The flagship Range Rover continues as perhaps the most intriguing of automotive dichotomies. Yet certainly a wonderful one. Its level of opulence and craftsmanship is only matched by an ability to go anywhere, be it fording streams, crawling the Rubicon or traversing a desert. Does anyone actually do this in a leather-lined, all-aluminum premium SUV that starts at $108,490? Very few, but knowing you can is half the battle in this game. The multi-position Terrain Response knob (normal, sand, mud/ruts, snow) is surely one of the loneliest devices fashioned by mankind.
The Range Rover’s blocky interior architecture is holding up well, although some elements are showing their age. The central digital gauge cluster is not state-of-the-art crisp and the infotainment touchscreen can be slow to respond. Outward visibility is stellar however, and all wood, metal and leather surfaces are top shelf.
New for 2016 is InControl Protect at $450. Download the app and owners can remotely lock and unlock, start the engine, activate the lights and horn to locate the vehicle, check if a window is open and check on fuel and fluid levels. The feature also provides stolen vehicle location and emergency services.
Making its 2016 debut is an “entry level” Range Rover powered by a turbocharged diesel 3.0L V6 that makes 254 horsepower and a meaningful 440 lb-ft of torque from 1750 rpm. This engine suits the big Brit to a tee. It is smooth, quiet (once warm) and pushes the SUV along with effortless authority. Projected fuel economy is 10.5 L/100 km city and 8.0 L/100 highway. With a starting price of $108,490, the 2016 Td6 could be all the Range Rover you’ll ever need.
Unless you want to go faster. The Range Rover Supercharged at $116,490 scoots to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds thanks to its robust 510 hp, 461 lb-ft supercharged 5.0L V8. Standard equipment includes 21-inch wheels, Xenon headlights with LED signatures, gesture powered tailgate, heated seats, heated steering wheel and stainless steel pedals.
Step up to the $151,990 Autobiography and your worlds gets even nicer with 18-way driver and passenger seat with massage, semi-aniline leather, 4-zone climate control, heating and cooling for front and rear seats, rear seat entertainment, surround view camera, adaptive cruise, soft door closing and more.
New for 2016, the Range Rover’s air suspension settles to it lowest position when the vehicle is in park, allowing for easier access.
For such a huge vehicle, rear seat leg room is adequate but not overly generous. The full limo experience requires an $5000 stretch to the Long Wheelbase version in both Supercharged and Autobiography.
Available only in long wheelbase is the ultimate expression of Range Rover: the SVAutobiography. Produced in limited numbers by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations, this bespoke creation gets two-tone paint, exclusive grill, trim and wheels, and an interior fitted with the best leather and woods. There are picnic tables in the back, and audio is courtesy of a 1700-watt, 29-speaker Meridian sound system. Pricing starts around $200,000.