- Imposing Looks
- Behind The Wheel
- The Business Class Experience
- All The Performance, All Of The Luxury, But At What Cost?
The Range Rover formula has remained unchanged since the inception of the brand. Combine ruthless off-road capabilities with a cabin that would not look out of place in a luxury saloon.
This latest iteration might just about be the best interpretation of the recipe yet. It still has all of the off-road technology that you’d have come to expect from a Land Rover product, but with what I’d deem as the British marque’s best-ever cabin, giving prospective buyers a legitimate alternative to the tried-and-true luxury saloons from Germany.
The Range Rover design language that we’ve come to know and love has been largely preserved in this new car. That isn’t to say that JLR designers have had nothing to do – far from it. In fact, this all-new car has had a raft of subtle, but thoughtful, design tweaks, resulting in it being the brand’s most aerodynamic car to date.It’s round the back where it departs from the Range Rover norm. No clunky light clusters – you’ll find a sleek gloss back light bar with integrated signal lights flanked by slim vertical brake light assemblies. You’d expect these lights to be undersized, dwarfed by the sheer size of the vehicle. And yet somehow, these clusters work, creating a concept car-esque aesthetic that really complements the high-end look that Range Rover has created.Want even more road presence? You can actually raise the car’s suspension so you can tower over just about anyone else on the road. There are four different ride height settings, with the car defaulting to ‘Normal’ whilst being driven on the road. For extra ground clearance, you can raise the car to one of two different height settings, with the lower actually operable even at expressway speeds.
An ‘Access’ mode allows you to live out your inner static dreams, lowering the car to an almost-comical ride height so you can clear older car parks with lower ceiling heights.
Behind The Wheel
For a 2.6 ton vehicle, it actually feels fairly spritely. I guess this is what 4.4 litres of displacement and eight cylinders of power can do to a car irregardless of its heft. Range Rover says the car has 530 bhp and 750 Nm of torque, and you feel that from behind the wheel.
The Business Class Experience
You’re really paying for the privilege to be chauffeured around in the business class seats in the back. They are infinitely adjustable, ventilated and have massage functionality built into them. And that’s really just scratching the surface of the experience in the cabin.
The centre seat in the back also houses a touchscreen, which can be used to control all of the gadgets in the rear half of the vehicle. This is where you gain access to the menu that allows for the reconfiguration of the rear armchairs. You can also use this to retract the blinds for the moon roof, and it is also where you plug your devices in, via HDMI, so you can then duplicate your screen onto the monitors mounted on the backs of the front seats.A regular downlight will just not cut the mustard in a car as opulent as this. Instead, you have a choice of varying degrees of intensity, as well as hue, so there’s always going to be a setting that suits your needs. Retractable blinds also offer some additional privacy, which is probably a welcomed feature considering its clientele.So then, it almost perfectly replicates the business class experience. You have the kit and the space, but it must surely be too much to ask for properly chilled, onboard catering, right? Well, not if you are Range Rover, since they opted to fit a proper refrigerator to the centre console. This isn’t some air-conditioned box – you’ll find proper cooling apparatus fitted to this vehicle, which is cold enough to actually create a thin film of frost from within this enclosure.And you aren’t getting short changed for the experience upfront too. The seats are properly comfortable, trimmed with plush materials and feature almost the same set of niceties that you’d find in the back row.
A 13.1 inch floating curved screen does double duty, taking care of both your infotainment needs, as well as serving as a means to display mission critical information. Driving-specific data is disseminated by a digital panel that is configurable to display parameters of your choosing.
All The Performance, All Of The Luxury, But At What Cost?
Nothing in life is perfect, and the same is true of the Range Rover. You have a luxury SUV that is excellent off-road, has good on-road manners, and all the pace in the world to keep up with traffic.
And you can actually carry some of this pace through the corners, as it does a decent job of managing its mass. The torque available on tap is decent too. But the laws of physics will not allow a 2.6 ton SUV with a century sprint time of less than five seconds to be economical.Which brings us to the very first drawback of the Range Rover. Unless you commute purely on expressways, the car is very thirsty. I achieved a combined 5.7km/l, some ways off what Range Rover estimates. You’d also need very deep pockets to afford one too, especially considering even the most ‘entry-level’ of the flagship car will set you back at least half a million dollars.Realistically, if you can afford to buy this car, you can probably afford to foot the fuel bill needed to keep this on the road. There are faster luxury SUVs for a similar price tag, but they are objectively worse as out-and-out luxury cruisers. Ultimately, does speed really matter when you have this degree of all-round capability?
|Range Rover 4.4 Autobiography Specifications
|VES Band: C2
Twin Turbocharged V8
|Power:523 bhp, 750 Nm
| Driven Wheels:
| Top Speed:
| Fuel Tank Capacity:
|Dimensions: 5,252 mm x 2,047 mm x 1,870 mm
| Cargo Capacity:
Photo Credit: ACube Creative (@weareacube)
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