The Land Rover Range Rover continues to mix over 45 years of off-roading heritage with the latest and greatest technology and refinement to create a remarkable balance of luxury and capability on any terrain.
While the original Range Rover that hit the market in 1970 was decidedly primitive, the latest version is one of the most advanced vehicles ever built. Even with the base standard wheelbase model will leave few wanting more. The lineup grows from there with an array of trim levels: HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography, and SV Autobiography Dynamic. There are various engine combinations that start with a robust supercharged V-6 and climb to a fierce 550-horsepower V-8.
With that being said, it is possible to more than double the price of entry, but few vehicles short of a Bentley Bentayga to pamper the occupants the same way.
Land Rover has extended its Range Rover into an entire array of vehicles: The Range Rover serves as its flagship, with the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque serving as family-oriented and style-oriented models, respectively. The Range Rover itself is the largest and most traditional of all the models.
Range Rover Performance and Style
The full-size Range Rover’s classic look combines the lines of the original with a decidedly aerodynamic influence, resulting in a modern take on the boxy, upright theme. Two wheelbases are now on offer, a move that echoes the first generation Range Rover toward the end of its model run. Even the base model is decadent and imposing, but the Autobiography adds subtly classy hints. The SV Autobiography Dynamic, however, is basically a sports car with a big body—and it has the chops to back up those looks. For 2017, the SV Autobiography Dynamic builds on last year’s SV Autobiography but is built as a standard wheelbase rather than the extended model.
Today’s Range Rover lineup consists of two V-6 engines—gas and diesel—and a V-8 available in two states of tune. The standard gas-fueled supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the short wheelbase model boasts a solid 340 horsepower and can sprint to 60 mph in a hair over 7 seconds. Perhaps even more impressive is the optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that delivers a hefty 443 pound-feet of torque and is rated at 29 mpg on the highway, all while accelerating nearly as quickly as the gas engine.
The supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, meanwhile, begins with 510 hp but is upgraded to 550 hp with the revised-for-2017 SV Autobiography Dynamic.
All four options are mated to an 8-speed automatic and, as you might expect, permanent four-wheel drive with a multi-mode traction control system accessed at the turn of a knob. An optional Terrain Response 2 system bundled with a host of convenience items in the Vision Assist package includes an automatic mode for the traction control system that, as its name implies, requires the driver to make few decisions when a mogul or dirt road is encountered.
Range Rovers provide remarkably good fuel economy, all things considered. The fuel sipper of the lineup is the V-6 diesel engine, which checks in at an impressive 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the supercharged V-8s at 14/19/16 mpg.
Its off-road ability remains exceptional, but the Range Rover’s on road prowess is perhaps even more impressive. Independent suspension, adaptive air dampers, and an advanced variable-ratio electric power steering system deliver finely tuned response resulting in a languid experience behind the wheel. Turn things up and the Range Rover remains thoroughly composed. The SV Autobiography Dynamic’s track-tuned suspension delivers handling response and stability on par with thoroughbred sports cars.
Safety, Comfort and Features
On the safety side, automatic emergency braking is standard on all models, while an optional Drive Pack adds a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. The Drive Pro Pack adds adaptive cruise control, among other features.
The Range Rover delivers exceptional comfort for all five passengers, even in the base model. Option your way up to the HSE or Supercharged and you’ll net a few more features and a wider choice of trims, but it is the Autobiography that truly steps into decadence. All models are comfortable from every seat, with the long-wheelbase model delivering more stretch-out room for those who prefer to be shuttled around. Even the Range Rover’s cargo area is beautifully trimmed—it’s almost too nice to put luggage back there.
It’s hard to imagine how Land Rover could pile more features onto its flagship range, but the 2017 adds an upsized, 10-inch dual view touchscreen display for its infotainment system and, using one of the safety suite’s cameras, a new system reads speed limit signs and automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed to match if the driver is using cruise control.
The sky is nearly the limit from there, with five option packages grouping most commonly-ordered items together for base, HSE and Supercharged models. Autobiography and SV Autobiography Dynamic, meanwhile, merely require buyers to pick from more than 40 paint colors, half a dozen wheel styles, and 12 interior trim and color combinations.
For 2017, Land Rover repackaged last year’s SV Autobiography as the SV Autobiography Dynamic, and it is now available only in the standard wheelbase.
Base, HSE, and Supercharged models are essentially indistinguishable from the outside, and even the Autobiography and ferocious SV Autobiography Dynamic really only stand apart because of their gorgeous 21-inch alloy wheels (which, natch, don’t provide much of a sidewall for off roading).
The differences are more noticeable inside. Sure, the base and HSE certainly pamper, with nice leather trim, but the Autobiography’s full semi-aniline leather pushes it into an entirely different league. All models essentially work the same way, however, with a minimum of buttons and a pair of big LCD screens controlling the infotainment and serving as a user-configurable replacement for conventional instruments.
An Executive Class option on certain long wheelbase models takes the Range Rover from a five-seater to just four outboard seats, but it includes a beautifully detailed center console with individual seat and climate controls for rear seat passengers. If you thought Etihad’s Boeing Dreamliner first-class seats were comfortable, you’ll feel right at home here.
The new 2017 line of Land Rover Range Rovers is certain to impress. With a variety of new options and features both inside and out, the lineup will certainly serve as a main vehicle for both families and car junkies alike.