Car Reviews

The Flagship Range Rover

Written by Sam Skelding

There’s no doubt about it, the fourth generation Range Rover is a modern idiom of motoring.

We’ve all been wax lyrical about the luxury the Range Rover flagship represents for a number of years, whether you’re after a classy SUV or a reliable saloon, Land Rover’s famed vehicle has always ticked all the right boxes and the latest model shows no sign of bucking that trend. A virtual limousine in terms of comfort and styling; its ability to multi-task is what really sets it apart from anything BMW, Audi or Porsche have to offer in this sector.

Style

When it comes to looks, the sheer size and imposing nature of the Range Rover is striking, though the dynamic wraparound tail-lights and sleek gills on the front doors do work by reducing the overall bulk. Despite again displaying the angular front grille influence of the trendy Range Rover Evoque, the classic Range Rover design elements that we all love are still included; not least of which the clamshell bonnet, ‘floating’ roof and spit tailgate.

The interior is in a world of its own, offering a simple environment teeming with grandeur; the number of buttons and controls on the center console has, according to Range Rover, been reduced by 50%, leaving most of the primary functions to the large touch-screen unit and a voice-activated control system. While the voice system is undoubtedly one of the nicest we’ve ever used, the menus are a little complex and fiddly.

The standard features are unsurprisingly a sight to behold, with the mid-range Vogue SE model coming equipped with 20-inch alloys, digital TV and radio, sat-nav, self-parking system, dual-view TFT screen and soft door closing as standard – a gadgetry pick ‘n’ mix to suit any family. Land Rover have also added the Range Rover Autobiography Black model this summer, which remarkably comes with electric-powered pop-up tables and 10-inch screens for both rear passengers.

Drive

Powered by a 4.4-litre turbocharged V8 diesel putting out 250kW and 700Nm, the almost 3200kg (GVM) truck towers over everything else in its category for power, weight, torque and dimensions.

First impressions of the drive were cosseting and smooth, with responsive steering and excellent body-roll control for such a large, high-riding car. Comfort levels were great in both the front and back seats, with every adjustment possible installed, including heating/cooling fans and side bolster inflation. As you would expect from a Land Rover, off-road, the car’s air-spring suspension gives a far more absorbent ride, allowing each wheel to act independently meaning the Vogue can overcome any obstacle with ease.

The 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel engine is certainly special, with great low-down response and mid-range urge – it sounds, and feels, epic. The Range Rover also offers fuel economy of around 24.6 mpg – 11.5 l/100km, which is an incredible number for something of this size, but if you’re driving a car of this calibre, the cost of diesel isn’t really a priority.

Practicality

Performance aside, the Range Rover also delivers when it comes to practicality; again offering a distinct advantage over other luxury models. The vehicle can hold 909 litres of luggage with the seats down and an incredible 2,360 litres if you decide to fold them – at the mere touch of a button. There is also a huge amount of leg space in both the front and back seats, while you can’t help but enjoy the fantastic views that come with such a high position. Though the car’s size has many positives and the air-suspension can be used the lower the body improving accessibility, it still ends up quite a climb to get in.

The Range Rover represents the pinnacle of the massive strides taken by Land Rover to improve their reputation for safety and reliability; arguably being one of the safest cars out there courtesy of its strong aluminium shell and numerous hi-tech safety features coming as standard, including a full set of airbags, ABS, seatbelt reminders, blind-spot monitoring, ESP and adaptive cruise control.     

Range Rover’s flagship traditionally offers an astonishing level of luxury and performance, but with a slightly modernised appearance and updated technology, the latest model means Land Rover may just have raised an already high bar.

Family Appeal Value for Money Verdict
Practical, spacious in cabin and boot, reliable technology. £84,750 is a lot of money but the sheer quality of the car makes it reasonable value; must consider running costs. Incredibly luxurious, great performance and a few needed modern touches.
 
 
 

Car tested: Range Rover Vogue SE – 4.4L SDV8 Diesel – Automatic. 

Model: Vogue SE spec with a Sliding panoramic roof and 20” Stormer Sparkle alloy wheels. Luxor, featuring Espresso Seats, Espresso and Ivory Interior, with Ebony Macassar Veneer.

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