The new Range Rover is here and it’s bigger, plusher and more technologically advanced than ever. And that’s really saying something, given how highly the last one scored on all of the above.
So, a legend reincarnated? Or an overpriced brute? Have a guess…
By Sam Sheehan
While the front of the new Range Rover bears much resemblance with its predecessor, this is a new-generation machine. Every panel is different from the last car’s, and at the back, the changes are quite substantial. There’s no mistaking this for anything other than Land Rover’s posh 4x4, but this 2022 car is pleasingly fresh-looking.
It’s handsome, isn’t it? Butch in all the right places but minimalist and elegant as well. The scale of the Range Rover does enough of the talking; no need to clutter the design with swoops and creases. We’d say the designers have done an excellent job of reinventing the Range Rover ethos with this new one. And the £7,000 (!) Satin Gold paintjob of the First Edition car we test does it no harm…
There’s no mistaking this for anything other than Land Rover’s posh 4x4
What's it like to drive?
Fans of the last car will be pleased to hear this new machine, even with its (almost) all-hybrid line-up of engines, drives very much as you’d expect. It’s effortless with the electrified D350, 350hp-producing mild-hybrid six-cylinder, which is diesel-powered. Diesel isn’t as fashionable as it once was, but when it comes to powering plus-two-tonne posh SUVs, a muscular motor like this feels entirely appropriate.
Expect plenty of sales to be attributed to the six-cylinder petrol equivalents, and rightfully so, because they make sense for many people’s lifestyles. But the D350 setup of our test car properly hauls this machine about in a very satisfying way. The automatic gearbox too feels clever and smooth, so you feel really rather invincible perched high from that Range Rover vantage point. It’s impossible to not soak up the muscle exuded by the machine that surrounds you.
It steers on the road nicely as well, with keen responses enabled by the fitment of air suspension on our top-grade test car. Add some lock to the steering and the suspension works to reduce any body roll, quickening the car’s responses. Of course, this is no sports car. It doesn’t want to be. But you can absolutely keep up the momentum along a winding country route, with this big machine not feeling cumbersome at all. Adding to that feeling is a strong braking system.
We didn’t have time to venture off the road properly in our test (unless short grass counts), so we’ll have to wait to put the Range Rover’s latest and very clever four-wheel drive tech to the test. But with so many drive modes, and such substantial hardware aboard this machine, the claims for enormous off-road capability are entirely believable. The village green shouldn’t trouble one of these, nor should a slippery, grassy incline or muddy farm track. Or the M62, for that matter, because the Range Rover cruises and rides beautifully.
Diesel isn’t as fashionable as it once was, but when it comes to powering plus-two-tonne posh SUVs, a muscular motor like this feels entirely appropriate
Lovely. That’s how we’d describe the Range Rover interior. Up front in our First Edition test car, you get a lot of tech. A digital instrument cluster, complete with sharp, nice illustrations, sits ahead of a big steering wheel with buttons. In the centre console, there’s a widescreen infotainment system with curved glass, so it looks swanky, and the graphics are very aesthetically pleasing. It’s one of our favourite infotainment systems to use and look at.
The seats are soft yet supportive, and the materials and fit and finish are all top-grade. As you’d expect in this variant, which – with all of its options and that paintjob – costs £138k. Gulp. But, of course, this Range Rover is packed full of tech to justify it. Everything is electric from the panoramic roof blind to the seats to the rear central arm rest, which in itself is basically a tech station. It has a screen in it that’s exposed when you fold the seat down, for crying out loud.
Oh, and we almost forgot that the enormous, family-of-suitcases-swallowing boot has a tailgate that folds out to create a bench, complete with cup holders and speakers above you. It’s bloody lovely. Told you.
Practicality is ensured by the sheer size of the Range Rover, which has space front and rear for fully grown adults to sit comfortably. You can even get a seven-seater version (our test car was a five-seater) to enhance the functionality further. But even with the ‘lesser’ version, there’s plenty of room aboard.
Plus, you can fold down the rear seats electronically, the rear parcel shelf is electrically-controlled, and did we mention that there’s a picnic bench tailgate…? Oh yes, well it’s a pretty cool party piece. Although this being a Land Rover, arguably the greatest party piece is the car’s off-road tech, which – to enhance the experience of using its rugged four-wheel drive system – has 3D camera views in the infotainment system, so you have excellent visibility.
You can fold down the rear seats electronically, and the rear parcel shelf is electrically-controlled
Reliability and running costs
While it’s true that Land Rovers haven’t ranked particularly highly in reliability surveys of late, this latest generation of Range Rover is quite substantially different to the models that have come before it. So, we’re hopeful Land Rover has produced something that’s as tough in the long run as it is capable on a test drive – although it’s too early to comment on a brand-new car’s longevity.
What we can comment on is the mild hybrid diesel motor’s efficiency, because it can genuinely eke out well over 30 miles per gallon on a run (we saw it) despite this machine weighing about as much as a small Cathedral. That’s pretty good going, and telling of the impact an electrified powerplant can have on overall running costs.
Bear in mind that 23-inch wheels – as fitted to our top-grade First Edition – will require big tyres, which means inflated (wink) servicing costs in the longer run will naturally be pretty high. Big things cost more money.
It can genuinely eke out well over 30 miles per gallon on a run
What cinch loves
This new Range Rover is as bold as luxury SUVs come in the sub-£200k bracket, yet it feels authentically Land Rover. If we had the money, we absolutely would.
Still looking for the one?
Use our comparison tool to find the car for you
Posh, powerful and enormously (literally) practical, the new Range Rover will effectively carry the breed deep into the 2020s.
This review was