Range Rover Vogue SE
Week ending September 27
Driven this week 552
A whistle-stop trip from London to mid-Wales and back last Sunday confirmed that few other cars can wipe away the miles quite like the Range Rover TDV6.
It also confirmed just what a difference the weight saving in the new car has made. The last time I did this exact journey was in the last model Range Rover. It was amazing how much better our new one was at tackling the fast, free-flowing roads around the Brecon Beacons.
The way it sheds speed approaching corners is far better. It’s more economical, too. I averaged 31.2mpg for the journey and if memory serves, I was only getting mid-20s in the old TDV8 on the same route.
The only sour note came the following day when I realised that the electric mirror switch has packed up. It’s booked into the local dealer next Wednesday to see what’s wrong.
By Chas Hallett
Week ending September 20
Driven this week 231
I got my first experience of editor-in-chief Chas Hallett’s Range Rover last weekend, and it was an entirely pleasant one. I can see why he’s looking more relaxed these days.
The big Rangie is totally at home on motorways, where many miles can pass almost unnoticed, and even when you get off such roads it stays comfortable and quiet.
It isn’t perfect though. For a start it feels big enough to generate its own gravity, which makes town driving interesting, and at speed the steering feels a bit too light for my taste.
Finally, the car’s infotainment system is controlled through the same touch-screen set-up that Jags and Land Rovers have had for years, and it’s pretty clunky. It doesn’t respond quickly enough, and the menus are too complex.
You’re best to set everything up the way you want it before you set off, then you can focus on enjoying what the Range Rover is really good at.
By Euan Doig - Euan.Doig@whatcar.com
Week ending September 13
Driven this week 70
I recently got behind the wheel of our long term Range Rover to drive it back to the factory in Solihull.
Fortunately, I wasn’t returning it because of a fault, but because Land Rover had invited us to drive a prototype of the new Range Rover Hybrid, both on- and off-road.
The Range Rover TDV6 is every bit as good as I’d expected. Considering how much it weighs, the ride is remarkably supple. Charging up the M40 at 6am was a truly relaxing delight - this is where the car is in its element.
Piling on some motorway miles also showed me that our editor-in-chief’s notes on the fuel economy are entirely correct - a fraction over 30mpg is impressive for such a gargantuan vehicle. This got me thinking about the hybrid I was about to test - with a claimed 44.1mpg, it’s the most frugal version in the range. Mind, you it’s also set to be the most expensive.
Piloting the diesel-electric Range Rover around the streets of Solihull, it was immediately apparent that the hybrid has more grunt that our TDV6 (this isn’t just down to the electric motor; it also has the punchier SDV6 diesel from the Range Rover Sport). The transitions between electric and diesel power in our prototype were seamless, and at the end of the drive we discovered that the engine had been off for 20% of the time.
Land Rover says the Range Rover Hybrid will take you 17% further from every gallon of diesel. The experience at Solihull backs this up, but we’ll have to wait to give it to our True MPG technicians before we know the real-world result. Watch this space.
By Ed Callow - Ed.Callow@whatcar.com
Week ending September 6
Driven this week 996
I got a small insight into Range Rover ownership this week after visiting the new customer handover centre at the factory in Solihull.
The timings didn't quite work out for me to collect our car from there so I had the odd experience of driving up the M40 in our Vogue SE V6 diesel in order to 'pick it up'.
When I got there though it was situation normal and I was promised that I got treated like every other customer.
Impressive it is, too. The new centre is right by the factory gates but inside it's rather like a luxury hotel or high-end shop. It was also, incidentally, designed by Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's design director.
Buyers picking up their car get royally looked after by the host Richard, where they get a fascinating factory and paint shop tour, and then fed and watered.
The new car is then presented after a quite amazing 3D laser and light show the like of which I've never seen before (believe me, in this job you become a veteran of car unveilings).
Admittedly only 400 new Range Rover owners will get this treatment every year but it's a great way to start your relationship with any car. A proper premium experience. Which, when you're spending up to £100k, is what counts.