The ultra-luxury SUV wars are getting a new combatant.
Currently the Bentley Bentayga is the undisputed king of the luxury SUV world. But that could change if Land Rover moves the Range Rover upmarket. That seems to be the automaker’s plan, with Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief creative officer and design director, telling Automotive News (AN) that, "I think Range Rover has no way reached its ceiling in terms of price.” The current price ceiling for the Range Rover comes in at $199,495, with that money buying you the SVAutobiography with the Black trim level.
OK, you can technically buy a Range Rover Sentinel for a hair under $450,000, but that is an armored behemoth designed for the 1% of the 1%. That’s the current ceiling, with the floor starting at $84,950. But rather than just upping the price on a single model the automaker is taking a “rising tide floats all boats” approach. “As we make [the Discovery and Discovery Sport] more premium, it becomes incumbent on us to make Range Rover even more luxurious, and that is what we are focused on,” McGovern told AN. Automotive News speculated that this move could be designed to help Range Rover compete with Bentley’s new SUV, and we completely agree.
The idea wouldn’t be to create an exact competitor to the Bentayga, at least not in our opinion. Rather, Land Rover could offer an alternative in terms of luxury and capability, albeit at a slightly cheaper price point. The top-tier SVAutobiography could be tuned to become a true match for the Bentayga and have its price adjusted accordingly while the “lesser” Range Rovers get bumps in quality that move them upmarket. This plan sounds good on paper, but it’s important to note that if the Discovery becomes classier something will need to take its place. That car? The next Defender.