The 2019 Land Rover Range Rover performs a rare feat. It shines off-road—and it shines on pavement, too. There aren’t many vehicles so versatile, and few so powerful. On short-wheelbase Range Rovers, the base engine is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, powered by gas, and rated at 340 hp or 380 hp. In either form, torque registers at 332 lb-ft. The gas V-6s are versatile and sufficient for any driving style, as fitted to an SUV with a curb weight of just under 5,000 pounds. They’re also backed by a classic supercharger whine that grows insistent over the roughly seven seconds it takes to reach 60 mph. Top speed’s 130 mph.
Limits are what the Range Rover is all about—exceeding them mostly. Its performance charts skew heavily in many directions, from off-road talent to on-pavement traction. Off-road’s where it’s made its reputation, and today’s Range Rover proves it’s an immensely capable machine with its standard off-road hardware. Full-time four-wheel drive splits power evenly between the axles until it doesn’t; it constantly senses the need for more grip and sends or limits power as it needs. Some versions get a locking rear differential that works in concert with its terrain-traction system and its six drive modes to tailor power downlay for specific conditions such as mud, gravel, sand, or rocks. Automatic modes remove the guesswork and let drivers handle the sightseeing chores.
Few vehicles have the space and refinement of a Range Rover; “palatial” isn’t a word we use often, but it fits here, thanks to the exceptional accommodations the luxury SUV offers to all its passengers. All Range Rovers have excellent front seats with a wide range of adjustment and even a massaging function. Drivers and front passengers get ample knee and shoulder room, and head room, and the cabin’s fitted with storage pockets in the doors and a usefully deep center console.
If you’re a fan of the Range Rover’s clean, relatively unadorned style—and we are—the beautifully wrought cabin is a place to savor. Bring a Dwell magazine while you’re at it: The Range Rover comes with glossy wood and soft leather that would fit right in with that aesthetic, which makes it a bit austere for the Bentayga and Cullinan crowd