- We like...Ride, adaptability
- We don't...Lacks cabin space
Field-crossing express and luxury car, the Range Rover proves that two into one can go... and it's magnificent Range Rovers have taken quite a ragging of late. To some, they are too big, brash and wasteful, used only by over-bronzed designer mummies to haul young Tarquin to croquet lessons and back. That’s a pity.
Because to drive and to be in they are just...magnificent. There’s no other car that mixes luxury and sheer usefulness so successfully. And that runs far beyond whether or not you take it anywhere muddy. That high-up driver’s seat and big windows make it a cinch to pilot, despite its huge size. And if you’re unsure when edging out of a tight parking space, front and rear sensors and a rear parking camera ease the stress (though the picture on ours was dodgy – grainy and blurred). Kids sat in the back will love the view out , and – as any parent will tell you – children are less like to fall car-sick if they can see the road easily. And that soft leather on the chairs is easier to clean mud and spills from than cloth ever would be.
That big tailgate opens in two sections, like a clamshell, and the lower section is great for sitting as you tug on Wellingtons before a country walk. The load space, meanwhile, could have built for a brace of Labradors with muddy paws. What other luxury car can you say all that of?
The only point we’d quibble over is how its designers used space. For such a big car, they didn’t pack enough of it into the cabin. Headroom is more than fine, but legroom in the back isn’t that good.
Still, it’s a restful and very comfortable on the move, thanks to its air suspension that’ll change height at the twirl of a big dial between the front seats, which will also set it for snow, sand or rough ground. There’s another button next to it that’ll let this 2717kg monster tip-t down a steep and muddy bank safely and without drama. Those that know tell us that this 4x4 is unstoppable cross-country, taking you easily where roads cannot go.
At 2 metres wide, 1.87 metres tall and almost 5 metres long, it is vast. But it changes direction quickly and tidily, thanks again to its clever suspension, while the steering is sharp and wieldy. Add in its terrific 3.6 diesel V8 engine and a six-speed auto that also offers a low-ratio set of gears for rough going, and you’ve a capable machine. Very.
Given the motor’s 271bhp output and the 8.6secs it needs to dash from rest to 60mph, its 294g/km CO2 emissions and 25.4mpg best overall are creditable. And to salve your conscience, Land Rover pay carbon offset fees for the car’s first 45,000 miles.
If you can’t manage the Range’s £69k+ asking price, don’t worry. Buying second-hand, at a year old with fewer than 10,000 miles saves a third off list price, (at time of writing). With that kind of value on tap, we’d be sorely tempted to take a punt – funds permitting.
View new and used Range Rovers on motors.co.uk
- Engines3.6 turbodiesel V8
- 0-60 mph8.6secs
- Insurance groups17
Motors.co.uk value verdict: