2001 Range Rover New Car Test Drive
Today's Range Rover reminds us of an old New Yorker cartoon, in which a small group of clearly British hunters are enjoying a fine meal in the African veldt. Despite their wild location, they sport formal dinner attire and enjoy fine china, crystal, and silver. At a separate, somewhat rickety table, a single, forlorn hunter dines alone in his shirtsleeves. 'Pity about Carruthers,' comments one of the better-dressed men, 'losing his dinner jacket like that.'
Range Rover is all about bringing civility to unlikely places. Few, if any, vehicles can match its combination of rock-climbing ability, refined British luxury and on-road performance. In a Range Rover, you can traverse a boulder field more easily than in most SUVs, all the while pampered by a sybaritic interior that would shame many high-end touring sedans.
Land Rover has revised the Range Rover model lineup for 2001. Two models are still available, but both now share the larger, 222-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8. (The previously standard 4.0-liter V8 is no longer available in the Range Rover.)
So now the 4.6 SE ($62,000) and 4.6 HSE ($68,000) are separated mainly by their level of standard equipment and available options. HSE comes with 18-inch wheels in place of the SE's 16-inch wheels. Many of the HSE's spiffier features, such as its 460-watt, 12-speaker audio system and off-road satellite navigation computer, can be ordered on the SE as a $3,000 option package.
All Range Rovers come with permanent four-wheel drive and a four-speed automatic transmission. In addition, four-channel ABS is used to provide traction control to each wheel.