2022 Land Rover New Range Rover

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2022 Land Rover Range Rover First Drive Review: A New Benchmark

The Range Rover has been with us for over 50 years but is only now entering its fifth generation as a new 2022 model. It's been a slow but definite evolution for the 4x4. It started life as a comfortable two-door farmer's vehicle you could chuck a bail of hay in the back of. Today, it's an elegant SUV for the most discerning of affluent buyers. With a price tag ranging from $104,000 to $163,500, the 2022 Range Rover is now a pure luxurious vehicle. However, it retains its DNA as an exceptional off-road vehicle and can still be bought with a powerful V8 under the hood. This is the 21st century, though, so the V8 has two turbochargers and makes 523 horsepower. The other option is a mild-hybrid 3.0-liter straight-six engine making 394 hp, while a plug-in hybrid powertrain will be available for the 2023 model year.

Is the 2022 Land Rover Range Rover a good SUV?

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Land Rover New Range Rover Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
P400 SE
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
P530 SE
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
P530 Autobiography
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

See all Trims and Specs

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The performance numbers aren't important, though. They're just relevant. What's important is that the new Range Rover has a deep reserve of power, an exquisitely refined interior, and a ride quality that satisfies existing customers while attracting new ones. Now that Bentley, Aston Martin, and even Rolls-Royce have entered the luxury SUV game along with Mercedes and BMW, the stakes have gotten higher for Land Rover and the new Range Rover has to impress. We journeyed into Range Rover owner's territory in the Nappa Valley region of Northern California to experience the new vehicle in its regular and long-wheelbase trim and with the V8 and straight-six engines under the hood.

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Exterior Design: Elevated

At first glance, the new Range Rover doesn't look like much of an evolution. While certain automakers have gone the route of more embellishment and more prominent grilles (we're looking at you, BMW X7), the design team for the fifth generation went the other way and simplified. The grille isn't a statement designed to intimidate, the rear lights are simple oblongs with the inceptors hidden next to the rear badge, and the only standout embellishment is on the side. Elements that clean up the look include the windows sitting flush with the bodywork and door handles that sit flush until needed. It's a leaner, cleaner look that allows the bodywork to flow, and the new Range Rover's single horizontal body line below the shoulder links everything together.

Speaking to the designer, he pointed out that the panel gaps have to be absolutely perfect because it's such a clean design. That's a more revealing thing to point out than it first seems. Land Rover is elevating its game with precision as well as elegance. Think of the new Range Rover as a refined Montblanc dress watch instead of an over-flashy diamond-encrusted TAG Heuer piece.

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Interior: Old School Meets New School

Whether customers opt for the 199-inch long standard-wheelbase (SWB) or the 207-inch long-wheelbase (LWB) version, it's a luxurious affair inside. Range Rover's new MLA-Flex platform also allows for the model's first seven-seat arrangement. Any which way, the interior is entirely different from the previous model, designed to "reduce the cognitive load on the driver." Simply put, the new Range Rover's interior aims to simplify controls and make everything easier to use. On the dashboard, all you find is a substantial convexed 13.1-inch infotainment display, a few knobs and buttons to control the HVAC, and a volume knob. Next to the gear selector is the start button and a rotary dial you have to press to release to select the drive modes. Just for the driver, there's a configurable binnacle-less 13.7-inch digital dash that blends in with Land Rover's latest Pivi Pro infotainment system.

In terms of interior style and materials, the new Range Rover aims to compete with offerings from Mercedes-Maybach. There's a lengthy list of upholstery, trim, carpet, and feature options, including a $19,740 "4-seat SV Signature Suite with Executive Class Comfort Plus" rear-seat package for the LWB SV option.

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Go down the trim levels, and you're never short-changed, though. The seats are comfortable, sumptuously upholstered throughout the range, and with plenty of adjustment.

We experienced the SWB Range Rover in-depth, but the LWB with the added package turns the Range Rover into an airliner's First Class experience in the back, except the air is crisp and clean, and no peasants are traipsing past to get into the cattle section at the rear. There are leg rests, footrests, heat and ventilation in the seats, massaging functions, all the adjustments you could need, a center-mounted touchscreen, a motorized pop-up table and cupholders, a refrigerated compartment, and an entertainment screen for both rear passengers. It's all very nice, but don't fear if you find yourself in the back of an SWB Range Rover. There's plenty of leg and elbow room, the upholstery is luxurious, screens are available, and there's not a squeak or rattle to be found. In the LWB model, even the third row is plentiful in terms of space for passengers.

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Drivetrain: You Have Options

The obvious choice for power is the potent 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 rated at 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque supplied by BMW. It suits the Range Rover down to the ground with its effortless, quiet, and smooth takeoff. The ten-speed automatic transmission found in every 2022 Range Rover is super smooth, but the V8 makes sure there's no fuss - even when getting up to freeway speed on a short ramp. There's no big roar as the power kicks in, just swift and well-refined acceleration.

The alternative for gas-only acceleration is Jaguar's 3.0-liter electronically supercharged and turbocharged straight-six engine. It's an eager, smooth lump serving up 395 hp and 406 lb-ft that's more than enough to power the Range Rover around with some verve. However, you can feel and hear its effort when getting up to speed, and it detracts, ironically, a little from the grace part of "grace, space, and pace" that the Range Rover exudes.

The other alternative - the hybrid Range Rover - will likely fix that. It'll arrive with the Jaguar straight-six combined with a 132-hp electric motor and a 31.8-kWh battery pack. The instant torque from the electric motor in the plug-in hybrid system should make the Range Rover effortless of the line.

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Whatever is under the hood, the power needs to be appropriately distributed. The ten-speed auto transmission is almost invisible and, unless you have a heavy foot, seeks to get the highest ratio possible to keep the engine muted and fuel use lower. Drop the hammer on the gas pedal, and the change down to make a pass isn't lightning quick, but it's fast enough not to frustrate. While owners likely won't test the all-wheel-drive system to its limits often, it's part of the Range Rover's DNA and will undoubtedly get at least some exercise from vineyard owners or Middle Eastern desert dwellers.

The off-road modes and features are where things get a little complicated, and the manual will be needed if owners want to play outside of Automatic mode. Off-Road 1 is the standard mode for leaving the pavement, and Off-Road 2 is designed for the desert, limited to 44 mph with ten inches of ground clearance. However, Land Rover says the system can take ride height up to 13.1 inches of ground clearance when it determines the need.

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Driving Impressions

The refinement over the outgoing model becomes evident the instant you Pull away in the SWB V8 model. Land Rover's marketing terms for the new Range including "serene performance" and "tranquil sanctuary" are spot on. Acceleration is swift and without drama, with road and engine noise virtually unnoticeable. The ride quality provided by the electronically controlled air suspension with active anti-roll bars and a road-scanning system is hammered home when venturing off the pavement and onto dirt tracks. There's no jostle or jolts at reasonable speeds on the regularly used tracks we followed through the vineyards. Unfortunately, Land Rover didn't stake out any challenging off-road sections to drive, but did take us through the different off-road functions.

Most will leave those in Automatic rather than learn the processes to lock in hill descent and other features - but they are there when needed. One thing that did impress us was the ability to swing around a tight banked corner that any previous generation Range Rover would have needed a treacherous three-point turn to complete. The rear steering that engages automatically at very low speeds got us around the corner, avoiding a mishap that would have ended in disaster.

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We will have to reserve judgment and revisit the off-road side of the new Range Rover later. While we didn't get to challenge it properly in northern California, we spent a lot of time with the SWB V8 and LWB straight-six on the road. In both cases, the ride quality is what you would expect for the money spent. However, there are trade-offs between the two engine options. A luxury car doesn't have excess power for driving hard and fast; it's there to move the vehicle around effortlessly and without strain - and that's exactly what the V8 provides. The straight six needs to rev higher to get the same acceleration but it is two cylinders lighter, which is apparent when driving. In both cases, the steering is easy and direct, and there's minimal bobbing or roll in corners despite the Range Rover's height and heft. It's a delight to cruise winding roads for the sake of it, but the extra weight of the V8 up front tends to push on the outside tire, making the steering a little inconsistent compared to the lighter nose with the straight-six under the hood. It's far from a deal maker or breaker, but it's worth bearing in mind if those kinds of roads are traveled often.

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Verdict: More Money, More SUV

The term " base model " is purely relative, with the straight-six powered Range Rover P400 SE starting at $105,350. It costs $120,050 to get into a V8 model, climbing to $194,450 for the SV. A seven-seater Range Rover starts at $111,350, while the LWB SV model costs $241,530. At first glance, the new Range Rover looks like a subtle evolution but up close and personal; it's clear this is a reinvention. The fifth-generation Range Rover is more comfortable, luxurious, and convenient to live with than previous models.

Despite the length of this article, we haven't covered all the details and features - the Meridian Signature sound system for example, which sounds gorgeous. On top of that, if you're dropping a quarter of a million dollars on a luxury SUV, your driver will appreciate it as much as you. The off-road DNA is there, but that's not what will be the central selling point for most of Range Rover's sales. Land Rover knows this and has executed a plan, we think successfully, to take the luxury and style to a new level.

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