Land Rover, Range Rover: The Best of the Best
The Range Rover brand is one of the most evocative labels on the consumer market. They convey an air of luxury, ruggedness, and quality to its buyer. Range Rovers come in many different shapes and sizes, as well as over 50 different colors. Each with its own unique legacy and fan base. Over the years models like the Sport, Velar, Evoque, Supercharged, and SVAutobiography have joined the classic 50-year-old model in the Land Rover Range Rover canon. And they’ve got a new kid on the block for 2018. Ever luxurious, ever stately and ever leather-clad, the Range Rover line proves year after year that many may try to emulate its formula. The truth is no one else makes cars quite like these.
The Sport looks remarkably like the Range Rover, with just a bit shaved off to make it about 10% smaller. Nevertheless, the dynamic sloping roof, clean lines, and wide, aggressive stance still look great, and the smaller size brings the Sport in at about 800 lbs lighter than its big brother. The interior is calm and purposeful yet still eminently stylish, with every surface predictably yet beautifully dominated by wood, leather, and aluminum. As standard, you’ll get 14-way power heated front seats and an eight-speaker system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Like the Range Rover the Sport offers the V6 turbo diesel, but in addition, there’s an optional 3.0 liter supercharged V6 which kicks up 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, taking you from 0-60 in 7 seconds. Like the base Rover, the Sport comes with four-wheel drive as standard and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It handles and accelerates like a sports sedan on the road and like a Land Rover off the road, and it’s Terrain Response 2 system offers so many driving modes you’ll be able to go anywhere.
The Evoque is Range Rover’s smaller, more fashionable “off-roader.” The exterior certainly does evoke the Range Rover aesthetic, with sharp looking sheet metal and a sleek front end, but the level of grace, care, and craftsmanship on the sides and rear speak to something very different. Shorter overhangs, a swollen fender, sharp corners and its wedge-like shape look more at home on Park Avenue than climbing a muddy hillside. But don’t be fooled by its pretty face: the Evoque’s Terrain Response system offers snow, sand and mud options and the All-Terrain Progress Control system keeps the vehicle at a crawl no matter where you are. Unlike the RR, RR sport and even the Velar, the Evoque has an all-wheel-drive system and a nine-speed automatic transmission, but it shares the fleet’s 2.0-liter turbo four engines. Also unlike the previous models, it comes in a three-door convertible version. Any trim you choose on the Evoque comes with all leather upholstery, 8-inch touchscreen display, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and parking sensors.
The original Range Rover, now over 50 years old, is the base model of Land Rover’s Range Rover line but of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t exceptional. It honors its past with it’s blocky, cubic look but is cool, calm and collected in every way. The drive is about as comfortable as you can get on the road with precise, quick steering that suits any sort of terrain. Powertrain options are V6 and V6 turbodiesel and each come standard with four-wheel drive. The interior is classy and upscale with every imaginable surface covered in leather (this is a Range Rover, after all), and two 10 inch touch screens replace conventional controls, including those of the 380 watt Meridian audio system. If you’re the kind of person who can never find their car in a parking lot, the Range Rover comes in over 50 different paint hues and even more interior colors. When this is the base model of your Range, you know you’re doing something right.
The Velar is Range Rover’s toe-dip into the Mid-Size Luxury Sedan market. Its sophisticated slim LED headlights and a sleek roofline that tapers into new LED tail lights come together to signal a new generation of RR boutique looks. Not quite a Sport, not quite an Evoque, it actually shares its frame with the Jaguar F-Pace. Its interior is modern, clean and minimal with brushed aluminum and synthetic leather and suede covering every surface and seats that heat, cool, massage and are configured in more ways than you even knew were possible. Tech features like RR Touch Pro Duo feature two 10 inch touch screens that control navigation and audio separately, meaning you’ll never have to worry about switching between entertainment and technical modes. The Supercharged V6 is also available in the Velar, and the lighter weight means it kicks up 380 hp and gets to 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Turbo 4 gas and diesel are also available, generating 180 and 244 hp, respectively. There are also tons of nifty features like door handles that go flush with the body when closed, making this a fresh looking and driving addition to the Range Rover fleet.
This Range Rover might not have the catchiest name in the stable, but it got a heck of a lot going for it. The PHEV P400e is the first hybrid Range Rover on the market, and like everything else they do, it works great. What happens when you combine a Jaguar made 2.0 ltr turbo, 296 hp Ingenium 4 engine with a 13.3 kWh Samsung battery that produces 104hp? You get a 400 hp hybrid that goes from 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph. Only these stats and a button labeled EV hint at this being an electric vehicle: the charging point is hidden in the nose, and the styling inside and out looks identical to a Range Rover. The battery fully charges in 3 hours and will go 31 miles solely on electrical power which you can turn on and off if you wish to preserve the juice for later. Land Rover claims that the average commuter round trip is 27 miles in the US, so getting to and from work should be possible on electricity alone, helped out by the regenerative braking system. In all other ways, this is a Range Rover, you still get grass/gravel/snow, mud/rut driving modes, adjustable suspension and a whole lot more. And of course, the interior is fully leather-clad.
Supercharged by name and supercharged by nature, this Range Rover has a 5.0 liter supercharged V8 with 518 brake horsepower and 462 lb-ft of torque. That’s face-melting power, going from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, a feat made even more amazing by its hefty 5420-pound weight. An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission teams up with the four-wheel-drive system and harnesses all of that power and weight excellently on the road. For off-road enthusiasts, the 21-inch gloss black wheels give 11.6 inches of ground clearance and a wading depth of 35.4 inches. While it won’t make any fuel economy top ten lists with its 20 mpg results, it’s classed in a group that averages 19 mpg combined: if you’re looking at this car, you’re probably not that concerned about fuel economy. It should go without saying that the interior is luxurious, but let’s say it anyway. The Supercharged is appropriately leather covered and full of features, and the optional Drive Pro Package takes it even further. It’s got an extensive list of features like blind spot monitoring; lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, speed limiter and even a driver drowsiness monitor.
Think of the $200,000 Ultra-Luxury SVAutobiography as less of a car and more of a rolling beach house. It has a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 powertrain the produces 550 hp and only needs 5.2 seconds to reach 60 mph, but that’s not even close to its most impressive feature. The extra-long wheelbase affords the two-seater rear passenger row four feet of leg space, which comes in handy while watching the two 10 inch screens embedded in the headrests that can be remote controlled with your smartphone using the Connect Pro system and helping yourself to a cold beverage stored in the built-in refrigeration unit. All those channels and nothing on? Play on your smartphone using the 4G wifi which can connect up to 8 devices while also charging them via one of the many USB ports or the 12 volt household sockets. All the seats are 22 way adjustable with calf and foot warming rests, 40 degree reclining and include a hot stone massage. As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s all true. Even the outside is ridiculously luxe, with a unique SVAutobiography grille, custom 22-inch wheels, and chrome inserts. While everyone is sleeping, getting a massage or watching a movie you can still take this Range Rover off road. It’s air adjustable suspension, full time four wheel drive and locking differential means that they probably won’t even notice.
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