter from H to Y, and for vehicles manufactured in 2001 and after, it is a single digit representing the year of manufacture. For example, a 1 is a vehicle manufactured in 2001, and a 2 is a vehicle made in 2002.

Read the 11th position, which represents the assembly plant. This digit is typically A for the Solihill, United Kingdom, Land Rover plant. Finally, look at the 12th through 17th numbers. These are the vehicle's serial numbers, which represent the order in which the Range Rover rolled off the assembly line.

Tip

  • Decoding the VIN of a Range Rover can be a handy tool when purchasing a used vehicle. Using the VIN, you can learn the model, model year, engine type and transmission, which is useful information for used-car shoppers.

About the Author

Brian Brown works as a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Maine covering municipal affairs and sports. He holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine and has more than five years of reporting experience.

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