Pictures from Rallye Monte Carlo Historique leave TG.com lusting for fast French ‘minis.
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The Top Gear car review:Land Rover Range Rover
For:It’s basically a Bentley crossed with the offroad ability of a tractor
Against:Only bare pricing: it's a long way from cheap
3.0 TDV6 Vogue 4dr Auto
More space in the back for a modest price hike. Just what an oligarch needs to get him to that remote oil field
Loses none of the Rangie’s all-round ability, but it doesn’t deliver a compelling reason to choose it over the standard diesel
Seriously luxurious, seriously capable and fast enough. New RR puts ticks in boxes…
Blinged-up looks won’t appeal to some, engine is stronger and gearbox is better
Shotgun-wielding alcoholic plutocrats, step this way. But when you sober up, you’ll realise you should have bought a Defender.
Not much wrong with this V8 diesel, apart from the equally excellent V6 at the other end of the range.
Blanket of abilities wider than ever, covers pretty well every automotive base.
What we say:
The best off-roader in the world wants to become the best luxury car in the world. It might well be
What is it?
The latest version of Land Rover’s full-size Range Rover, this time equipped with a new aluminium monocoque that cost the company a billion quid to develop. It’s bigger but lighter than the old car (up to 430kg less in the case of the new-to-Range Rover 3.0-litre V6 diesel), faster but more efficient and tangibly better to drive.
It might look very much like an evolution of the old model, and the styling is very much of the ‘if it ain’t broke’ school of car design, but the car is all-new underneath. Fresh for 2014 is a long-wheelbase version with an even more cosseting rear and up to a £146k (!) price tag.
For once, a car manufacturer’s claims stack up across the board. New Range Rover steers with more fluidity, controls its body better via standard air suspension and ‘active lean’ software and rides with the competence of a limousine. It’s not a sports car, but it encourages relaxed driving and feels built to take care of everything with the minimum of fuss.
It is also faintly startling to drive off-road for what is still a relatively large and heavy car; this thing will get to places you wouldn’t believe. It’s easy, too. Just leave the new Terrain Response II off-road software in auto, and you can cross rivers (up to 900mm), climb mountains and traverse the most treacherous surfaces, all while listening to Radio 4 and wondering what all the fuss is about.
On the inside
Do you really need an S-Class or BMW 7-Series? Not anymore. In fact, you might not even need that Flying Spur. Land Rover has noted how many Range Rovers are now used as transport for the chauffeured rich and famous, and designed this new one to suit.
It has an excellent specification, bigger rear door openings and 118mm more rear legroom, various multimedia options (including a 28-speaker Meridian stereo), top-quality materials and impeccable fit’n’finish. There are 50 per cent fewer buttons in the cabin, lending a clean and stylish air, and everything just feels right. There’s even an ‘Executive class’ seating option, with just two big, plush chairs in the rear.
It’s far too early to say much about reliability – that was always one of the big concerns about previous RRs, but we’re promised big improvements here. The model range consists of a 3.0 TDV6 (255bhp, 442lb ft, 37.7mpg) for around £72k, a TDV8 with 335bhp and 516lb ft in the middle and a 500-odd bhp supercharged V8 petrol for a smidge under £100k. The diesels are the cars to go for (there’s an interesting diesel hybrid now, but we’d keep it standard). Residuals, based on the granite efforts of the previous generation, should be golden.