Only a hallowed few cars have enjoyed the public’s affection for 50 years and continued to be on the wish list for many worldwide. The distinguished, luxurious, yet mind-bogglingly all-terrain capable Range Rover is one – and remains a hugely desirable vehicle even now eclipsing stiff competition from all other brands.
Large, imposing yet elegant, this is certainly a car of substance and it’s hard to think of another more perfect for heading out to the coast and country in as a family. The high roofline, acres of glass, and space affording enough head, shoulder and leg room for just about anyone means it’s like a light and airy, super-comfortable lounge with an ever-changing view. This is a remarkably quiet car thanks to touches like an acoustically laminated windscreen, enabling passengers to just relax back and let the world in all its chaos pass peacefully by.
This space and comfort doesn’t compromise on the Range Rover being a thoroughly decent drive though. The D350 mild hybrid 3.0l diesel AWD auto on test can tackle the 0-60 sprint in just 7.1 seconds – not bad at all for a car of this size. At 700Nms there’s plenty of torque to play with when you need an overtaking boost, and towing even a sizable horse box will be no problem at all.
The ride delivered is smooth and forgiving thanks to air suspension as standard – even on pothole riddled country lanes and with the larger 22″ Style ‘9012’ 9 split-spoke gloss black wheels we had fitted. Handling wise it’s great unless you really push hard on awkward camber tight corners where you’ll experience a touch of pitch and lean – but that’s to be expected with a car of this height and size. You still feel securely planted though and the steering is well judged and weighted.
Off road is where the Range Rover really leaves its rivals in its wake. Unless experienced first-hand you’d never believe just how impressive its all-terrain prowess is. Even slopes so steep you’d have a challenge to walk up are tackled with ease, huge bumps and ruts are tamed and wet grass, ice, water and snow not a problem at all. This makes the Range Rover truly a car for all seasons as, even if you never leave tarmac, you’ve the reassurance you and your passengers will be as safe as possible travelling in the worst of weather and surface conditions including flooded roads.
The beauty of it is you don’t need to be an off-road driving expert either thanks to Land Rover’s unbeatable Terrain Response system which, with a twist of a dial, automates as much as possible for you – whilst letting you rise and decrease the car’s height if needed to climb over major obstacles or slip under car park barriers worry-free. Our vehicle was fitted with Terrain Response 2, All Terrain Progress Control and a drive pack comprising blind spot monitor, driver condition monitor, traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiter.
The Range Rover’s high ‘command’ driving position gives an unbeatable view of the road ahead and from the steering wheel to seats, just about everything can be electronically adjusted to suit your exact height/visibility and comfort needs. Our car was fitted with a 360-degree surround camera but rear cameras come as standard along with front and rear parking sensors. For excellent visibility and safety driving at night, Matrix LED headlights which can remain on high beam, without blinding oncoming drivers, are also standard. All driver controls are sensibly placed too. The two 10-inch sharp focus touch screens are intuitive and easy to use – once you’ve had a pre-drive familiarity play.
The cabin and cockpit, as you’d expect for from Land Rover and a vehicle of this calibre, are superbly appointed, luxurious, elegant and tech-rich. The deployment of craftsmanship is clearly evident and all surfaces, trims and materials are of the highest quality. Our £103K Vogue SE model featured vintage tan seats with ebony / vintage tan interior, aluminium treadplates with Range Rover script, configurable ambient interior lighting, 20-way heated and cooled front seats with power recline heated and cooled rear seats and heated steering wheel. In addition to this, drivers can expect Kalahari veneer, soft door close, a Meridian surround sound system, fixed panoramic roof, three-zone climate control, tow pack and much, much more.
This monarch of much loved, large, luxurious, truly all-terrain capable cars is set to stay top of the pack for some time. We say ‘Long may the Range Rover Reign’.