Honing a recipe like the Range Rover’s is more difficult than it might seem, but with each successive version Land Rover has got it right, delivering luxury, performance, quality and a super strong brand image to its exacting clientele – and with this 2016 Model Year Range Rover it’s done it once again.
Inside this Autobiography TDV6 Land Rover has added a new Surround Camera System with improved graphics to help when manoeuvring the Rangie’s vast bulk, and given this is a Land Rover, it helps avoid obstacles off-road, too.
There’s also a new water jet for the rear view camera to keep the lens clean, while this 2016MY car now gets a Gesture Tailgate as standard, so with a swipe of your foot beneath the bumper, you can open the practical split tailgate hands-free.
On top of this, the car’s air suspension system now automatically drops to its lowest ‘Access Height’ when parked to make entry and exit easier.
This new Range Rover also gets Land Rover’s InControl technology to improve connectivity. Among other things, it allows owners to locate their car, check its fuel level and even lock and unlock the doors remotely via an app.
This has added to the multimedia system’s slick appearance. However, dig a bit deeper and you’ll find that the graphics still aren’t quite as hi-resolution as in arguably its main rival, the Mercedes S-Class, while the touchscreen’s response can be a bit sluggish.
With prices starting from £91,550 for this Autobiography TDV6 model, it’s not cheap, but you really don’t need any more than the 254bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel has to offer, as the creamy power delivery and effortless eight-speed automatic gearbox mean you can make relaxing progress.
There’s still an adequate turn of pace on offer from this 2,215kg luxury off-roader though, as the 0-60mph sprint takes 7.4 seconds, and with 600Nm of torque on tap from 2,000rpm it’s a sublime cruiser, too. Returning 40.9mpg and emitting 182g/km of CO2 according to Land Rover, despite its size it’s not quite as thirsty as you might think.
With lots of low-down urgency it’s easy to make swift, stress-free progress, helped by the soft suspension setup. The chassis absorbs bad roads and uneven terrain with ease, isolating the cabin from the road and filtering out any nasty vibrations.
All that weight and the soft air suspension results in some inevitable body movement, while big bumps do occasionally hit harder when the car is loaded up in a corner – but the ride and impressive refinement, thanks to features such as double-glazed windows, mean there are still very few ways to travel in more comfort than in a Range Rover.
Space inside the beautifully built cabin is excellent, and rear seat passengers get individual controls to adjust their heated seats. In the front there’s a massage function for the heated and vented seats, too, helping to keep you fresh when you reach your destination.
On top of this xenon headlights, four-zone climate control, a digital TV, adaptive cruise with emergency braking, a powerful Meridian hi-fi, keyless entry, DAB, Bluetooth, sat-nav, and that new Surround Camera system featuring towing assist, so the Range Rover can tow up to 3,500kg.
It comes well kitted out as you’d expect, and a 909-litre boot ensures there are no questions when it comes to practicality. However, options can be costly, and £1,000 for a head-up display seems steep.
There might not be quite as much tech inside as the latest S-Class either, but with its commanding driving position giving a great view ahead, the big SUV offers something subtly different to a high-end saloon on the road.
And then there’s its performance off it. With the Terrain Response 2 system optimising driving modes depending on the surface and air suspension to raise the ride height, even on regular road tyres the Range Rover’s performance on the loose is simply sublime. The ride comes into its own on rough terrain, and the landscapes it can conquer are scarcely believable.