Our cars: Range Rover - February
4.4 TDV8 Autobiography
It's a big year for Range Rover – in about six months the all-new ‘baby’ Evoque hits the streets. It’ll cost from less than £30k, which is less than half that of the full-size Rangie. So it seemed a good time to revisit the flagship model.
My previous car was a hybrid Lexus 4x4, in which I managed a disappointing average of 31.6mpg (the brochure claims 44.8).
Land Rover claims an average of 30.1 for this new 4.4-litre V8 diesel-powered model and so far I’m at 26.4mpg – not bad at all for a car of this size, weight and performance (boy, is it quick!).
Range Rover ownership these days is more about luxury, though, and my experience started in the rather well appointed – if a little yesteryear, style-wise – Stratstone of Slough dealership (01628 606909), where the car was presented to me by sales executive John Wellard.
For the £83,145 list price, my Autobiography model comes with bells, whistles and a few more bells: you can remotely set the heater to come on to warm the car (or cool it down), and you can even heat the steering wheel. The windows are double-glazed for added refinement, the dashboard has a TV with Freeview, which my passenger can watch while all I can see is the navigation system. Of course, you also get headlights that adjust as you go around bends, automatic main beam, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and a wonderful Harman Kardon stereo.
Given Land Rover’s reputation for reliability, you could argue that’s a lot to go wrong. Sadly, you’d be right. I’d had my car only one week when it broke down: a drained battery followed by a few other electrical faults. Land Rover’s Assistance team reacted quickly and the car went back to Land Rover for a ‘software upgrade’.
Now the car is back and running well again – it’s quick, quiet, comfortable and very useful in deep snow. It’s still a car that’s very easy to love and recommend, in spite of the faults.
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