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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
What is it?
Arguably the definitive big, luxury SUV. Frequently imitated, but rarely bettered or even equalled, the Range Rover has been around since the early Seventies. And even though that means it’s only a couple years shy of its fiftieth birthday, the Rangie is still only in its fourth generation. Admittedly the fact the first-gen (later known as the ‘Classic’) lasted for more than two decades skews that figure a bit. But still…
The current car was launched in 2012. It debuted a new aluminium monocoque that cost the company a billion quid or so to develop. So even though it’s bigger than the car it replaced, it’s lighter by in some cases almost half a tonne. That means it’s faster, tangibly better to drive and more efficient. And with the 2018 facelift comes even more efficiency, thanks to the introduction of the P400e plug-in hybrid, which pairs a 296bhp, four-cylinder petrol engine with a 114bhp electric motor for 64g/km of CO2, a claimed 101mpg and 31 miles of all-electric range. The P400e replaces the SDV6 Hybrid (a conventional, non-plug-in hybrid with the 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a small electric motor) in the line-up, but V6s and V8s in petrol and diesel (with up to 557bhp for the flagship, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol) remain available. All are linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive with the deeply clever ‘Terrain Response’ technology that gives the Rangie its peerless off-road ability.
Nowadays the Rangie doesn’t just compete with other big SUVs, but conventional luxury saloons like the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8. It has to rival those cars – traditionally their makers’ technological flagships – on every level. Which is why the new car offers higher levels of luxury and cleverer tech than we’ve yet seen from JLR. For the facelift it’s added the dual-touchscreen infotainment setup as debuted in the Range Rover Velar, ‘Pixel’ headlamps with 144 LEDs and four laser diodes each for more than 500m of visibility and much besides. We’re promised a new seat design - adjustable up to 24 (!) ways - makes the Rangie “more comfortable than ever” in the front, and that the ‘Executive Class Seating’ option for rear-seat passengers gives “the impression of a luxurious wraparound lounge-like interior”.
Exterior changes include a new grille and bumper, with larger vent blades. At the side the lower accents and vents have been reworked, while at the rear the updated bumper features integrated tailpipes across all derivatives.
Long- and short-wheelbase options are available, with prices starting at £79,595 for the former and £112,900 for the latter, and rising to £177,030 for V8-engined examples of Rangies fettled by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division.
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