As a marque, Land Rover has been producing 4x4 vehicles since 1948, and the Range Rover prototype was first conceived back in 1967. In 2012, Land Rover saw the most advanced, full-size 4x4 and the fourth-generation Range Rover roll off the production line.
This latest Range Rover has received a remodelling of the front end, a more stylish and prominent grille, blended bumper, and modern wrap-around lighting design. The use of an aluminium body shell in the TDV6 has saved on weight, so they could use the smaller V6 engine and reduce the size of the fuel tank. All saving a total of 450kg on the vehicle’s total weight and so it uses less fuel.
All around, the new Range Rover exudes style and class. It still has that iconic Land Rover but with a little something extra that was lacking in earlier models. Its large presence is hard to miss around town and driveability means it will still turn heads, even in the middle of nowhere.
Land Rover decided to use a smaller 3.0L V6 turbo diesel, but this has not affected the car’s performance. A lighter body and all-around diet mean that the TDV6 charges from 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds using a reduced, 7.5L/100km of fuel, 22% better than the old V8 engine. The BMW V8 variant is still available as a 4.4L diesel or 5.0L petrol engine.
The engines are all linked up to the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. The powered steering gives controlled handling, and the suspension soaks up the ruts and bumps in even the most difficult of trails. This is aided by the rotary transmission dial, which can be adjusted to suit the various terrain conditions and provide additional torque if required. Along with hill descent mode, it makes it a safe car over any landscape.
Further ground sensitive performance is included with the Terrain Response All-Wheel Drive system, and this allows you to set the car up for 5 degrees of difficulty. These vary from General and Grass/Gravel/Snow to the slippery Mud Ruts/Sand or Rock Crawl. The fifth setting allows the car's built-in sensors to detect yaw and traction and adjust accordingly.
Low range gearing and height adjusting suspension allow for additional ground clearance up to 300mm off the deck, with a 900mm wading depth should you have the need to ford rivers. All of this merely adds to Land Rover’s reputation as the leading off-road car, leaving the competition to concern themselves with speed and on-road performance.
The standard options include environ sensitive wipers, electronic tailgate, auto parking, Terrain Response, air-con, cruise control, Bluetooth, DAB radio, TV, and satnav. The mid-range gets you adaptive dusk sensitive headlamps, duel-view rear screen, and Terrain Response with auto setting,
The Range Rover has always had a high, clear driving position, and the new fifth generation retains this commanding viewpoint. It also has reduced the confusing collection of buttons and knobs in favour of an 8-inch touchscreen in the central console.
The top range of the Range Rover comes with massaging seats, heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, 21-inch alloys, and surround cameras. With its 29 speakers, it has an auditorium’s worth of sound. The interior has also received the luxury treatment with sumptuous leather upholstery and wood trim.
Automatic parallel parking makes it easier to park and avoids annoying self-induced scratches and scuffs, although there is nothing you can do about other bad drivers on the road. Rear access to the boot is also no problem as they have installed an electric tailgate, which gently folds down at the touch of a button.
Range Rover’s latest generation happily takes up the challenge for best in class and adds the extra dimension of luxury rough driving to crank up the stakes. In this respect, there are very few who can realistically claim to compete on an even footing, as the TDV6 adds elegant interior, stylish lines, and rugged scrub touring determination.
Land Rover see the TDV6 competing easily on a footing with the Audi Q3 and BMW X6 but also challenging the likes of Bentley, Porsche Cayenne, and Mercedes S Class in terms of luxurious interiors. The newest Range Rover has created the luxury 4x4 class, an oxymoron in its own right but one that sits just right on the latest off-road vehicle. While it has a high price tag, the new Range Rover’s depreciation levels are lower than many of its competitors.