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Range Rover: driven

  • Fast and stylish
  • Won't win any environmental awards
  • On sale now, from Β£64,695
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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We take the latest incarnation of the iconic Range Rover for test drive and find it's more stylish and powerful than ever bit also a fair bit cleaner, too.

The 2010-model-year Range Rover gets a new 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engine to go with the existing V8 diesel. The petrol engine produces 113bhp more than the one it replaces, yet uses 7.3% less fuel. However, with CO2 emissions of 348g/km, it's unlikely to win any awards from Friends of the Earth.

More luxurious than ever

Exterior revisions are new LED front and rear lights, and a more sculptured front bumper to give the square-jawed Range Rover fresher looks, while new seats make the inside even more luxurious.

That luxurious theme continues on the move: you'll struggle to find a more sumptuous way to travel. The Range Rover's cabin is a tranquil place, with little engine or road noise. A little wind noise creeps in at higher speeds, but it doesn't disturb. Around town, lumpy surfaces and potholes can slightly unsettle the ride, although you'll be suitably unruffled on faster roads and motorways.

Monstrous pace

Don't expect the Range Rover to handle like a sports car but, given its size and weight, the supercharged model's new computer-controlled suspension does an impressive job of keeping it composed. That's nothing to the monstrous pace on offer, though: find a long enough stretch of road and the Range Rover feels like a leather-lined cruise missile.

For all the petrol version's performance, however, most people will find the 3.6-litre V8 diesel engine is the logical choice. It's smooth (there's just a hint of diesel-engine chatter), powerful and gives 25mpg.

Of course, being a Range Rover means it's chock-full of off-road technology, so you can play in the rough without getting stuck. You'll have plenty of luxury kit to play with, too: entry-level Vogue models come with goodies such as touchscreen sat-nav and a 14-speaker stereo; the Vogue SE gets an upgraded leather and wood interior; while Autobiography versions have glitzier exterior trim and even more leather inside. MS

Our verdict

The luxury SUV that can also play in the rough