What Car? says...
The Range Rover started out as a fairly functional, rugged vehicle, but it's now the very epitome of a luxury SUV.
While the original was designed so you could hose the mud out of its interior, more recent Range Rovers have been more likely to steal sales from luxury limos than farm vehicles.
There was no need to rip up the rulebook for this new sixth-generation Range Rover, then: Land Rover simply set out to build an SUV that does what the previous version did – only better. Of course, the latest model (which is codenamed L460) is bigger and more expensive too – but then all the best luxury SUVs are big and expensive.
With a starting price hovering around six figures, the Range Rover can count anything from top-end versions of the Audi Q7 and the BMW X7 right through to the Bentley Bentayga and the Porsche Cayenne as rivals.
You can buy the Range Rover in two different sizes. The standard-wheelbase (SWB) car is just over five metres long (a touch shorter than the standard-wheelbase Bentayga). The long-wheelbase (LWB) version has an extra 200mm between the front and rear axles to increase the amount of room inside.
In fact, the Range Rover LWB is available with an extra row of seats, meaning you can ferry around up to seven people. Or, if you prefer, you can have it in 'super-luxe' four-seat form, with two separate reclining armchairs in the back. There’s also a vast range of engines, as you might expect from a car that’s sold in more than 170 countries, each of which has different attitudes towards – and taxes on – the various fuel types.
So, with all that choice, which version should you go for? And how does the Range Rover stack up against its rivals? Read on to find out...
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
No version of the Range Rover feels sluggish. Our preferred 296bhp D300 diesel is actually the slowest accelerating, but still covers 0-62mph in a brisk 6.9 seconds. The smooth and punchy D350 diesel brings that down to 6.1 seconds.
For the quickest performance, you’ll need the 523bhp V8 in the P530 petrol, which will rocket this 2500kg SUV from 0-60mph in an astonishingly quick 4.6 seconds. Below that, there’s the 396bhp P400 petrol.
There are also two plug-in hybrid (PHEV) options that really make the Range Rover stand out from rivals. The P440e and the P510e offer the longest official electric-only ranges available on a luxury SUV – from 68 to 70 miles.
You won't get that many electric miles in real-world driving (more like 50 miles), but the range is still a vast improvement on the figures for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E Hybrid (19 miles) and the Bentley Bentayga (25 miles).
So far, we've driven the P510e, but it has the same set-up as the P440e, just with more power. It’s smooth and silent in pure electric mode and transitions seamlessly to petrol power when needed with plenty of pace on offer – it’s an incredibly impressive plug-in hybrid option.
The diesels can tow up to 3,500kg and PHEVs can manage up to 2,500kg.
Suspension and ride comfort
The Range Rover's ride is appropriately cosseting and luxurious. Adaptive air suspension comes as standard and it is incredibly well planted, controlled and smooth, especially on a motorway.
The only problem is the enormous alloy wheels, ranging from 20in to 23in, which affect the quality of the ride. At low speeds on rough roads, you feel and hear the occasional thump, and it sometimes sends a slight shimmy through the chassis.
The ride is still outstanding overall though, and it's worth noting that all the rivals suffer from the same issue with big alloys, including the generally smooth and comfortable BMW X7.
The Range Rover is huge but it’s surprisingly easy to drive around tight, twisty, urban roads. A huge part of that is down to the standard rear-wheel steering, which enables the rear wheels to turn up to seven degrees.
At high speeds, they move in the same direction as the fronts to improve stability, but at low speeds they move the opposite way, reducing the turning circle to less than 11m (the same as a VW Golf and more than a metre less than it would be without the feature). It makes this big car much more nimble than you might expect.
It's happy to hustle along faster country roads too. An active anti-roll bar system helps to limit body roll so you can carry some pace through a corner without feeling the car wildly lurching on to its outer wheels. The steering manages to be effortlessly light and smooth around town, but still accurate and precise at faster speeds.
A BMW X7 is similarly good to drive, but the Range Rover has all rivals beaten when it comes to venturing off the beaten track. All versions are all-wheel drive with a low-ratio gearbox, making it an incredibly capable off-roader.
The body stands a lofty 295mm off the ground but can be raised an extra 145mm in the highest of the suspension’s four settings. It also has high approach and departure angles so it doesn't get grounded on steep terrain, and can wade through water that's up to 900mm deep.
Noise and vibration
This is a very calming SUV to drive, with an impressively quiet interior. Road roar and engine noise are barely noticeable, while a little wind noise at motorway speeds is the only thing that gently disturbs the peace.
There’s also an active noise cancelling feature that can be added as part of an upgraded sound system. It includes microphones in the wheels which monitor exterior noise, allowing the headrest-mounted speakers to transmit a frequency that cancels it out.
The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth-shifting on the move, but can be a little hesitant to engage if you need a quick burst of pace at low speeds. Stopping the car smoothly is effortless thanks to the consistently weighted brake pedal, even on the PHEV models – someone wearing clown shoes could drive it like a chauffeur.
Strengths Impressive pace; luxurious ride; excellent off-road performance
Weaknesses Gearbox can be hesitant
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The fundamental driving position in the Range Rover is very good indeed. There’s a huge range of electrical adjustment available in the steering wheel, and the seats are 20-way electrically adjustable as standard, with 24-way adjustable massaging seats on higher trim levels.
It's easy to get comfy, and the incredibly soft, comfy and supportive seats should keep you comfortable even after hours on the motorway.
The digital driver display – which is fitted as standard on all versions – is crisp and clear, and a head-up display is available.
The model isn't perfect behind the wheel, though. The touch-sensitive shortcut buttons on the wheel are a bit fiddly to use, and it would be much easier to operate the infotainment system on the move if there were more physical controls.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Range Rover's high and commanding driving position is matched by terrific visibility.
Even with the seat in its lowest setting, the driver has a crystal-clear view all the way down to the nose of the car. The door mirrors are helpfully big, and a huge rear windscreen gives you a great view out of the back.
You get a 360-degree surround camera as standard, along with all-round parking sensors.
On all but the entry-level model, you get a rear-view mirror that, at the flick of a switch, becomes a screen showing a view from the back of the car. It lets you see behind you even if the boot is loaded to the roof.
There are incredibly helpful off-road cameras too, offering a view out of the front of the car very low down. That means that as you go over a blind crest you still know exactly what’s going on beneath you.
The cameras also provide a side view down by the front wheels to help you avoid boulders or tree roots hiding down your tight off-road track.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every version gets a 13.1in touchscreen infotainment system mounted on the dashboard. It responds swiftly and the resolution is impressive, but the menu layout is a little confusing and takes some getting used to.
Even so, it’s a shame you don't get physical buttons or dials to help operate the touchscreen. For this reason, the rotary dial controller in the BMW X7 gives that car an advantage over touchscreen-only systems because of how much easier it is to use as you drive.
A luxury SUV needs to have a knock-out interior – and the Range Rover delivers just that. Depending on the spec you choose, you can have thick, high-quality leather (or a plush vegan alternative), beautifully-textured wood veneers, crisp metallic finishes and even some ceramic dials.
It all feels robust and solid too. A Bentley Bentayga still feels a little more indulgent and luxurious, though.
The only cheap-feeling material you’ll notice is the silver plastic prominently placed on the steering wheel on all trims. It's a shame considering the metal paddle shifters on the steering wheel feel so good.
Strengths Loads of space; great visibility; classy fixtures and fittings
Weaknesses Fiddly touch-sensitive shortcut buttons
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Range Rover is a very big SUV that sits high off the ground, but thanks to its Access mode that quickly puts the car in its lowest suspension setting when you open the door, you don’t need a stepladder to climb inside. Once there, you’ll find masses of space up front.
If you venture off road and want to hoist your seat up to a higher vantage point, there'll be lots of space to spare above your head, even if you're tall.
In terms of storage, the door bins are a little thin but otherwise there’s plenty of room for your odds and ends around the interior.
There are three hidden compartments on the centre console for wireless phone-charging, cup holders and a very deep cubby under the central arm rest (which can be turned into a fridge with a tick on the options list). There are also two big gloveboxes.
Whether you go for a standard or long-wheelbase Range Rover, space in the middle row is very generous.
It has a wide, tall and spacious interior with plenty of room for adults to stretch out in and get comfortable, even with a sunroof fitted. You can adjust the angle of the backrest electrically as standard, and you can also add rear window blinds as an option.
The rear bench has seating for three, but as an optional extra on the long-wheelbase model, you can swap it for a more luxurious two-seat rear set-up. You can even have a champagne fridge instead of a middle seat, and you can add a three-pin socket in the back too.
For the first time, the model is available with a third row of seats, to give you a total of seven. The middle row moves forwards electrically (in around eight seconds) to create a decent opening to access the back, and the rear-most seats are mounted 41mm higher than the driver’s seat to allow for a better view.
Tall adults might find their heads pressed up against the roof if they sit up straight, but they'll have enough legroom if the middle row is moved forwards slightly. The BMW X7 offers even more third-seat space.
Seat folding and flexibility
You have an impressive choice of four-seat, five-seat or seven-seat versions. If you go for the five or seven-seat models, the middle row splits and folds 40/20/40, while the rearmost seats in the seven-seat versions fold completely flat into the boot floor.
Like the driver, the front passenger is treated to 20-way electric seat adjustment, including height and lumbar controls. Some versions even have the option to "fold" this front seat away using the chauffeur setting in the infotainment’s seat adjustment screen, offering the passenger behind it limo-like leg room.
Whether you go for a standard or long wheelbase Range Rover, the boot is the same size – and it's absolutely vast.
Even a seven-seat version with all the seats in place has enough room for a few soft bags. In five-seat mode, it's gargantuan. There’s also no reduction in boot capacity if you go for a plug-in hybrid.
An electrically operated split tailgate is standard, and that allows a top chunk of the tailgate to lift up while the lower chunk folds out flat. That bottom section also doubles up as a place to sit when you’re parked up.
You can add some cupholders or optional fold-out seats there, and you can also add a section of boot floor that pops up to act as a backrest, or as a helpful divider to stop your luggage rolling around.
The downside of the split tailgate is that, when the bottom section is folded down, it can be quite a stretch to reach anything at the very back of the boot.
Strengths Plenty of storage; available with seven seats
Weaknesses BMW X7 more spacious for seven people
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Range Rover is an expensive car, even by luxury SUV standards. The equivalent BMW X7 undercuts it comfortably, and the Audi Q7 is significantly cheaper.
Top-end versions muscle into Bentley Bentayga territory, and there’s plenty of scope to send the price soaring with some ticks on the options list. The only car that makes the Range Rover look like a bargain is the absurdly expensive Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
The fuel economy is reasonable by the standards of the class, but even if you go for a diesel, this is a thirsty car. At least you have a big fuel tank (72 litres in the PHEV, 80 in the diesel and 90 in the petrol) to extend the time between fuel station visits.
Company car buyers are best served by the PHEVs, with their incredibly low CO2 emissions and impressively long ranges that put them in one of the lowest benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bands. That's a real advantage over the Range Rover's luxury SUV rivals, all of which sit in higher BIK bands.
Just bear in mind that the P440e, with its 70-mile range, sits in a lower BIK band than the 69-mile P510e. It’s great that the PHEVs can charge quickly too, at a maximum speed of 50kW which gets them a 0-80% charge in under an hour (a 0-100% charge from a 7kW home wall box takes five hours).
Equipment, options and extras
The trim levels start at SE and go up through HSE and Autobiography, with SV sitting at the top of the line-up.
Even entry-level SE is very well equipped, and it’s the trim we’d stick with. You get a plush leather interior with wood veneers and luxuriously thick carpets, along with 21in alloys as standard (they can be swapped for 20in alloys for no cost). Adaptive cruise control with steering assist also comes as standard.
HSE adds bigger alloys as well as heated and ventilated rear seats. Autobiography adds massaging seats, while SV has pretty much every option fitted but sends the price soaring.
There’s no escaping the fact that Land Rover has had a terrible reliability record. It has always been one of the worst performing manufacturers in our What Car? Reliability Survey – coming 28th out of 32 car makers in the 2023 results.
The previous-generation Range Rover has a poor reliability record: Porsche, Audi and BMW products have it beaten in this respect.
This new model is too new to have any reliability data for it yet. It comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty.
Safety and security
This latest Range Rover hasn’t been tested by safety experts Euro NCAP yet, but it comes with lots of safety equipment, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB).
If you’re really concerned about your safety and security, you will eventually be able to get an armoured version.
Strengths PHEV very cost-effective as a company car
Weaknesses High list price; reliability concerns
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The larger, long-wheelbase (LWB) version is available as a seven-seater with a third row of seats that folds away into the boot floor when not in use.
It depends on your priorities. The full-size Range Rover is slightly larger and has a higher focus on comfort – plus it's available with seven seats. The Range Rover Sport, on the other hand, is a five-seater – but it's cheaper and a bit more agile.
|RRP price range
|£103,720 - £274,860
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|petrol, diesel, petrol parallel phev
|MPG range across all versions
|23.7 - 425.6
|Available doors options
|3 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£924 / £20,143
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£1,848 / £40,286