The definitive luxury SUV.
It’s the definitive luxury SUV. So, obviously, the Land Rover Range Rover’s rather excellent.
Many makers of sports utility vehicles have had a stab at building luxury 4x4s, but few have hit the nail on the head quite like Land Rover with its Range Rover. For sure, the early versions from the 1970s are far different to the far plusher modern day examples, but it’s telling that the Range Rover’s managed to outlive the Jeep Wrangler-rivaling, Land-Rover-brand-defining Defender. Of course, as with any car on sale today, the Range Rover does have some slight issues, and we’d be lying if we said the Land Rover doesn’t face some pretty stiff competition in the form of cars like the Cadillac Escalade. But we’d be equally deceptive if we were to declare that, on balance, the Land Rover Range Rover is amongst one of the most well-rounded cars on sale today.
After all, why spend all that money on a car if you won’t enjoy spending time in it?
When you’re spending at least $85,000 on a car, it’s expected that the interior is up to the extremely high standards set by similar offerings at this price point. After all, why spend all that money on a car if you won’t enjoy spending time in it? Thankfully, there’s little we can find fault with about the Land Rover Range Rover’s cabin. Admittedly, the top-spec models do struggle a bit when contrasted with the uber-luxurious-yet-similarly-priced alternatives like the Bentley Bentayga, but the less expensive Range Rovers do comfortably hold their own against the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS. For instance, the abundance of leather is highly appreciated, with the glossy interior trim (which can be replaced with genuine wood pieces, depending on what you decide on specifying) further accentuating the luxurious ambience. We’re also extremely impressed with how intuitive the manual controls are on the center console – the clean and unfussy layout is a welcome change in comparison with the wall of buttons that was present on the old Range Rover, and the claims of Land Rover designing the control scheme with glove-wearing users in mind certainly seems plausible based on the ergonomics as demonstrated in the Range Rover (though we’d really wish Land Rover would update its slightly clunky touchscreen system sooner rather than later).
The passenger compartment is impressive enough, with lots of head, shoulder and leg room all around.
Interior volume is also to a high standard, if perhaps not to the same levels as rivals. Though the passenger compartment is impressive enough, with lots of head, shoulder and leg room all around, we are a tiny bit disappointed by the limited trunk capacity. For sure, 32.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.7/82.8 cubic feet with the seat backs down (depending on whether you go with the standard or longer wheelbase Range Rover) is plenty big enough for most buyer’s needs, it is far behind the Cadillac Escalade’s maximum 94.2 cubic feet cargo capacity. At least the Land Rover Range Rover does claw back some ground with the trunk dimensions. The combination of a boxy shape and a broad trunk aperture means it should be easy to load items in and out. The split tailgate functionality also means you can deposit items in with the Range Rover facing uphill, without any fear of your cargo rolling or sliding back out again.
We’re especially pleased to report the Land Rover Range Rover is a rather excellent luxurious SUV that has all the major points covered.
Extremely capable on and off the asphalt. What else would you expect from a Range Rover? Normally with off-roaders, we’d spend a sizeable portion of the review describing what the car in question is like to drive over tougher terrain. After all, the main point of buying a car like a Land Rover is that fact it can pretty much go wherever you choose, so in theory this particular aspect of the SUV should be scrutinized. However, a huge majority of people who buy a Range Rover have no intention whatsoever of piloting their luxury Land Rover across muddy fields or up tough and demanding trail courses. As a result, we’ll limit our off-road ability summary to just this: the Range Rover is a highly accomplished off-roader that can tackle pretty much everything most off-road enthusiasts will throw at it, and the Land Rover is pretty much the go-to vehicle if you’re serious about taking a luxury 4x4 over anything more treacherous than a rutted muddy lane. What pretty much every Range Rover buyer will care about, however, is how this premium Land Rover fares on the asphalt. So, we’re especially pleased to report the Land Rover Range Rover is a rather excellent luxurious SUV that has all the major points covered.
The Land Rover Range Rover is the most comfortable luxury SUV in this particular class.
For sure, the overall steering response and body control does lag behind the class-leading Porsche Cayenne a bit, and there is a minuscule amount of wind noise to be heard if you’re really keeping an ear out for it, but those are genuinely clutching-at-straws complaints. The steering is still precise enough for you to confidently position the Land Rover Range Rover where you want it on the road, and the body lean is still well contained when cornering, so it’s safe for us to say the days of Range Rovers handling like huge, heavy road yachts are long behind us now. That’s not to say this extra handling emphasis has had a negative impact on the Range Rover’s more serene aspects. An impressive amount of noise insulation measures means the aforementioned wind noise is the only notable external sound that enters the cabin, and we’d go as far to say the Land Rover Range Rover is the most comfortable luxury SUV in this particular class. Even visibility is surprisingly good. Not only is there a broad view out front, thanks to the larger windshield and high driving position, but the Range Rover’s surprisingly slim-by-large-SUV-standards rear pillars means there’s a decent view out of the rear window too.
The two prime engine candidates will be one of two 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines; one a supercharged gasoline, the other a turbocharged diesel.
For most Land Rover Range Rover buyers, the two prime engine candidates will be one of two 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines; one a supercharged gasoline, the other a turbocharged diesel. In the past, this would have been quite straightforward, with the gas engine’s smoothness and punch being instantly preferable over a rattly diesel. How things have changed now, though. Whilst we admit the supercharged option is mightily good (especially the version available in the HSE trim, which adds another 40-hp to the base engine’s 340-hp output), we reckon a vast majority of buyers will find a lot to like about the diesel option for myriad reasons. For starters, it’s vastly more fuel efficient, with the claimed 22mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway figures easily making up the $2,000 premium the diesel has over the base gasoline model (for reference, the more powerful gas version is $5,000 pricier than the diesel, and both supercharged engines return 17mpg and 23mpg in the city and on the highway respectively). Better still, the 442 lb-ft of torque the diesel has is accessible over a broad spectrum of the rev range, meaning you’ll rarely need to work the diesel engine hard in order to extract sufficient pace from it.
Regardless of which model you go for, your Land Rover Range Rover will be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
What really makes us prefer the diesel over the admittedly equally smooth and almost-as-punchy gasoline options is the fact the diesel is incredibly refined. For sure, a wee bit of clatter can be heard when you fire the engine up initially, but it quickly settles down to an incredibly hushed state. At part throttle, you can barely tell the engine powering you along is a diesel – which, when combined with the mighty torque spread, makes the diesel a very tempting option. If money is no object for you, though, then the 5.0-liter, 510-hp (or 550-hp, if you go for the $200,000 SVAutobiography model) supercharged gasoline engine will be right up your alley. Despite the Range Rover’s vast size, this powerhouse of an engine is enough to send the Land Rover hurtling to 60mph from a standstill in under six seconds, in the wake of a roaring and crackling exhaust note. Of course, an engine like this in a car as large as a Range Rover will never be efficient, but are fuel bills really a concern for the sort of person who’s looking at spending over $100,000 on a luxury SUV? Regardless of which model you go for, your Land Rover Range Rover will be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission – and, as expected from a car at this price point, it’s extremely good. Gear changes are smooth and prompt, and the transmission performs extremely well when you leave it to shift gears on its own. Plus, having so many gears you should always have access to the power and torque available to you, meaning there’s no need in theory to work the engine hard.
At least Land Rover does kit the Range Rover out with a decent amount of equipment as standard.
We’ve already established that the Land Rover Range Rover is a very high-end and luxurious vehicle. That does mean, though, that the Range Rover is quite the pricey vehicle. With a base price of $84,950, the Land Rover is nearly $20,000 more expensive than like-for-like entry level Cadillac Escalades, Audi Q7s and Infiniti QX80s. At least Land Rover does kit the Range Rover out with a decent amount of equipment as standard. On top of the sumptuous leather trim, all Range Rovers come with built-in navigation, a powered split tailgate, heated and power adjustable front seats, three-zone climate control, satellite radio, a heads-up display setting that lets the driver ‘see through’ the hood of the car (particularly useful when cresting a hill or inching forward in a tight parking spot) and Land Rover’s advanced ‘Terrain Response’ system with various pre-set modes that set the Range Rover up for specific road and terrain conditions. The trim we reckon Range Rover buyers should consider, though, is the HSE spec. As it’s the next step up from the base model, it isn’t too expensive (at $91,950, the $7,000 premium isn’t too steep for a car in this price bracket), yet the extra equipment is very tempting. The panoramic sunroof, for instance, gives the already spacious cabin an even airier feel, and the heated rear seats and adjustable bolsters on the now-climate-controlled front seats should make the Range Rover an even more comfortable car. Add in the $2,900 Driver Assistance Pack (lane departure warning, parallel park assist, built-in WiFi, all-around ultrasonic parking sensors), the $1,295 adaptive cruise control/automatic emergency braking option and the $2,500 Vision Assist Pack (second-gen Terrain Response, bind spot monitoring and 360-degrees ‘birds eye view’ camera system), along with the no-cost-extras like a refrigerated center armrest storage cubby, and you’ll have all the Range Rover a majority of buyers will ever need.
Regardless of which model you go for, your Land Rover Range Rover will be installed with a sizeable array of safety equipment.
Of course, if your budget extends to the long wheelbase models or the higher-spec Sport, Autobiography and SVAutobiography versions, but we do hesitate on recommending them unless you do have a sizeable amount of money to spend on a Land Rover Range Rover. In our opinion, they don’t necessarily improve substantially on what the lower spec cars do – plus, in the SVAutobiography’s case, we feel the Range Rover’s out of its depth when a far more opulent Bentley Bentayga is only $30,000 more expensive. Regardless of which model you go for, your Land Rover Range Rover will be installed with a sizeable array of safety equipment. Front, side and curtain airbags (along with thorax and pelvic airbags for the driver and front passenger), cruise control, vehicle and trailer stability control, hill descent control and a system that uses the brakes to improve the car’s turning ability when cornering on the open road are all standard equipment – and, of course, there’s the Terrain Response feature that should in theory mean the Land Rover Range Rover should survive most of what the United States’ climate can throw at it. To date, the Land Rover Range Rover has proven itself to be a rather sturdy and reliable machine, though it’s worth pointing out the faulty door latch recall that was issued in 2015 is a notable black mark to have on a vehicle’s history. Likewise, residual values are expected to be okay by luxury SUV standards (another reason to go for a less expensive model: there’ll be less depreciation to contend with when you sell the car), and the four-years/50,000-miles warranty is fairly decent.