Range Rover review - Engines, performance and drive
With big power and lots of torque, the Range Rover munches miles with ease, providing maximum comfort on long journeys
Land Rover has ensured that the Range Rover can keep up with its German rivals in terms of luxury and refinement, but what really sets it apart from them is its mega off-road ability and huge towing power.
An aluminium shell means that the latest Range Rover is 420kg lighter than the last car, and ensures that this version is very agile. However, no amount of dieting can disguise the fact that it's both slower and heavier than its German competitors, and the Bentley Bentayga.
However, the Range Rover makes up for this by being supremely quiet and refined inside no matter which engine you choose, while the smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox contributes to a relaxed driving experience.
The car's standard adaptive damping and air-suspension deliver an impressively composed ride, which is only upset when the large wheels thump into a badly repaired pothole. If comfort is a priority, the Long Wheelbase car is even more cosseting.
The SVAutobiography Dynamic is designed to offer a bit more agility, without ever feeling as light on its feet as a Range Rover Sport SVR - and in that respect, it’s a total triumph. The throttle modulation on the 557bhp V8 is nicely judged, and it keeps enough full-fat Range Rover refinement, even when you’re pushing on.
The Range Rover is at its best, in fact, as a rapid cross-country cruiser, because it’s as peerless as ever on fast motorways, and a little more tied together on wide A- and B-roads. There’s no disguising the car’s bulk in narrower sections, but its sheer size will be the issue there, rather than any problem with the handling. If you do spend a lot of time driving around town, it's worth considering the P400e plug-in hybrid version, as the silent progress allowed by the electric motors perfectly suits the car's luxurious character.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
Range Rover buyers can choose from two diesel engines and two supercharged petrols, alongside plug-in and mild-hybrid versions.
Car group tests
- New Range Rover D350 Autobiography 2020 review
- New Range Rover P400 Vogue 2020 review
- New Range Rover SDV8 2019 review
- Range Rover Vogue review
- New Range Rover PHEV 2018 review
- New Range Rover Autobiography 2017 review
Used car tests
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel D300 delivers 296bhp, making it more than capable of dealing with the two-tonne-plus bulk of the Range Rover. It does 0-62mph in a wholly acceptable 7.4 seconds, going on to hit a top speed of 130mph. Stepping up to the D350 version shaves 0.3 seconds from the sprint time, while increasing the maximum speed to 140mph.
For those that err towards petrol power, there's the 394bhp P400 which manages an impressive 6.3 second dash to 62mph.
But, if you want a Range Rover with a green tinge, the plug-in hybrid P400e model is the most efficient in the line-up.
It combines a four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine with an electric motor to give an output of 398bhp and 640Nm of torque, while the battery will allow for up to 25 miles driving with zero tailpipe emissions on a full charge. It's a car that will make most sense to people who do most of their driving around town, where they can run on electric power for the majority of the time. On longer journeys, though, it's less impressive, as the petrol engine is harsh and raucous, and very much at odds with the otherwise refined nature of the car.
The 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is an epic powerplant, but one that is extremely poor on fuel. In its ‘lesser’ P525 form, it delivers 518bhp from 6,000rpm and 625Nm from 2,500rpm. However, in the SVAutobiography Dynamic SWB and SVAutobiography LWB models those numbers swell to 557bhp at 6,000rpm and 700Nm from 3,500rpm, the same stats as the Range Rover Sport SVR.
Land Rover claims identical 0-62mph times and top speeds for both supercharged V8s, those numbers being 5.4 seconds and 155mph, which is an impressive turn of pace for such a big car, although the Bentley Bentayga is even faster still.
In this review
- 1VerdictExcellent off-road ability, big power and unprecedented luxury make the Range Rover a worthy rival to any luxury saloon
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingWith 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