Pros: even more luxurious, breadth of engines available
Cons: unsure reliability, high cost
The Range Rover is Land Rover’s flagship model, and now there’s an all-new fifth-generation version that is more luxurious, features a reductive design, more technology and, in time, will include a fully electric version.
Range Rover Design
If it isn’t broken, why fix it? That seems to be the approach that the designers in Land Rover took when creating this latest generation. You’d almost miss that it’s an entirely new model at first glance. What gives it away are slimmer headlights, flush door handles and a rear that discreetly hides the lights within a black panel.
It remains one of the most imposing SUVs on sale, and even the optional 23-inch wheels look remarkably in proportion to the rest of the vehicle. There are some lovely design touches, such as glazing that sits neatly against the body and body shut lines that are amongst the best in the business. New vehicle architecture means that the Range Rover will be able to offer the full gamut of powertrain options, starting with petrol and diesel engines, followed by a plug-in hybrid and, in time, a fully electric model.
Range Rover Interior
The more radical changes in the new Range Rover’s style come on the inside. A contemporary design tastefully blends high-quality materials with a clean, modern look. A digital instrument display accompanies a colour head-up display. The Pivi Pro infotainment system operates on a 13-inch curved touchscreen that appears to float above the surface of the dashboard fascia. All of the climate controls operate via two physical rotary dials that also enable functionality for the cooled and heated seats.
A more conventional selector for the automatic gearbox sits alongside the Range Rover’s terrain response controller, which recesses into the centre console when not in use. As you would expect, there is a wireless charging pad, additional power sockets and even the option of a fridge unit beneath the central armrest. The seats are incredibly comfortable and offer noise-cancelling speakers within the headrests to ensure the cabin is as quiet as possible when moving.
Rear passengers will love travelling in the new Range Rover as it provides acres of space, even in the standard wheelbase version. Electrically adjustable outer rear seats feel more like the seat on a business class flight than a car, offering great comfort. The middle seat is a compromise, but if that isn’t required, it can be electrically folded down to double up as a plush armrest. Built-in cupholders that emerge electrically and there’s a touchscreen for adjusting temperature settings, opening the panoramic sunroof blind or adding more privacy by raising the side curtains. With the long wheelbase version, which costs around €10,000 more, there is a third row of two additional seats.
Range Rover Performance & Drive
From the moment the soft close door shuts, you are ensconced in a bubble of refinement. The engine starts without fanfare and its idle is little more than a distant hum. The 3.0-litre D350 produces 350hp, but the 700Nm of torque is the more relevant figure as it enables the hefty Range Rover to cruise along with the engine barely seeming to go beyond 1,500rpm. In that respect, it is almost peerless in its cruising ability, dispatching distances easily and ensuring you arrive at your destination fresh and relaxed.
The eight-speed automatic shuffles through gears as smoothly as the air suspension absorbs surface imperfections. Even running on the optional 22-inch wheels, there is little road noise. You are aware of the sheer size of the Range Rover, particularly on smaller roads, but the rear-wheel steering does aid manoeuvrability at lower speeds. There is also an abundance of driver assistance systems, from adaptive cruise control and parking cameras to an access setting for the air suspension that lowers the ride height to allow for easier ingress.
Going off-road isn’t something many Range Rover buyers may do regularly, but this is a Land Rover after all, so it comes equipped with the latest Terrain Response software to make life even easier when going off the beaten track. However, as advanced as some of the Range Rover’s technical features may be, we did experience some electronic glitches, which is disappointing in a car costing this much money - and it doesn’t do Land Rover’s reputation for reliability any favours.
That aside, the Range Rover is an exquisite machine on the road, and switching to the 4.4-litre petrol V8 shows it in its best light. The engine is a peach and likely to be one of the last examples of such a motor. Outputs of 530hp and 750Nm accelerate the Range Rover from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds and it remains remarkably smooth. Its sonorous tone, smooth power delivery and outright performance make it a hugely appealing prospect, even with its steep price.
Range Rover Pricing
Hardly surprising that a new Range Rover doesn’t come cheap, but with a starting price of €146,000, it’s in line with what other premium brands offer, such as the BMW X7. The good news is that the plug-in hybrids — likely the most popular option in Ireland — are at the more affordable end of the price list. Opt for the P530 4.4-litre V8 we’ve driven, and you’ll have a starting price of €242,045, while the D350 mild-hybrid diesel in top-spec SV trim will cost from €305,713.
Carzone Verdict: 4/5
As luxury SUVs go, the latest Range Rover is at the upper end of what is available in the market. Now more of a competitor to the Bentley Bentayga and even Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Land Rover has once more raised the bar, but some question marks remain over the long-term reliability. Nonetheless, with additional powertrain options coming down the line, this is very much a Range Rover for the modern era.