2020 Range Rover P400 hybrid review: price, specs and release date
The new Range Rover P400 uses a six-cylinder hybrid petrol engine which promises strong performance and more palatable running costs. Does it deliver?...
Priced from £90,580 | On sale Now
Although it might not look it at first glance, the Range Rover P400 represents a cleaner, greener luxury SUV. Let’s not get carried away; there’s still a 395bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet, but the addition of a mild hybrid system makes it both faster and more fuel-efficient on paper than the V8 diesel.
It does this by harvesting power that would otherwise be wasted when you slow down, using it to charge a small 48-volt battery. This power then feeds an electric motor that assists the petrol engine at low revs when you start accelerating again. And with a little less work for the petrol engine to do, it emits a little less CO2. The 48v electrical system also runs an electric compressor, which works alongside the regular turbocharger and improves responsiveness when you lean on the accelerator pedal.
Despite being a 'hybrid', though, the P400 still occupies the top 37% benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax bracket; you’ll need the slightly cheaper P400e plug-in hybrid (which sits in the 18% tax bracket if you stick to entry-level Vogue trim) if you care about significantly reducing your carbon emissions or tax payments. But if you can’t (or can’t be bothered to) plug in, could the mild-hybrid P400 be the pick of the range?
2020 Range Rover P400 on the road
If you think Range Rovers should be smooth and quiet, you’ll like the P400. Okay, its six-cylinder petrol engine isn’t quite so hushed as the silken unit in the BMW X7 40i, but it wafts you along quickly enough with just the merest murmur from under the bonnet. The electric motor merges seamlessly with the engine, too, so you don't really think about the complexities of the mild hybrid system, which is how it should be.
On the other hand, while the engine pulls strongly enough for regular duties at low engine speeds, you’ll need plenty of revs for it to start feeling as fast as the 6.3sec 0-62mph time suggests. At this point the engine becomes quite vocal, although it’s by no means an unpleasant noise.
In fact, refinement in general is a Range Rover strong point. Despite it looking like it has the aerodynamics of a small outbuilding, you hear very little wind noise at a motorway cruise, and road noise is also well suppressed. The only thing that's maybe a little too relaxed is the gearbox; it shifts smoothly most of the time, but is hesitant when you call for hard acceleration on the move or from a standstill.
Turn into a bend while driving in Comfort mode, and the Range Rover’s air suspension allows its body to lean over dramatically. And even when you switch to Dynamic – which lowers the car slightly and stiffens things up – it doesn't manage its sizeable bulk as well as the X7. The Range Rover's slow steering doesn’t help matters, with tighter bends requiring plenty of arm twirling.
Still, who buys a Range Rover to go around corners quickly? What matters most is how comfortable it is, and the good news is the P400 gently lollops down the road, smoothing off undulating surfaces and proving to be a mighty motorway cruiser, without feeling overly floaty in the way that the Mercedes GLS does. Things aren't perfect, with nasty potholes sending thumps through to your backside, but it should be noted that our P400 wasn't helped by being fitted with giant optional alloy wheels. Stick to the smallest 20in items if you want the best ride.
2020 Range Rover P400 interior
While the P400e's big hybrid battery sits under the boot floor, taking up space, the P400's is far smaller and doesn't encroach on its vast load bay. There's no option to add a pair of additional seats, though; you’ll need a X7, GLS, or the Range Rover Sport if you need those.
The rest of the interior is typical Range Rover, with plenty of leather, wood and metal trimmings. Rear space is generous enough to allow tall adults to stretch out, even without opting for the long-wheelbase version, and all iterations get reclining rear seats.
Front-seat occupants will have even fewer complaints; when you're behind the steering wheel you're given the very definition of a fine and commanding driving position, and both you and your front passenger can enjoy an exceedingly comfortable, electrically-adjustable seat. Should you want to know more about the interior and the rest of the engine line-up, have a look at our main Range Rover review.
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