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Range Rover review

The Range Rover is a great all-rounder. It’s as at-home on the school run as it is climbing a mountain. And wherever you go, everyone travels in supreme comfort.

Pros

  • Luxurious interior
  • Superb off-road capability
  • Lots of space for five adults

Cons

  • Older cars have less tech
  • Running costs can be high
  • Won’t fit in some parking spaces

Summary

“The luxury of a limousine with the off-road ability of a 4x4.”

The Range Rover is a large SUV with the luxury of a limousine. Even if you don’t require its unrivalled off-road ability, you’re unlikely to find a car with such a delightful blend of comfort and practicality.

Even the entry-level Vogue model gives you lots of standard equipment but the Vogue SE, Autobiography and SVAutobiography raise the level of luxury. The long-wheelbase version gives you even more interior space. It’ll seat five in absolute comfort, but a four-seat option is available if you want to treat the rear-seat passengers. The boot offers double the space of a family hatchback.

A subtle update in 2018 added improved technology, a new infotainment system and more efficient engines. A plug-in hybrid model was also added to the range. Buy one of these and you might be able to complete your daily commute without using any fuel.

What's the interior like?

“Pure luxury. The Range Rover is comfortable over all surfaces.”

The interior of the Range Rover feels as luxurious as it looks. All versions have leather seats and the air of opulence increases as you progress through the range.

This is especially true following the update in 2018. Wider seats and a pair of 10-inch touchscreen displays are highlights. One screen controls the sat nav and music, while the lower screen is for the car’s functions and climate control.

Electric seat adjustment means you should be able to find your perfect driving position at the touch of a button, while your rear-seat passengers will feel like they’re travelling first class, especially in a long-wheelbase version. Options include a ‘hot stone’ massage function for the seats, a fridge and even a heated footrest.

The huge boot has a two-part hatchback where the top section lifts up and the lower part folds down to provide a platform for sitting down to change out of your muddy shoes. The optional Event Seating package adds a pair of leather seats to the inside of the boot lid for use when the car is stationary.

What's it like to drive?

“Imperious on the road, unstoppable off, the Range Rover is the ultimate luxury SUV.”

The Range Rover gives you the opportunity to climb every mountain, ford every stream and conquer every school run. The commanding driving position allows you to see over most traffic, which is great in the city and just as handy on a congested motorway. It’s as comfortable as you’d imagine, although the ride quality suffers a little on versions with larger alloy wheels. 

Parking such a big car is surprisingly easy thanks to the Range Rover’s large windows and a square shape that allow you to see its corners easily. Its sheer size means that it won’t fit in some spaces, though. You can feel the Range Rover’s bulk on a twisty road too, but it feels stable and reassuring on the road and few cars are as good off it.

You have a choice of engines, all paired with a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox. The P400e plug-in hybrid model arrived in 2018, while mild hybrid technology was introduced in 2020, improving the efficiency of the petrol and diesel engines.

The entry-level 3.0-litre TDV6/D300 diesel is likely to be all the engine you could ever need. There are also V6 and V8 petrol engines, which give you suitably effortless performance.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Range Rover offers better value for money when buying used.”

Buying a used Range Rover makes more financial sense than buying one new. Early depreciation will have taken a significant chunk out of the car’s value, so you’ll get the same luxury, equipment and space for a better price.

The V6 diesel engines will put the smallest dent in your wallet, offering an official 29mpg to 33mpg,  reasonable for a car of this size. The V6 petrol engine returns an official 25mpg, but don’t expect anything beyond 20mpg from a V8. Thanks to 25 miles of electric range, the P400e plug-in hybrid makes most sense for city commuters.

How reliable and safe is it?

“A five-star safety rating and the reassurance of four-wheel drive.”

Look beyond the five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and you’ll find impressive scores for adult and child occupant safety, plus an array of safety systems as standard. You also get the reassurance of four-wheel drive and a commanding view of the road ahead.

While the Range Rover has a high-quality feel, Land Rover’s reputation for reliability could be better. In the most recent J.D. Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study (an independent customer satisfaction survey) the brand finished 20th out of 24 manufacturers, although that put it ahead of both Audi and BMW.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - P400e PHEV

Best for family - D300 Vogue SE

Best for fun - P565 SVAutobiography

The array of equipment and sense of luxury are impressive on even the entry-level Vogue trim. Buying a post-2018 model and you can enjoy the upgraded Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, as well as 17 connection points for mobile devices throughout the car and a 4G wifi hotspot for up to eight smartphones and tablets.

So it all comes down to the engine. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel (badged TDV6 or D300) is all the engine you might ever need. That said, the plug-in hybrid could give you lower running costs and if that’s not a concern there’s something ‘right‘ about a V8 petrol in a Range Rover. If you can live with the thirst, it’s a fine choice of engine.

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