Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
If maximum speed and acceleration is absolutely everything to you, the supercharged V8 petrol ticks all the right boxes. However, beyond the obvious draw of its towering performance, most buyers will be served better by either of the diesels.
The 4.4-litre V8 sits atop the diesel range and offers all the pace you’ll reasonably need. It generates ample pulling power (516lb ft, to be precise) from as little as 1750rpm, allowing for effortless acceleration and easy cruising. If you want the ultimate, long-legged Range Rover experience, this is the engine to go for.
However, the downside to the V8 is its monumental list price. And, despite producing a nicer engine note, you’d be hard-pressed to notice the SDV6’s slightly reduced shove in normal day-to-day motoring, so that’s the engine we’d recommend.
The P400e, with its 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, is surprisingly swift, with a 0-62mph time of just 6.4sec (versus 6.9sec for the SDV6).
Suspension and ride comfort
The Range Rover has been designed to cope with road surfaces with more craters than the moon, so even the worst British roads don’t pose much of a problem.
Every model has air suspension as standard, which provides a very supple ride. The hybrid P400e is a bit of an exception, though – the extra weight of its batteries calls for a fractionally firmer setup and its ride isn’t quite as supple as a result.
You can also raise and lower the entire car by pressing buttons on the centre console. Access mode lowers the car to help occupants when getting in and out, while Off-Road mode increases ground clearance when tackling difficult terrain.
It’s also worth noting that the extra weight of the SDV8 diesel makes it feel less agile than the SDV6 version. Meanwhile, all Range Rovers have quite slow steering by modern standards, although the weighting is well-judged at all speeds.
Noise and vibration
Refinement is one of the Range Rover’s strong suits. It’s particularly impressive when cruising at high speeds, doing an excellent job of isolating you from the elements thanks in part to the acoustically laminated windscreen that’s standard on all versions. It’s more hushed than most luxury saloons, in fact; only the Mercedes S-Class can claim to be quieter.
Engine noise isn’t an issue with any of the petrol or diesel engines, but the plug-in hybrid P400e is even quieter at low speeds. With a claimed 31 miles of pure-electric range, you can cruise around town in near silence – a serene experience that feels perfectly in tune with the ethos of a Range Rover.
Then, once the battery is exhausted, the electric motor seamlessly passes the load-lugging baton onto the 2.0-litre petrol engine. In fact, at town speeds, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when the handover took place, such is the refinement of this hybrid system.