What's the used Land Rover Range Rover 4x4 like?
Rare are the truly iconic, but the Range Rover is most definitely among them. It sits with the Mini and the Jaguar E-Type among the pantheon of great British cars, and its inherent rightness, at once utilitarian, at the other a luxury vehicle, has also made it a worldwide success.
This is the current, fourth-generation model. Smartly styled, wonderfully furnished and better to drive in every mode than the versions that went before it, the Range Rover is unassailable in its ability to combine on-road waft with true and outstanding off-road capability.
Inside, the commanding driving position and leather-everywhere approach create an aura of luxury, and there’s lounging space for five (if you want to fit in seven you’ll need the Range Rover Sport).
Most buyers will opt for one of the two 3.0-litre diesel V6s and be rewarded with strong performance and adequate economy, while the 4.4-litre V8 ups the speed at the expense of heftier fuel bills. There’s also the option of a diesel-electric hybrid on newer models, with impressive on-paper efficiency figures. A couple of 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8s top the bill, with stunning acceleration but equally eye-watering consumption.
Trim-wise, Vogue is the starting point. This entry-level trim gets plenty of kit, including a heated windscreen, folding door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, metallic paint, 20in alloy wheels, leather seats, cruise control and a 10.0in twin-screen infotainment set-up.
Next up, Vogue SE adds more driver assistance tech, heated and cooled semi-aniline leather seats, soft-close doors, 21in split-spoke wheels, a more advanced terrain response system and a 825W surround-sound system (the standard car gets a more humble 380W set-up).
At the top end of the line-up, Autobiography cars get more lavish materials inside, a massage function on the front seats, executive-class rear seats, a sliding panoramic roof, further driver assistance features and more powerful ‘pixel’ LED headlights.
The SVAutobiography model, meanwhile, gets everything on the options list thrown at it; it features a 1700W Meridian audio system, quilted leather semi-aniline seats, a rear seat refrigerator, mohair mats with leather bindings and deployable leather-trimmed tables.
And then there’s SVAutobiography Dynamic, which offers a lower ride height and special side vents and front grille, as well as more driver-focused chassis settings.
Despite its size, the Range Rover always feels manageable and supremely isolated on the road. The V6 diesel is smooth and refined and barely noticeable most of the time. The 4.4-litre V8 is seriously impressive. It makes a lovely burble at idle and generates ample torque (516lb ft, to be precise) from as little as 1750rpm, allowing for measured acceleration and easy cruising.
The P400e, with its 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, is surprisingly swift, with a 0-62mph time of just 6.4sec. The electric motor has 31 miles of range. Meanwhile, the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol-engined car serves up almost indecent pace.
The SDV6 hybrid combines the 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine from the SDV6 with an electric motor to boost efficiency and performance. It’s not a plug-in hybrid, however, so doesn’t have the ultra-low CO2 emissions of some rivals. It offers stronger low-rev performance than the TDV6 and better economy, but it’s not as good to drive as the SDV8.
The ride is first class, with a cross-linked air suspension set-up that's standard on all cars, and a suppleness that very few luxury cars can match.
In the bends, you never forget that you're driving a tall, two-tonne, top-heavy SUV when you're behind the wheel of the Range Rover, but the car is more agile than you may expect. It feels precise and inspires confidence in most situations, allowing you to place it accurately on the road. Should you decide to really chuck the Range Rover at a twisty B-road, though, it does start to pitch and lean more in bends than you’d like.
Inside, there's plenty of space up front, and large amounts of both leg and head room in the rear for three. You won’t want for boot capacity in the Range Rover. There’s more than enough space for a couple of adults’ luggage and a reasonably hefty baby buggy – or a few sets of golf clubs. The floor itself is decently flat, but actually getting deep into the load space can be tricky; that’s because the Range Rover has a two-piece tailgate and the section that lowers down can get in your way as you’re reaching forwards.
It costs a small fortune new, but it begins to make sense as a used buy. However, a reputation for poor build quality and reliability has always handicapped the Range Rover, and although improvements have been made, troubles still blight it.