Without the Land Rover, Range Rover there would be no such thing as a luxury SUV. And for many people, that would be a shame. When the Range Rover first arrived way back in 1969, it offered something no car had ever done before – incredible off-road ability and impressive on-road performance in one stylish and luxurious package. It was a huge hit and continues to be one.
The design history of the Land Rover Range Rover is one of evolution rather than revolution. Even in the very latest cars you’ll see a silhouette that echoes the ground-breaking original model. As the roads and trails have become more crowded with rival SUVs, the Land Rover Range Rover still stands proudly apart from the rest.
Highlights include the trademark slightly squared-off design and ‘floating roof’, the Range Rover name emblazoned across its nose, and the bold side detailing picked out in contrasting metal. At the rear there’s another unique Range Rover feature – a split tailgate that’s perfect for picnics.
The Land Rover Range Rover still stands proudly apart from the rest.
What’s it like to drive?
You don’t so much drive a Land Rover Range Rover as waft along in it. This is an extraordinarily comfortable car that will take any terrain in its stride. The high driving position lets you look over the cars ahead in the city or motorway traffic, or see beyond the hedgerows on country lanes while you steer with your fingertips, so light is the helm.
That’s not the only boat-like sensation you’ll find, as the Range Rover floats across bumps and cracks in the road with barely a ripple sent through the suspension. Even adventuring beyond the road, it soaks up obstacles with consummate ease. The car’s Terrain Response four-wheel-drive system means it’s essentially unstoppable.
Diesel engines offer plenty of grunt and the lowest fuel consumption, while the supercharged V8 petrol cars are quick. The plug-in hybrid P400e combines an electric motor with a petrol engine and also delivers a gutsy performance.
You don’t so much drive a Land Rover Range Rover as waft along in it.
Even with the arrival of upstarts such as the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the interior of a Land Rover Range Rover is still one of the most beautifully appointed and luxurious places to cross a continent, whether you’re taking a motorway or charging across desert dunes.
The front seats are sumptuous armchairs with a huge number of electronic adjustments, heating and cooling options, so that long-term comfort is guaranteed. There’s a twin touchscreen set-up to take care of the car’s infotainment, heating, cooling and other systems which works pretty well. You’ll also get a copious amount of storage space from the double glovebox, deep door bins, secreted cupholders and a deep centre locker that can even be specified as a fridge. A fridge in a car!
In the back, the rear seats also have electric adjustment and the highest-specification Autobiography models can be optioned with heated armrests and calf supports.
The Range Rover will easily fit three adults with room to spare in the back, but if you’ve only a couple of passengers on board then a large armrest can be lowered to offer a more private space – or as a table for a quick game of Yahtzee. Surrounded by the softest leather and the highest-quality wood veneers, the spacious back seats are definitely first-class, especially so with the long wheelbase version. No wonder the Range Rover is a Royal family favourite.
The Land Rover Range Rover’s boot is positively cavernous, as you might expect, given its overall size. It’s strictly a four/five-seater with no option for extra seats in the back, so you’d need to look at a Range Rover Sport or Land Rover Discovery if you needed to carry more people. Yet it’s hard to imagine a scenario where a Range Rover couldn’t cope with five people’s travel baggage.
The Land Rover Range Rover’s tailgate is a theatrical yet practical affair. At the touch of a button, it hinges from top and bottom to present a useful loading platform or a place to take a pew. It’s ideal for changing into your walking boots or making it easier for the family dog to climb aboard.
Running costs and reliability
The Land Rover Range Rover is every inch an expensive motor car – and there are a lot of inches. Choose one of the V6 diesel engines if you’d like to see your fuel consumption better 30mpg. If you pick a supercharged V8 petrol motor you’ll rapidly rack up the loyalty points at your local fuel station.
The plug-in hybrid P400e can cover 25 miles on electricity alone so if you do a lot of local driving this could be the car for you.
What we love
The Land Rover Range Rover is a wonderfully opulent way to travel. The cabin is like a first-class lounge, with heritage and design touches that puts it above rival cars - and nothing can touch a Range Rover for all-terrain ability.
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Town and country drivers
The Land Rover Range Rover was the original luxury SUV. Decades since it first appeared, it’s still leading the way when it comes to all-round ability. It’s not cheap to buy or to run, but you definitely get what you pay for.
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