If you want sports car performance then go for the supercharged V8, which serves up almost indecent pace. But if you have any regard for economy then either of the diesels – V6 or V8 - will serve you better. Both are smooth and plenty fast enough when building up speed or overtaking. In fact, you’re hard pressed to notice the V6’s slightly inferior grunt, so that’s the one we’d recommend.
You never forget that you’re driving a two-tonne, top-heavy SUV but the Range Rover is remarkably agile. It feels precise and confidence-inspiring in all but the most vigorous of driving situations, when it starts to pitch and roll more than is generally comfortable. Best of all, it rides with a suppleness and control that eludes most luxury saloons, let alone other SUVs.
Refinement is one of the Range Rover’s strongest areas. Especially impressive is the way it isolates you from the elements when you’re cruising at high speed. Most luxury saloons aren’t this quiet – in fact, only the Mercedes S-class can really beat it. Engine noise isn’t an issue with any of the units on offer, but the cultured sound of the V6 diesel is especially impressive.
No doubt that the Range Rover is an expensive car, and it’s possible to make it much more expensive with even a brief flirtation with the options list. It won’t be a cheap car to run or pay tax on, either, but the V6 diesel is by far the most affordable to run. It should hold its value reasonably well, though – especially if you go for the V6 diesel and are judicious about the way you spec it.
The Range Rover’s luxurious driving experience is reflected inside the cabin. The craftsmanship is of an extremely high standard, and everything you see and touch is absolutely first-rate. It’s easily as good as any other luxury car. Range Rovers haven’t exactly had a glittering reputation for reliability in the past, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on how it fares.
It’s supremely safe, the Range Rover. All versions get highly sophisticated electronic systems to keep you on the straight and narrow, and that applies whether you’re on the tarmac or venturing into the wilderness. Secondary safety devices such as airbags are also numerous, which all help towards a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. What’s more, anti-theft technology is state of the art.
Elegant simplicity is what the Range Rover’s cabin is all about. The excellent driving position means it’s incredibly comfortable, and you’ll also enjoy the traditional Range Rover visibility; you can see all four corners of the car from the driver’s seat. Most of the major functions are controlled by easy-to-use knobs, the dials are clear and the touch-screen infotainment system is intuitive and simple to understand.
This model is considerably more spacious than any of its predecessors. It’s easy to clamber into the rear quarters of the car, and you have acres of space once you’re installed – even with the optional executive seating that has separate seats rather than a rear bench. The boot is similarly huge and the traditional Range Rover split-fold tailgate remains a real plus-point.
There are three trim levels and all come with the sort of equipment you’d expect at this level. The poshest trim – Autobiography - comes with even plusher fixtures and fittings, plus a huge choice of colour options. Naturally, you can spend plenty more on better leather, uprated hi-fis and larger wheels (up to 22-inchers), too.
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