How do you convince two girlfriends - one six months pregnant - who normally prefer trains and planes to cars to join you on a 750-mile round road trip? Offer them the services of a Range Rover, it turns out. Yes, this car really does have that much appeal.
A 6am start in the cold, dark and drizzle was actually really quite enjoyable, thanks to heated armchair seats in the front and rear, so no worries about who took the back.
By the end of the first leg we were all agreed that getting to Edinburgh from London was a far more agreeable experience cosseted in the luxury of the Range Rover than traipsing and trailing luggage across cities on trains and the hassle of airport security.
Before we set out, I have to admit I was a little concerned about how much we’d end up spending on fuel, but our Range Rover belies its size with its frugality so thankfully my insistence that driving would surely be cheaper than three plane tickets paid off.
This big hulk of an SUV has a lot of surprises up its sleeve. As we crossed the border into Scotland the gales we’d been warned about as the M6 tailed out struck, causing drivers of smaller cars to grip their steering wheels harder to keep a straight line. In the Range Rover we were oblivious.
Yet when the motorway straights turned into looping, narrow B roads, the beast transformed into light and agile, gliding round hairpin bends and swooping the straights with grace. Being in the Range Rover safe from sheeting rain while hills and dales and open countryside slip effortlessly by is a truly serene experience.
It’s fair to say the girls were impressed, no sooner had we reached our destination lottery tickets were bought. They’ll be bought again this weekend, too.
By Emma Butcher
Week ending December 13
Miles this week 308
A family trip to the Suffolk coast provided an exacting test of our Range Rover's practicality. Not only did we have to squeeze in a puppy cage (achieved by positioning it in the centre of the boot to ensure the rear hatch would close), but we also had to accommodate two adults, three children and their luggage.
The main challenge was removing the retractable tonneau cover mechanism to maximize boot space, which proved awkward and heavy, in contrast to the well-engineered split tailgate, which combined draw-string and motors to close with the push of a button.
Once packed, the 250-mile round trip was dispatched with usual RR efficiency, with only the complicated heated seat controls causing any distraction. Instead of integrating it into the touch screen, with confusing switch and arrows, why didn't they use a simple button like everyone else?
By Patrick Fuller
Week ending December 6
Miles this week 245
I was having a chat with some big cheeses from Lexus the other day. They were talking about the concept of injecting Japanese hospitality into their cars - a way of adding the Japanese style of luxury, even down to the way the lights work in the cabin.
It got me thinking about good old-fashioned British warm welcomes too, which I think our Range Rover has in spades.
Now that it’s completely dark by the time I’m driving home I’m enjoying the Rangie’s puddle lighting which projects the company logo onto the floor when you press the plipper. It never ceases to make me smile.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make you enjoy ownership, isn’t it?
By Chas Hallett