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Review: Land Rover Range Rover TDV6 Vogue SE
Driven February 2013
The most vital of the vital statistics is this: the new Range Rover TDV6 diesel is more than 450kg lighter than the old V8 diesel. It's a perfect example of the virtuous circle of weight reduction. The aluminium body accounts for about 300kg of that. This means it can get away with the lighter engine, which saves another 100+kg, and, lo and behold, the new car accelerates just as well as the old one but uses about a quarter less fuel. Which means the tank itself can be smaller, so you've saved about another 25kg when the tank's full, and so the virtuous circle keeps on turning.
The new vehicle makes all its moves with appreciably less effort. I drove to meet the new Range Rover in a RR Sport with the same engine. The RRS, too, is 450-odd kilos more versus the - bigger - new car. When you ask the Sport to accelerate or turn or brake, it will do it well enough, but not before it has tensed its muscles, filled its lungs and furrowed its brow. The new full-size RR just does it.
That's not to say the new TDV6 Range Rover is a particularly sporty vehicle: it doesn't have the active anti-roll of the V8 versions, so it sways a bit. And the new electric steering is so remote the front wheels might as well be on the dark side of the moon. A Cayenne is more fun (and lighter still). But the TDV6 is a very serene way to get along briskly. It floats a little on big undulations, but the adaptive dampers tighten it in curves, so that's not a concern.
Once again, the RR stakes its claim to be a luxury car - as quiet and smooth and plush as the big limo rivals. Probably quieter than most because there's less road noise, and smoother because there's less faux-sporty silliness in the chassis. And, of course, the view out is better.
But there's something more, as came into focus when driving it amid some very hostile Yorkshire weather. When you go off-road, it'll surmount terrain you'd find tricky on foot. Which means that, back on the road, it swishes through floods, mud and snow and hardly notices. Of course, that's no use at all on busy roads, because there will always be stranded superminis blocking your path. But out where it's bleak and lonely and night's closing in, that indomitability is true luxury.
2993cc, V6, 4WD, 258bhp, 600Nm, 13.34kpl, 196g/km CO2, 0-100kph 7.4secs, 210kph, 2160kg
Unstoppable, serene and luxurious as a RR should be. Fast enough unless you do a lot of A-road overtaking.