Range Rover review
Limo-like luxury, impressive tech and peerless off-road ability make Britain’s iconic off-roader a perennial favourite
Nothing is quite like a Range Rover. It has long been the luxury SUV benchmark, and even rivals luxury limousines for upmarket style, grace and refinement. Its regal image, exquisite interior, powerful engines and unrivalled off-road ability make it the go-to vehicle for those who want a luxury car that can do it all.
There’s lots of hi-tech kit on board, including adjustable driving modes that help with varying terrain. But, the car’s real trick is to tackle all sorts of off-road terrain while surrounding you with a sumptuous, leather-lined interior and luxury car comfort.
There's virtually no rival that can match the Range Rover’s multi-tasking ability, as the big British 4x4 combines its posh, upmarket image and imposing looks with incredible all-road capability.
About the Land Rover Range Rover
The Range Rover was first introduced in 1970 as a barely more luxurious alternative to the agricultural Land Rover, with the new model inspired at least in part by the efforts of US manufacturers developing road-focused 4x4s such as the Jeep Wagoneer and Ford Bronco.
However, the Range Rover’s performance was clearly a cut-above any other 4x4 available at the time, and in more than 50 years of production the British off-roader evolved from its relatively humble roots - early versions had utilitarian hose-down interiors - to the luxury icon it has become today.
Rivals such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee launched in 1992 and the Mercedes M-Class launched in 1997 made some inroads, but the Range Rover stayed strong while other British automotive brands faltered. Continued improvements across successive generations have led us to this, the tail-end of the fourth generation Range Rover’s life. An all-new model is due on sale in 2022, and by 2023/4 a fully-electric version is expected to help shape the next phase of the Range Rover legend.
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Not that there’s much wrong with the current car, you might reasonably think, even though it arrived on the scene way back in 2012. That was shortly after Range Rover had released the wildly popular Evoque, and eight years after the brand had introduced its first Range Rover spin-off, in the shape of the similarly sought-after Sport model. The 2017 Velar gave Range Rover a four car line-up, all of which are some of the best and most desirable SUVs in their segments.
The Range Rover itself comes in standard and long wheelbases (LWB), although the LWB is only available on higher-specification cars. The trim range starts with Vogue, then goes through Vogue SE, Autobiography, SVAutobiography Dynamic and SVAutobiography LWB trims. However, the SV - for Special Vehicles - versions are significantly more expensive than an Autobiography model with the same engine and offer more in-depth personalisation options. More recently, Land Rover has added the Range Rover Fifty anniversary edition, along with the Westminster, Westminster Black and the SVAutobiography Dynamic Black versions.
The most powerful cars come with Jaguar Land Rover's 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine. In SVAutobiography cars, it's the most powerful version that's shared with the Jaguar F-Type R and Range Rover Sport SVR, although thanks to the car's sheer size, Land Rover quotes the same acceleration figures as the regular 5.0-litre. Permanent four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard across the model range.
The Range Rover is JLR’s flagship vehicle and as such offers the most luxury and equipment possible for a high starting price. It sits at the top of a four-model Range Rover line-up, above the Evoque, Velar and Sport models, although the latter isn't far from the Range Rover in terms of size, quality or price.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingLimo-like luxury, impressive tech and peerless off-road ability make Britain’s iconic off-roader a perennial favourite
- 2Engines, performance and driveWith big power and lots of torque, the Range Rover munches miles with ease, providing maximum comfort on long journeys
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsAlthough lighter than before, the Range Rover is still thirsty – and it’s pretty expensive to buy and run
- 4Interior, design and technologyA beautiful exterior and sumptuous interior make the Range Rover feel worth the high entry price
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Range Rover has a massive boot, some useful technology to make access easier and plenty of pulling power for smooth, easy progress
- 6Reliability and SafetyLand Rover delivers mixed results in our Driver Power survey, but the Range Rover has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating