Month 13 running a Range Rover: conclusion after a year running a Vogue SE TDV6
So, Bentley will launch its 200mph SUV in 2016. And the Range Rover is the elephant in the, errrr, road, the 4x4 it has to beat. After a year running an Range Rover Vogue SE TDV6, we know its strengths and weaknesses inside out. And its standout strength is civility.
All L405 Range Rovers come with standard air suspension, generous body travel and a rebuttal of the premium German doctrine that customers value sportiness above comfort. The body lopes over bumps like a lilo on waves, pitching under braking, leaning into corners. It’ll be tough for Bentley to match that pillowy ride, given the conflicting goals of phenomenal power and speed.
My fellow editor at sister magazine Auto Zeitung can’t abide the Rangie’s wallow: sure, it doesn’t handle like a Cayenne, but mechanical grip is strong, and the steering stately but supremely accurate. Drivers like Volker need the effective Dynamic Response switchable anti-roll bars, only fitted to V8s.
The 254bhp V6 diesel echoes the ride refinement, murmuring at 2200rpm on the motorway, smooth under hard acceleration. Kick down and the weight rocks backwards, before surging forward like a Mississippi steamboat: with 443lb ft, it feels quick enough, punchier than its 7.9sec 0-62mph time, your instincts saying that this leviathan couldn’t, shouldn’t, be hammering along so quickly. At motorway speeds, the wind gently rushes along the sides, tyre noise is a murmur not a roar. It’s a very civilised way to travel, not unlike how I’d imagine a Rolls or Bentley SUV.
Trunk roads are where the Rangie accumulated most of its 27,885 miles, being the default choice for long family trips. The Range Rover attended the Belgian grand prix, holidayed in Devon, the Lake District and the Dordogne, and slogged through eight months of my 130-mile daily round trip. Fuel economy improved as time wore on, with the Rangie often surpassing 500 miles on a tank and returning 31mpg, though that’s 21% off the official figure. And, contrary to Land Rover perception, it proved a reliable, robust companion, though some things niggled. The centre console developed a muted creak, and the dual-view screen designed to allow passengers to watch TV on the move once or twice displayed nothing but darkness.
The over-zealous fuel tank cut-off made refuelling infuriatingly slow, until I dug out a plastic rod from the boot, prodded around in the tank neck and reset the flow. And the unresponsive front parking sensors typically needed manual activation. We marked two pieces of trim: cramming a heavy box onto the front seat scuffed the leather-clad dash (our fault), but getting the solid parcel shelf in and out of its unyielding moorings is awkward, causing black marks on the inner door plastic.
The boot is a mixed blessing: it’s vast but hard to access without Inspector Gadget extendable arms, due to the drop-down door keeping you at bay. The rear seats can be powered flat with in-boot buttons; a fold-up boot divider would be equally welcome.
A gashed sidewall did for one of the 275/40 R22 Continental tyres, costing £270 for the rubber alone: that – and the challenge of finding such a vast tyre in stock – is the risk of upgrading to the £3000 split-spoke alloys. The first service cost £425+VAT.
Must-have options included the £1500 glass roof and £400 headrests with fold-out wings like a business class airline seat’s. Those with kids swore by the £1500 rear-seat entertainment system, those using the clunky infotainment system just swore. In my view, the clean but bland dashboard is a step backwards over the previous generation’s, with its architectural wood: the cabin’s design is a weak spot for opulent Bentley to exploit.
But it won’t be able to match the Range Rover’s aluminium monocoque construction, of which I proudly bragged to Chelsea tractor-haters and which is 420kg lighter than the last TDV8 Rangie. And can Bentley’s pedigree beat the renowned off-road ability and blue-chip image built by 44 years of Range Rovers? It won’t be easy. Because the past 12 months have confirmed the Range Rover is the finest luxury SUV on the planet.
By Phil McNamara
Month 12 running a Range Rover TDV6: camping!
There was no question about my preferred car for this year’s camping trip, but as fellow contributor Ben Oliver discovered on a trip to France at the beginning of the Rangie’s loan, the boot fills up all too quickly. No, problem, I thought, I’ll hire a roofbox, and slapped down a deposit at Peterborough-based A2B roof box hire, just as I’d done last year.
Only later did I discover the flaw in my plan. Roof rails are actually optional on the Range Rover, and ours hasn’t got them. But keen to show the breadth of accessories available from your dealer, and that buying a used car without your perfect spec, or mis-speccing a new one, needn’t be a disaster, Land Rover whisked the car away, to fit a set of roof rails, bars and a 410-litre roof box.
The quality of the Thule-made components is excellent, wind noise tolerable, and the price (£1171 for the lot, fully fitted) far less steep than the ascent to load any luggage into a box 2m from ground level. Naturally we looked ridiculously conspicuous on the campsite in our £90k SUV, the epitome of ‘townies on tour’, but the Range Rover performed faultlessly. My admiration for this car only grows with each meeting.
By Chris Chilton
Month 11 running a Range Rover: the split-screen TV and our first service
The Range Rover’s understated dashboard – unadorned, leather-clad surfaces, very few buttons – disguises the lashings of tech it harbours. I’ve come to appreciate some luxurious, standard Vogue features: heated steering wheel, cooling seats which, though effective, feel a bit like sitting in a cold puddle, and in-dash digital TV. On the rare occasions I’m in the passenger seat, I have the picture on just for the hell of it.
But unlike the radio, the TV doesn’t hold your last settings, so every morning I have a fiddly, 10-button routine so my daughter can watch CBeebies, not Al Jazeera, on the £1500 rear screens. Another thing that grates is the Rangie turning itself off if you unbuckle your seatbelt or open the door: it assumes I’ve parked up, when in fact I’m getting my bearings to park precisely. You’re not sentient, car, so let me make the decisions.
Far less annoying was the first service, carried out at 19,892 miles by Marshall in Peterborough. The urbane Guy Fitz-Gibbon talked me through the various software upgrades for the ECU, brake light and parking system, and arranged a lift for later to reunite me with my newly serviced, immaculately clean car. The cost? A hefty £425 + VAT for those routine oil and filter changes.
By Phil McNamara
Month 10 running a Range Rover TDV6: it’s too big for car parks!
Car parks are supposed to be a safe haven, so why do so many gleefully attack cars with hidden kerbs and terrifyingly narrow gullies? My local – at The Maltings mall in St Albans – is a trademark anti-car park. You enter through a channel as narrow and hostile as Luke Skywalker’s approach to the Death Star, but instead of facing laser fire you’re subjected to kerbside mines. I was so focused on avoiding those, I failed to spot the latticework metal gate protruding over the kerb and into the entrance. Cue the spine-tingling noise of a padlock gouging the door mirror.
The merciless traps continue inside. Which architect designed a car park with concrete pillars fouling two of every three spaces? It leads to long queues as people search for an unimpeded middle space, otherwise you have to kick out your passengers before attempting to park.
Worst of all is the Victoria Street exit, which features a chicane you have to drive blind through two zig-zagging kerbs, thickly smeared with chewed rubber and alloy scars. Okay, the Range Rover is a wide car, but this place savages superminis. Readers, it’s time we took a stand. Email pictures of your anti-car parks to CAR@bauermedia.co.uk, and let’s demand action to end the carnage.
By Phil McNamara
Month 9 running a Range Rover TDV6: the big car’s small-car vibe
One of my favourite road tester-phrases is saying an agile, big car feels like a smaller car. Well, the Range Rover feels like an enormous car, to which my driving style has adapted. My father-in-law, a handy, ex-grass-roots racer, spotted my method. You open up corners by going wide, so you can get the nose into the apex before the long wheelbase and boot follow a minute later. If you’re too close to the kerb, you’re forced deep and off-line.
Despite the body rolling like a dinghy in a force 10, you can still corner tidily: there’s a lot of front-end grip, and the measured steering is precise, so it’s just a question of keeping your foot in. Running late for a Jaguar visit, I had an exhilarating drive on deserted, country roads. Just make sure you’ve got the correct line and the body settled before cornering, which requires a firm, early push on brakes as stately as the steering, because mid-corner adjustments get untidy. With the big Rangie’s cushy ride, it’s like driving a bouncy castle.
In the wet it’s a different story: the front end veers off like Mr Crab spotting his dream lady crab. So forget hustling: enjoy the comfort and quiet, because the Rangie does serene progress like few others.
By Phil McNamara
Month 8 running a Range Rover TDV6: we take the Vogue SE to the Lake District
Having justified my new M235i long-termer on the grounds that I do need back seats, but rarely a big car, I suddenly found myself temporarily in need of, yes, a big car. And the biggest of the lot in the CAR park is editor Phil’s Range Rover. Too big for the Lake District’s winding lanes, but perfect for getting there.
I haven’t spent much time in this Rangie, but the Chiltons have some form with the breed. I’d loved the 12 months I spent with an old-shape Range Rover Sport a few years back, and although I know that they’re not directly comparable, our new Vogue answered almost every one of my criticisms of it. First, nothing broke, something of a novelty, given CAR’s experience with long-term JLR products. Second, for a car that still weighs 2160kg even after its switch to aluminium, it sipped fuel as if it had been gifted the last 10 gallons on Earth. I saw high 30s on the M6 and 30mpg overall, fully loaded. And third, it actually has room for four – our reverse-Tardis Sport was so cramped it was more of a +2+2.
Yes, it’s too soggy and too slow in V6 form (V8s get more poke and Dynamic Response suspension). You could buy the new, much cheaper Sport instead, but to my eyes this thing is so much cooler. The rear three-quarter angle is my favourite. From here the thing could easily pass as a Rolls SUV, and the feelgood factor it gives from inside is every bit the other Brit’s equal. As it should given the price. My favourite of the current Our Cars crew by a mountainous, lake-lined country mile.
By Chris Chilton
Month 7 running a Range Rover TDV6: a puncture!
It’s typical to come down with a bang post-honeymoon. And the Range Rover did likewise as I got home to a flat driver’s-side rear tyre. No idea how the sidewall was gashed; other tyres are more at risk.
It turns out that replacing a gargantuan 275/40 R22 Continental is neither easy nor cheap. Kwik Fit quoted £336.25 and fitting in three days, etyres.co.uk was £50 costlier. Marshall Land Rover in Peterborough didn’t have any stock, so Welwyn’s Lancaster dealership got the gig.
Thankfully OE13 SXK has a full-size spare, you just need Manu Tuilagi’s power to lever it out of the bootwell. Removing the locking wheel nut was equally straining: it was rusty and the teeth misaligned. But I changed the wheel and got the nut back on.
Off to Lancaster for the new tyre. I was summoned to the workshop with a grave tone you’d hate to hear in a doctor’s surgery. The technician feared he might have to weld onto the locking nut to dislodge it. But when I said my non-rugby player’s physique had managed it, he upped his efforts and swapped the tyre in 15 minutes. All for £85.48 for new wheel nuts, £270 for the tyre, and £482.38 all in. A high price to pay, especially as 22s make potholes feel pretty punishing.
By Phil McNamara
Month 6 running a Range Rover TDV6: Mark Walton heads off road
No car enthusiast would be surprised by the Range Rover’s abilities off road. Surprise isn’t the right word – you’ve spent your whole life reading CAR and watching William Woollard on Top Gear putting various generations through their paces in some godforsaken BBC sandpit, and the verdict has always been the same: it’s the unstoppable Terminator of the SUV world, with glowing red eyes and an Uzi machine gun, sent from the future to tow horse trailers. I think those were Woollard’s exact words. Anyway, my point is, you kind of know what to expect, but that still doesn’t really prepare you.
The first time you sit in the new Range Rover and casually roll over every kind of obstacle – deep water, muddy ravines, rocky cliffs – you will still be gob-droppingly amazed at its muscular, easy confidence. Yes, Range Rovers are good off road, we all know that, but it’s the car’s style that has you enthralled.
The new 2012 model is enormous, and CAR’s Vogue SE model, with its leather seats and Meridian sound system, is beautifully finished inside. I love the calming symmetry of the dashboard, the geometric order of those switches, the armchairs, the elbow room – it’s an ambience that says ‘relax, sir, everything is under control’. So you settle back, put the eight-speed gearbox into D, keep the ‘Terrain Response 2’ knob in its new Auto setting, and just let those 22-inch wheels (controlled by a gazillion computer algorithms) find their way.
Along a woodland track the car jigs a bit here, rocks a little there, but it never feels challenged. Size is the biggest problem – it totally fills the lane, with branches scraping along windows. But if there’s a gap big enough the Range Rover will drive through it: we wade through waist-deep water without a care, climb a steep gravel hill without a hint of tyre scrabble, and squelch over a muddy stream as though it wasn’t there. Steep approach angles don’t seem to worry it, extreme twists and turns don’t provoke even the slightest creak, and the 3.0 TDV6 in our car – which produces 442lb ft of torque at just 2000rpm – is barely ticking over at the kind of speeds you do off-road.
Altogether, it’s astonishingly good, no matter how many plaudits you’ve read before. And to think it has all this potential, invisibly stored up, when the editor’s cruising to the office in the morning, listening to Radio 2. I think he should start taking a route over fields and ditches.
By Mark Walton
Month 5 running a Range Rover TDV6: the wedding day
At last I’ve prised the Range Rover from my holidaying/house-moving colleagues. Just one snag: I also have the key to a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. What a pair of cars for my wedding: the world’s most outlandish supercar to sweep the bride from the church, the world’s most refined 4x4 for lugging stuff. I’ve heard rumour of multi-millionaires who blat along in supercars while the wife or nanny chug along behind in laden SUVs. For two weeks over Christmas, we live that dream: me in the 691bhp Lambo with its incisive steering, screaming V12, negative visibility and zero baggage, Vicky in the Rangie with its languid steering, screaming baby, patio door visibility and every millimetre of space filled. Hmmmm, maybe one of us lives the dream, though the Rangie has plenty of magical qualities.
The Rangie exudes impeccable, luxury car quietness, the Aventador – in ‘Strada’ highway mode – is the most civilised Lambo yet: no overbearing exhaust on long journeys, the ability to make audible hands-free calls. Ride quality is naturally divergent: the Lambo lashed down and punishing, while the Rangie’s suspension has a pronounced, loping gait that cossets occupants. You never quite get used to the lashings of resultant body roll though.
The Lambo sits lower than a squaddie on a rifle range. How do you get it across a flooded road to reach the wedding rehearsal? You send in the Range Rover first as an £88k yardstick, and when the water laps above its wheel centres, you do a 10-point turn in a narrow, pitch-black lane and take a 20-minute detour.
The Rangie’s V6 engine installation is blissfully smooth, delivering a decent kick of acceleration: it yields only 66lb ft of torque to the Italian’s V12. But accelerating in the squat, cocooning Lambo is – I imagine – like being trapped in an ice hockey puck and blasted forward at explosive velocity. Post-wedding, I run a supercar shuttle service, launching my usher Giles and his boys along narrow Wiltshire roads, straddling the central white line to try to unlock as much of the wideboy Aventador’s incessant acceleration as appropriate, delighting everyone, even the superminis we overtake to thumbs-up signs. As I say, living the dream – of two cars that fulfill their brief deliciously.
By Phil McNamara
Month 4 running a Range Rover TDV6: the French holiday adventure
When I first drove the new Range Rover in Morocco last year I wrote that there was no finer way to cross the face of the Earth. But having a six-month-old son limits your travel options, so rather than Vladivostok, my first long-range destination in the Range Rover was a quick family holiday in the Dordogne.
I felt bad stealing editor McNamara’s long-term test car and putting a bunch of miles on it before he’d even sat in it. Felt bad for about ten seconds, that is, before looking forward to two weeks spent in a massive luxury car. But while I stand by my initial judgement on the Range Rover, my time in it proved that it isn’t perfect, and reminded me of a bunch of niggles that either I didn’t have space to mention when I first drove it, or that only become apparent on longer acquaintance.
I started with a couple of days working in central London. The fact that I had a new Range Rover drew my attention to how many others you see on the road here already, though they feel no less special as a result. A day in (basically socialist) central Paris seemed to draw more scowls than smiles; this car carries an image, and you’d better be comfortable with it. You’d also better be comfortable with tricky parking if you plan to use it in a city. This is a BIG car now; parallel parking is like bringing a liner alongside, and plenty of car park spaces will let the Range Rover in, but won’t let you open the doors sufficiently to get out.
Packing for France revealed a boot not much bigger than our family C-class estate, which was the excuse for nicking the Range Rover in the first place. It’s big and square below the glasshouse, but tapers in sharply above, and it’s telling that there’s no anchor in the headlining for a luggage net to stop dogs or piled-up items launching themselves into the cabin; the practicality has plainly been dialled back a little in favour of style. And even at six feet, I still had to do an inelegant little jump to get past the split tailgate and retrieve stuff from the boot’s furthest reaches.
The cabin looks amazing at night, with its LED lighting and the Range Rover logo in the puddle lights on the ground: you might think it’s a gimmick, but I’m a sucker for a surprise-and-delight flourish. The 1980’s Filofax faux-leatherette dashtop means it looks a little less good in daylight though, and the flimsy, plasticky shift paddles really need to be replaced with solid metal items befitting the price.
Cabin storage needs to be addressed too. The door bins artfully echo the profile of the car’s nose but they’re bugger all use for actually putting things in. With the seat set high you can’t get your hand into the main bin, and the little box above is too small to be useful. Our car has a fridge between the seats: great for transporting stinky cheese back from French holidays, but further limiting storage options.
The V6 diesel actually gave its best tankful (29.8mpg) in mixed motorway-and-London use. Over 1300 fast French miles, cruising perhaps a little beyond the 80mph limit, it averaged 27.5mpg. For a fast-moving, fully laden, full-size, bluff-fronted SUV that’s a pretty good result. The performance was more than adequate too. But if I were specifying this car for myself, I’d sacrifice options like the rear screens and vast wheels and upgrade to the V8 diesel; partly for its utterly effortless acceleration, but also because it comes with the Dynamic Response active suspension, unavailable on the V6. This is purely a passenger-comfort thing: having only driven active Range Rovers before, I was aware of the extra roll of our passive car while trying to both make reasonable progress on French back roads and keep wife and child asleep.
But these are (mostly) minor niggles. I’m still convinced that the Range Rover is a remarkable piece of engineering, with a broader range of ability than almost any other car on sale. It was a privilege to have the use of it for a fortnight. And sorry about the faint whiff of nappy and Epoisses.
By Ben Oliver
Month 3 running a Range Rover TDV6: the cracked windscreen
On its very first journey our Range Rover picked up a big chip in its windscreen, caused by a stone flicked up from a car heading in the other direction (coincidentally on the same road where our DB9 suffered the same fate). We called Autoglass, and after we’d convinced them that the DVLA’s records are wrong and that OE13 SXK isn’t a blue Mini Cooper S, booked an appointment.
The crack was the size of a £2 coin, right on the limit of what can be repaired with their special resin stuff, but rather than replace a perfectly good windscreen we opted to try to have it patched up first. Autoglass still brought along a replacement screen, just in case, but the resin repair was carried out in under 30 minutes and the RR looked as good as new. It was in Ben Oliver’s care at the time (more next month) and Autoglass also gave him a free MoT voucher, which he’s chuffed with and will doubtless use to keep his beloved 205 GTi on the road.
Alas the chip proved too big for the repair to last and it started to show again over the next few weeks, so Autoglass came back, replaced the screen (cost: about £1000, complete with heating elements etc) and now the Range Rover is at full health. At least until the next time I drive the A509…
By Ben Pulman
Month two running a Range Rover TDV6: just what is the perfect Rangie spec?
We're still keeping the editor’s RR from him with various Continental jaunts, but here’s a rundown of the spec he can look forward to…
It’s the world’s first aluminium SUV, and while its chunky predecessor was limited to V8 power, the new one is available with a 3.0 TDV6 – it’s the option we’ve gone for, and compared to the outgoing TDV8 it’s claimed to be 420kg lighter. The TDV6 weighs 200kg less than the new TDV8 too, helping to offset an 80bhp and 73lb ft deficit.
We’ve piled a bit of that weight back on with a full-length sunroof (£1500) and 22in wheels (£3000) in place of the standard 20s. Two other extravagances are £1500 on twin TV screens and wireless headphones in the rear, and £30 on an extra-large washer fluid bottle.
Other extras? Loire Blue was a no-cost option, front fogs are a necessity (£140) and so is the electric tow bar (£810) to take advantage of the 3500kg trailer capacity. There’s also tyre pressure monitors (£395), comfier headrests (£400), a £500 blind spot monitoring system (have you seen the size of this thing?) and a £700 surround camera system. The final option is £750 on ‘solar attenuating glass’ for the windscreen and front windows, and privacy glass from the B-pillars back. However, we’ve already picked up a sizeable stone chip…
By Ben Pulman
Month one running a Range Rover TDV6: the Range Rover's trip to the 2013 Spa F1 GP
I've often squeezed my lengthy frame into inadequately sized long-termers (nine months pressed into a Caterham springs to mind) but CAR’s new Range Rover fits me like a Savile Row suit. I don’t fall down into the seat or have to step up to it, but slide straight in, and there’s headroom and legroom even for someone forced to buy trousers from the internet. The dynamic deficiencies brought about by the significant size and weight (of the Range Rover) encourage you to cruise too, so it makes my daily commute a calming affair.
Alas the RR is actually the editor’s new wheels, the arrival of McNamara Jnr signifying that Phil’s Audi A3 is now too small to transport all the associated freight. But before we hand it over to be filled with buggies and baby seats, I’ve pinched it…
The better half is a huge Formula 1 fan (but supports Chelsea, so not quite perfect) yet has never attended a race, so ahead of F1’s switch to turbocharged 1.6-litre V6s in 2014 I decided she needed to see – and hear – the current crop of naturally aspirated V8s shrieking round a circuit at 18,000rpm. We live near Silverstone, but a featureless Northants airfield lacks romance, so we settled instead on the Belgium GP at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes mountains.
And the Range Rover is perfect for the job: V12-powered GTs are no longer the tool for crossing continents, instead it’s now the role of TDI V6 SUVs. After struggling to get a couple of bags into our Aston DB9 when I took it to the Nürburgring earlier this year, the Rangie was a cavernous delight and we (over)packed for every eventuality. It’s nearly Rolls-Royce quiet too, and when we settled into a fast cruise the trip computer was indicating a 35mpg average and proclaiming a 500-mile+ range.
Better yet, my passenger was entranced by the dual-view screen, which let her watch a movie while I studied the sat-nav. Wireless headphones also meant only she was subjected to the audio – though it was disconcerting when she giggled at random and stared intently at the navigation screen when it was guiding me around Brussels. The other downside is that there’s only one CD/DVD player, so my audio books never saw the light of day and I was left with a choice between her Spotify playlists and European radio.
Our auberge was down a steep and rutted track which most cars probably could have handled, but it felt better conquering it in the Range Rover. Ditto crossing the grass field that doubled as a car park at the circuit. And the split tailgate proved the perfect place to perch when changing into wellington boots. Yet without the active anti-roll bar tech that’s standard on the more powerful engines, our TDV6 felt dynamically off the pace on the surprisingly twisty Belgian roads between Spa and our B&B. Time will tell whether its subjective luxury touches can outweigh the objective faults.
As for the F1, qualifying was great (watched from Pouhon) but the race was a little dull, even when viewed from the top of Eau Rouge. My girlfriend was happy though (she cheers for Vettel; I cheer for Vettel to have a mechanical failure) and then we cruised home in utter comfort, her asleep and my Sherlock Holmes storybook finally playing.
By Ben Pulman
How we specced CAR's Range Rover long-termer
CAR’s latest long-term test car is the new Range Rover. With its aluminium chassis, more generous dimensions, and automatic ‘Terrain Response’ adaptive driving modes, it’s the most advanced, luxurious car ever to wear the Land Rover badge. But does that make it a truly great 4x4? We’ll find out in our definitive long-term test.
Before we climb behind the wheel though, a question: how would you spec a brand new Range Rover? With a minefield of colours, trim and wheel designs, not to mention a truly frightening array of on-board toys, it’s a tricky balancing act between opulence and vulgarity.
We’ve opted for the least expensive, most frugal powertrain: the TDV6. It develops 258bhp, 442lb ft, and returns a claimed 37.7mpg on the combined cycle. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, with an integrated low-range transfer case – handy for a spot of green-laneing, if the mood takes us.
In mid-range Vogue SE trim (above Vogue in the hierarchy, but below top-spec Autobiography), the TDV6 retails for £77,895 before options. Here’s the build summary of CAR’s new Range Rover, which comes to £87,650 altogether.
• ‘Loire Blue’ metallic paint: £0
• 22-inch Diamond-turned split-spoke alloy wheels: £3000
• Panoramic glass sunroof: £1500
At no extra cost, we’ve gone for a statesmanlike, mostly black interior, with ‘Ebony’ leather upholstery, and ‘Grand Black Laquer’ wood trim. Lifting the ambience is the grey ‘Cirrus’ headlining. And so, on to the options:
• Solar attenuating privacy glass: £750
• Front fog lamps: £140
• Electrically deployable towbar (includes electrics and armature) £810
• Tyre pressure monitoring system: £395
• Winged headrests (front and rear): £400
• First aid kit: £30
• Surround camera system: £700
• Reverse traffic detection with blind spot monitor and closing vehicle sensing: £500
• Extra-large additional washer bottle: £30
• Rear seat entertainment system with touchscreen remote control (including two sets of wireless headphones and one USB in second row): £1500
That’s a total of £9755 of optional extras, including £1200-worth of sensor gadgetry to help us park this gargantuan five-metre long machine. With 442lb ft at our disposal, the Rangie should make a great tow-car, hence the pricey tow-bar’s inclusion. And as any of the CAR team with a brood of youngsters will testify, you can’t put a price on contented, entertained passengers. Land Rover can, though, hence investing £2250 in tinted glass and rear seat screens. Three grand on massive wheels is an extravagance, but it’s testament to the Range Rover’s huge scale than even on these top-of-the-range rims, the body still dwarfs the spangly alloys.
What would you have chosen differently? A more powerful engine, or less sporty wheels, perhaps? Check out the Range Rover online configurator and tell us your ideal specification in the comments below.
Also, we’re keen to hear your questions about what it’s like to run the new Range Rover as an everyday car – it’s the whole point of these comprehensive long-term test reviews. Ask your burning Range Rover questions in the comments sections and we’ll update you in our road-test reports during the Range Rover’s imminent stint with CAR.
By Ollie Kew