2015 Range Rover New Car Test Drive
Since its inception in 1970, the Range Rover has been an exceptionally capable, upscale SUV. Redesigned for 2013, the fourth-generation Range Rover boasted the same attributes as the older variants, but in a package that weighed some 700 pounds less than previously. This almost unheard-of amount of weight loss greatly improved on-road handling, performance and fuel economy for the Range Rover without any loss of off-road capability or safety. Its lightweight aluminum structure makes the current Range Rover the best in history. For 2014, Range Rover comes in two lengths.
The big Range Rover sits at the pinnacle of the Land Rover tree, flaunting a level of luxury and performance, on-road and off, that make the large SUV stand squarely above the rest. It's larger, more luxurious and more expensive than the Range Rover Sport, and it has a different, more poised character.
Staying true to the form of the original Range Rover, and following suit with the highly successful third-generation model, this fourth-generation Range Rover boasted tweaks that freshened and modernized, while keeping the car unmistakable. The five-passenger interior is more elegant and luxurious, with leather wrapping every surface, providing an environment that feels serene and comfortable, even during the most demanding off-road conditions.
Most notable of the changes for the 2014 Range Rover is a switch in the base engine: from a 375-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 to a supercharged 3.0-liter V6. Generating 340 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque at 3500-5500 rpm, the new V6 teams with an 8-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17/23 mpg City/Highway, versus only 14/20 mpg for the previous V8. Helping to boost fuel efficiency is new Intelligent Stop/Start Technology.
The 510-horsepower supercharged V8 remains in upper models, incorporating a Stop/Start feature. Signature LED headlights are standard on all 2014 Range Rover models. Options have been revised for 2014, with prices reduced for adaptive cruise control with queue assist, and intelligent emergency braking. New standard features for the top-level Autobiography edition include an active rear locking differential and a 29-speaker, 1700-watt Meridian audio system with 3D Surround Sound.
A Lane Departure Warning system is newly optional. Two new enhanced parking aids for 2014 can augment the already-available Parallel Park feature: Parking Exit, to help the driver exist parallel-parking spaces; and Perpendicular Park, which can automatically position the vehicle centrally in a parking space.
Also new for 2014 are the addition of long-wheelbase V8 editions of the Range Rover, along with an Autobiography Black model. Long-wheelbase models add 7.3 inches of legroom for backseat occupants. They can be equipped with either a three-person bench, or individual rear seats with a center console. When equipped with the optional executive seating package, the rear seatbacks recline by 17 degrees (versus 8 degrees in short-wheelbase form). Visually, the LWB versions do not look much different from the standard-length models, unless they are parked together. Driving character seems little affected, also.
Inside the new ultra-luxury Autobiography Black SUV, offered only in long-wheelbase form, are distinct leather and veneers. The rear compartment includes reclining, extending and massage-equipped seats, augmented by custom-crafted comfort and work amenities for the two occupants.
With either engine, performance beats that of the prior Range Rover generation due to the incredible amount of weight shed. That weight loss, coupled with the 8-speed transmission, increases fuel efficiency over the earlier model, as well as drastically improving on road dynamics.
Off-road, the Range Rover is still the benchmark. It handles seemingly impossible obstacles with ease, leaving the driver to bask in the comfort of a luxury SUV. Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 system undoubtedly aids in improved off-roading, too. In all models, the air suspension incorporates Adaptive Dynamics damping,
The Range Rover delivers an incredible breadth of capability along with immense luxury, beautiful design, and agility on normal roads that doesn't feel like a compromise.
The 2014 Range Rover comes in five models, offering a choice of supercharged V6 or supercharged V8 engines. Two lengths are available, standard or long wheelbase.
Range Rover ($84,195) comes standard with the new supercharged 3.0-liter V6, dual climate control, grained leather upholstery, 20-way power adjustable seats, heated front seats and driver's memory, five-mode seat massaging, Macassar wood finishes, 380-watt Meridian sound system, 8-inch touch screen with DVD playback, navigation, voice control and connectivity, powered split tailgate, keyless entry and start, AM/FM/XM radio, CD player, USB port, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, hill descent control, Terrain Response 2, and 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.
Range Rover HSE ($89,195) upgrades with 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, body-colored bumper, vent blades and door handles, more interior color options, Oxford leather seats, and heated rear seats.
Range Rover V8 S/C ($100,995) features the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 and 21-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels. Range Rover V8 S/C LWB ($106,195) features the longer wheelbase and roomier interior.
Options include a heated wood/leather steering wheel ($425), adaptive cruise control with queue assist ($1,295), soft door closing ($600), rear-seat entertainment system ($2,200), 825-watt Meridian surround system ($1850), vision assist pack ($1,760/$1,860), parking pack ($1,200), traffic sign recognition with lane departure warning ($640), and tow pack ($900/$1,300). Options for supercharged models include front-seat climate comfort pack ($1,650) and a four-zone climate pack ($4,150). Wheel options come in sizes up to 22 inches.
Range Rover Autobiography ($137,645) and Autobiography LWB ($142,995) get the supercharged V8, as well as a full-size panoramic sunroof, a host of new interior color options, electric reclining rear seats, shadow walnut interior finishes, leather headlining, front center console cooling compartment, park assist, soft door close, rearview camera, surround camera system, blind spot monitoring, rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, and an 825-watt Meridian sound system. Autobiography is distinguished by special 21-inch alloy wheels. A 1700-watt 29-speaker Meridian sound system is optional.
Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB ($185,000) tops the lineup, with a long list of high-end features, including two individually adjustable rear seats with center console and powered recline, an 18-way power front seat with upper articulation, front-rear seat memory and climate control, unique grille and side-vent design and finish, chrome tailgate accent, 10.2-inch screens for rear entertainment, and exclusive 7-spoke 21-inch wheels. At the pinnacle is the Autobiography Black LWB with Valloire White paint ($199,500). Only 100 Autobiography Black models are available for the 2014 model year, including 25 with the Valloire White paint.
Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, intelligent emergency braking (optional), dynamic stability control, roll stability control, traction control, trailer stability assist, hill descent control, gradient release control, electronic brake force distribution, driver and passenger airbags, side curtain and thorax airbags.