2010 Range Rover New Car Test Drive
The Range Rover has been redesigned and re-engineered for 2010. The Range Rover represents the top of the line for Land Rover, the old-line British manufacturer newly acquired by Indian industrial giant Tata.
The Range Rover can go wherever you need to go thanks to its complex but capable all-wheel-drive system, short front and rear body overhangs, and tons of ground clearance. Today's model is based on 60 years of continuous development.
Recent versions had BMW engines, and more recent versions had old Jaguar engines. That last shortcoming has been addressed with the adoption of a new 5.0-liter V8 engine from the Jaguar side of the new Tata Motors family. And inside, recent versions had an almost bewildering array of switches and controls for its various drive systems cluttering up a plasticky black instrument panel, and that has been addressed in the all-new 2010 Range Rover.
While all of the design and engineering modifications for the Range Rover were done under the auspices and with the cooperation of Ford Motor Company when it owned Land Rover, the new 2010 Range Rover from Tata stands out among a small group of luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Audi Q7, and the Lexus LX 470 as a paragon of luxury and performance.
The exterior design of the Range Rover has been modernized and cleaned up front and rear with no loss of identity. The powertrains have been upgraded with the new Jaguar direct-injection V8 engines. The chassis, already among the most capable in the world, has even more electronic capabilities added to its Terrain Response system. Most of all, the interior has been dragged into the 21st century with a much better layout, a unique instrument panel presentation, a more pleasing design, and top-grade materials.
The new 2010 Range Rover interior is as beautiful as it is complex. There are new, more premium materials everywhere you look and touch. The seats are huge, thick, and very supportive in all the right places, and there is plenty of adjustment latitude in the seats and steering wheel. The steering wheel alone carries 10 buttons for cruise control, telephone and audio, two of which are up-down-left-right selectors for display and information functions. Not as many buttons as on a Formula One steering wheel, but close. All of the rotary switches are hefty, and scalloped so they can be used with gloved hands.
If there is one thing that stands out as brand new on the 2010 Range Rover, it is its absolutely scintillating performance. With more than 500 horsepower on tap, and a quick-shifting automatic transmission, the new Range Rover, even at 5900 pounds, is something of an off-road rocket ship in terms of acceleration, and more than 460 foot-pounds of torque are always available for passing situations. Its newly upgraded Brembo brakes are equally powerful, whether easing down a long off-road slope or bringing the truck down in a straight, safe stop from extralegal highway speeds. They are accompanied by a sophisticated anti-lock brake system (ABS).
There are few four-wheel-drive vehicles that combine this level of acceleration and braking performance with a hushed, plush highway ride in a roomy cocoon of high-grade leather and wood. Whether crossing the Gobi Desert at night or just parking the Greenwich station for the train ride into New York on a wintry morning, the new Range Rover looks the part, and that's not easy to pull off.
The 2010 Range Rover comes in two trim levels, Range Rover HSE ($78,425) and Range Rover Supercharged ($94,275).
Standard features include leather upholstery, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel, power windows, mirrors, locks, and tailgate, cruise control, AM/FM/CD with AUX plug and iPod interface.
Options include adaptive dynamics with electronic rear differential lock ($1300), adaptive cruise control ($2000), HD radio ($350), audio interface for iPod, USB and MP3, a five-camera surround viewing system ($800), a new rear-seat entertainment system ($2500), 20-inch V-spoke wheels ($1500), black lacquer wood trim ($350), and jet black headliner ($400). The vision assist package ($1280) includes the camera system, blind spot monitoring built into the outside rearview mirrors, and auto high-beam assist.
The Luxury Package ($4,950) for HSE models upgrades with Windsor leather seats, 14-way heated and cooled power front seats, doors and console lid, additional wood trim, adaptive front lighting, auto-dim mirrors, a luggage net, and seven-spoke, 20-inch wheels and tires.
The Autobiography package ($14,500) for Supercharged models adds semi-aniline leather covers to seats, dashboard, doors, console and headliner, 14 more pieces of real wood trim, four-zone climate control, the rear-seat entertainment system, climate glass, special 20-inch wheels, HD digital radio, adaptive cruise control, and a distinctive badge on the hatch. Special wood trim is available ($2,300), along with Chromoflare paint ($14,500).
Safety features that come standard include frontal, side-impact and curtain air bags, ABS, traction control, yaw control, and all-wheel drive. The rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring system are optional.