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Range Rover: Test Drive Review

Date: 03 December 2012   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Large 4x4
P11D price: £77,380
Key rival: Mercedes GL

There are two sets of rivals for the Range Rover. There are the large 4x4s that will go anywhere, such as the Land Cruiser and Mercedes GL, and then there are the luxury cars such as Mercedes S-class and even the Bentley Flying Spur.

The Range Rover has to beat both groups in both areas, without any compromise. It must also, now, cover both areas more efficiently than before.

To gain that efficiency, the manufacturer, Land Rover, has switched metals: being lighter than steel, the move to aluminium for almost all of the car's structure and body means a 420kg saving over the previous generation Range Rover. Any fleet with a 160g/km CO2 limit may still have to ignore the new model, but bringing CO2 down to 196g/km for the TDV6 version puts it still well ahead of the competition. And that's before the diesel-hybrid version arrives with CO2 of 169g/km.

There's also the benefit of a longer range per tank of fuel, which now sits at 714 miles thanks to economy of 37.7mpg on the official cycle. There's also a TDV8 and a supercharged petrol V8, both of which are significantly quicker, but the V6 diesel is hardly a slouch with 0-60mph coming up in 7.4 seconds.

On the luxury front, the Range Rover cabin is wonderfully simple and ultimately cosseting with the softest leathers and finest finishes to wood or metal surfaces. Around town, on motorway, across field or through river, the luxury 4x4 majors in refinement and comfort by smoothing bumps and successfully eliminating engine, wind or road noise.

Land Rover's engineers have also worked hard to give the new Range Rover better on-road composure by cutting, if not completely eliminating, body roll. This has been done without impacting the off-road ability. While few will go as far off-road as the car is capable, the vast majority of Range Rover buyers will use that capability to some extent. To help drivers do this, Land Rover has made its already simple Terrain Response system even easier to use by introducing a fully automatic mode as standard on the Vogue SE trim level and above, which means the driver no longer needs to select the off-road mode depending on the surface as the car will automatically work out the optimum setting. Clever stuff.

Along with the step-change in refinement, efficiency and ease of use, the Range Rover has seen a similar change in the price: the new car now starts from £71,295, a 2% rise over the old car's starting price. However, owners will get what they paid for - a car that will do the job of luxury transport to board meetings and also go further off-road at a weekend shoot.

Range Rover TDV6 Vogue SE
P11D price£77,380
Model price range£71.295-£98,395
Fuel consumption37.7mpg
CO2 (tax) 196g/km (33%)
BIK 20/40% per month£425/£851
Service interval15,000mls
Insurance (1-50)group 46
Warranty3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space min/max909/2030 litres
Engine size/power2993cc/258hp
Top speed/0-60mph130mph/7.4secs
On sale January 2013
VerdictCombination of
go-anywhere ability
and total luxury mean
it’s well worth the price


Combination of go-anywhere ability and total luxury mean it’s well worth the price