Legendary, Iconic... And Improved? It is an undeniable reality that there are only so many adjectives to choose from when describing a given vehicle. Here are two that tend to be both overused and misused perhaps more than any other: legendary and iconic. Forgive us for regaling you with these descriptors yet again, but when it comes to the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover, there simply aren't any words in the English language that can be applied to this sport utility vehicle that are as accurate and forceful as legendary and iconic. And what's especially impressive about our use of these adjectives is that they apply equally well when discussing the Range Rover's off-road capabilities as they do its position as a status symbol. This marketplace position, however laudable and desirable it may be, presents a unique problem: How do you redesign a legendary SUV to be better, faster and stronger while maintaining its posh image? The boffins at Land Rover think they've nailed the art of the redesign, and we spent a week with the 2013 Range Rover to find out for ourselves if you really can mess with success and come out the victor. The new 2013 model is more of the same, for the most part. "Don't change it, just make it better." Those were the words of Andrew Polsinelli, Land Rover North America's head of product planning, to our own Jonathon Ramsey when describing how current Range Rover owners drove the product development team at the Indian-owned-yet-still-very-British-feeling automaker for 2013. The only problem with that directive is that "better" can mean different things to different people – do you want the Range Rover to drive better on the road, or do you want it to enhance its legendary off-roading capabilities? As it turns out, the answer to that question was simple: Owners wanted both. One area where making it better caused a recognizable change or two to the latest Range Rover is its external appearance. The previous generation of Land Rover's SUV gave off an unmistakable vibe that ingrained into the onlooker that it was just as happy crossing a random stream in Africa as it was parallel parking in front of the local Starbucks. The new 2013 model is more of the same, for the most part. It's an attractive SUV that will never be mistaken for anything else. Signature elements like the clamshell hood, broad roof held up by thin pillars (well, they at least look thin, since they are blacked out to hide them from view) and fastback rear glass join with the more-recent vertical vents behind the front wheels and intricately detailed grille insert to make this latest Rover immediately recognizable. At the same time, changes to the recipe like a much more steeply raked windshield and jewel-like head- and taillamp clusters bring the 'ute kicking and screaming into modern times. When push comes to shove, we prefer the less ornamental and more purposeful look of the last-generation Range Rover to the …
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|MPG||14 City / 20 Hwy|
|Power||375 @ 6500 rpm|
|Drivetrain||Terrain Response four-wheel|
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