What is it?
The £71,000 entry model into the new Range Rover line-up, driven here for the first time on UK roads. Power comes from a 255bhp twin-turbo V6 diesel, and it's the first time this engine has been offered in a Range Rover. It is equipped with a standard ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox and stop/start.
There are three trims – Vogue, Vogue SE and Autobiography. Vogue trim features metallic paint, 20-inch wheels and Oxford leather trim as standard along with 12-way electrically adjustable seats, xenon headlamps and laminated front side windows.
2013 Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography review
2013 Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Autobiography review
Land Rover’s excellent Terrain Response system, with its five off-road programs, is also standard, although the new Terrain Response 2, which automatically selects programs, isn’t. You have to cough up an extra £6500 to jump up to the next trim level, Vogue SE, to get it included.
Also standard is a touch-screen sat-nav, DAB radio, digital TV and a 380W Meridian audio system. The more powerful 825W sound system starts on the next trim level up, Vogue SE.
What is it like?
Smooth, refined, powerful and much more agile than the outgoing Range Rover. The new Rangey has a double-skin bulkhead and the engineers have clearly done significant work to subdue the diesel. Land Rover says the TDV6 offers the equivalent performance to the outgoing TDV8 thanks to the new alloy-shelled Range Rover's lighter kerb weight, and we would concur.
Acceleration is sufficiently strong, helped by the eager ZF box, which slips up and down the gears smoothly. There is some body roll, which is more pronounced in the TDV6 since it doesn’t have the active roll control of the SDV8 and V8 Supercharged models.
The steering, now electric, has a light helm weight and allows easy placement on the road, but it’s a little short on feeland feedback. What the alloy-bodied Range Rover doesn’t do is to pile its weight onto the loaded-up front wheel in hard cornering (a characteristic of the previous car), which makes for more pleasant, secure and relaxed cornering.
The TDV6 is 200kg lighter than the SDV8. Most of the saving is over the front axle, which might go some way to explaining the entry-level TDV6’s agility. On our roads the air-suspended ride really breathes over bumps and dips, meaning there’s none of the harshness of the German rivals, although for some tastes it might be too underdamped.
We also had a chance for short off-road drive, and the new Range Rover displayed its usual aplomb. On waterlogged muddy tracks in Yorkshire, the Range Rover floated over imperfections and the air suspension kept the cabin remarkably level. The steering, though, could possibly do with a bit more bite off road.
Should I buy one?
The TDV6 makes the most of the new Range Rover’s high-tech alloy construction and, given the near-£7000 price jump to the SDV8, may well be the pick of the range. Vogue trim is pretty well specced, but the extra kit of the Vogue SE makes it more attractive. So a TDV6 Vogue SE for the same money as a SDV8 Vogue looks like a sensible trade-off in favour of the six.
Range Rover 3.0L TDV6 Vogue
Price £71,295; 0-62mph 7.4 sec; Top speed 130 mph; Economy 37.7mpg; CO2 196g/km; Kerb weight 2160 kg; Engine V6, 2993cc, twin-turbo diesel; Power 255bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 442lb ft at 1500-3000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic