Range Rover LWB 2014 review
Added rear legroom makes Range Rover LWB most spacious luxury car by far
The Range Rover has always had a greater sense of cool and occasion than any other luxury car. Now it has the space to match. It might not match the tech or the ultimate refinement of the new Mercedes S-Class, but the comfort and the view out of the back of a long wheelbase Range Rover has made this British luxury SUV even more appealing.
What a difference 200mm makes. That’s the extra length of the long wheelbase Range Rover models, with 186mm of that translating directly into additional rear legroom, answering just about the only criticism about our current Luxury Car of the Year.
Sure, there are plenty of long wheelbase versions of other luxury cars, but this new Range Rover feels far more spacious than most thanks to the extra height this SUV gives you in the cabin – it’s truly cavernous.
The Range Rover’s not as easy to get in and out of as its rivals, though, even when your chauffeur has lowered the air suspension by 49mm in access mode. But with deep side windows (the rear doors are now truly enormous) you get an unparalleled view out, which is heightened if you opt for the full-length panoramic sunroof. That grandiose vista makes the whole experience feel so much more special, whether you’re used to the VIP treatment or not.
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Edge the front passenger seat forward and a six foot adult can just about stretch out fully in the back – especially if you opt for the new range-topping Autobiography Black model with an extra 17 degrees of recline in the seats and calf rests to support your legs.
The Black doesn’t arrive until next summer with a price tag expected to be in excess of £130,000, justified by a new level of luxury inside with everything from electric-powered pop-up tables to ten-inch screens for both rear passengers.
Outside, Black models get new black detailing to the front and rear lights, plus a shinier front grille and new wheel options. The Atlas side vents get chrome accents, too, while all long wheelbase models get a subtle ‘L’ badge at the bottom of the vents, too. If you can’t wait for the Black version, you can specify your SDV8 diesel or supercharged V8 petrol Autobiography model in long wheelbase form for £102,120 or £105,830 respectively – a £7400 increase over the 4999mm long car.
On the road, the long wheelbase models feel just as wieldy as the standard cars – the benefit of using lightweight aluminium throughout the car. And you still get one of the plushest rides in the back of any luxury car, with impressive levels of hush, too. Land Rover is quoting identical fuel economy figures for standard and long-wheelbase models, too, so claimed averages are 33mpg for the diesel and 22mpg for the petrol model we drove.