Nic Cackett
26 October 2012

What is it?

The last time Land Rover dropped a six-cylinder diesel engine into the Range Rover looking for better efficiency and a lower entry price, it was owned by BMW and the short-lived result was less than perfect. Even if Ford’s subsequent takeover (and the development of the cheaper Sport) hadn’t killed it, the paucity of performance - 60mph took a life-sapping 12.7 seconds - meant that the TDV6 was never likely to live for long as a luxury SUV offering.

That was not the engine’s fault. BMW’s 3.0-litre unit was an award-winning, oil-burning marvel in the right setting. It was simply overwhelmed by the heavyweight burden at hand. Now, with that load lightened by aluminum and significantly more power available from six cylinders, JLR has revived the bright idea in its comely new car.

2013 Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Autobiography review

2013 Range Rover 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography review

In 2012, a 3.0-litre V6 (already used in other guises across the road at Jaguar) delivers 255bhp and 442lb ft of torque from 2000rpm. Had Land Rover not ushered a single solitary gram from the latest Range Rover’s ample body it would still likely prove adequate, but the TDV6 version is its pound-for-pound champion - when it mentions a 420kg weight-saving, it’s this model it is referencing.

With a comparatively spartan 2160kg to shift, the car inevitably boasts other compelling figures. It is capable of a very un-Range-Rover-like combined figure of 37.7mpg and its CO2 emissions tumble to a highly credible 196g/km. Performance actually rivals the outgoing V8 model: it will get to 62mph in just 7.9 seconds and top out at 130mph.

That’s as well because there’s certainly no reduction in price for the loss of two cylinders at the entry-level. The new TDV6 in its lower Vogue trim lands in the UK at £71,295. Land Rover’s latest Adaptive Damping setup and ultra-clever automatic Terrain Response system are standard, but the transformative anti-roll Dynamic Response isn’t currently available with the smaller engine.

What is it like?

Curiously, in someways the TDV6 actually feels more like the Range Rover we’re all accustomed to than its siblings do. Likely this is because it mirrors the previous car’s performance and, shorn of the two-channel hydraulic counter-balancing underneath, it has a tendency to move around more. However, less, predictably, undeniably means more.

The smaller-engined, lightest model positively levitates over the road surface. Its dramatic weight loss has not hindered the sensation of piloting a substantial piece of engineering or lessened the cork-bob softness of its progress, but agility - spliced through a more direct electric steering rack - is noticeably healthier.

Lingering concerns that the TDV6 engine might not be man enough to adequately shoulder 2160kg are instantly dispelled. Despite not being endowed with the same syrupy overabundance of grunt that makes its bigger engine sibling so effortless, the six-cylinder motor thrusts its new shell along in generally fine style. It’s alert and dutiful off the mark, relishes overtaking and, critically, remains speechlessly hushed.

Because the TDV6 moves around in a manner slightly reminiscent of its predecessor, it has the same congenial slow-cruise style. This is useful, because driven thusly, the engine’s lower output is virtually undetectable, and it simultaneously begins to spew out the kind of mileage that will titillate driver’s of the current Range Rover.

2013 Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Autobiography review

2013 Range Rover 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography review

Only by choosing to ignore the contented status quo and attempt deeper dynamic thrills from the car does the engine’s eventual limitations reveal themselves. To suggest that the oil burner cannot deliver the push-on pace embraced by the Range Rover’s meaty, moneyed presence would be ridiculous, but there is the occasional impression (exacerbated by the appearance of broader body roll even before the tyres bite) that both you and it are working harder to hit the car’s self-assured G-spot than you would in the V8.

Should I buy one?

Perhaps the most critical thing about the TDV6 from Land Rover’s viewpoint is that, unlike its previous effort, the variant succeeds not just as a financial prospect, but also as a proper Range Rover with all of its high-grade glamour intact. Impressively, for much of the time, the imitation is certainly uncanny. Refinement and responsiveness are generally superb, it remains supremely capable off-road and tarmac-smoothing pleasure on it.

As well as the familiar attributes, it also does things which no other Range Rover has ever done. By extending the car’s range and lowering CO2 someway beneath the stratosphere, Land Rover has rendered its deluxe SUV a more compelling proposition for more people. That’s as it should be and obviously as the manufacturer intended. But this remains a £70,000-plus car and it is possible to pick holes in the model if you were so inclined.

Certainly for buyers sold on the idea of Range Rover as an all-terrain answer to Rolls-Royce there are shortcomings. The elimination of the Active Response system does subtract some of the model’s new-found handling finesse, and while generally more than satisfactory, the V6 engine simply does not have V8’s full-throated stockpile of latent torque. The majestic, free-flowing dominance of whatever backdrop passes beneath you is not cast in the same concrete guarantee.

Nevertheless, such concerns do seem a mite churlish. The TDV6 does almost everything you could ask of it, does it for longer, and does it for less. Only Range Rover’s most affluent and uncompromising fans could ask for more.

Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 AutobiographyPrice £87,895; 0-62mph 7.9 seconds; Top speed 130mph; Economy 37.7mpg; CO2 196g/km; Kerb weight 2160kg; Engine type 2993cc, turbocharged six-cylinder, diesel; Installation Front, longitudinal; Power 255bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 442lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox Eight-speed automatic; Fuel tank 85 litres

Join the debate

Comments
17

This has clearly been written

1 year 25 weeks ago

This has clearly been written from the point of view of the roadtester who gets the car for nothing, and then has to pay for (some of) the fuel.

Yes it uses less than the last one, but it costs so much more you could obviously drive the old one to the moon and back on the difference. 

This is of course the way with new JLR products, but perhaps rather than pointing out just the advantages of the new car Autocar could also remind us just how much its gone up!

artill wrote: This has

1 year 25 weeks ago

artill wrote:

This has clearly been written from the point of view of the roadtester who gets the car for nothing, and then has to pay for (some of) the fuel.

Yes it uses less than the last one, but it costs so much more you could obviously drive the old one to the moon and back on the difference. 

The outgoing TDV8 Westminster model cost £69,995

The new TDV6 Vogue that replaces it costs £70,835

Most in the UK will go for the TDV6 for the fuel economy reasons, so will pay £840 more and get the same performance and much better economy.

Not sure you'd make the moon with £840, gravity would do most of the job bringing you back though!

Range Rover 3.0 TDV6

1 year 25 weeks ago

Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography

Price £87,895; 0-62mph 7.9 seconds; Top speed 130mph; Economy37.7mpg; CO2 196g/km; Kerb weight 2160kg; Engine type 2993cc, turbocharged six-cylinder, diesel; Installation Front, longitudinal; Power255bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 442lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox Eight-speed automatic; Fuel tank 85 litres

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel

Price £58,243; Top speed 156mph; 
0-62mph 5.7sec; 
Economy 34mpg; 
Co2 218g/km; 
Kerbweight 2195kg; 
Engine 4134cc, V8 twin-turbodiesel, 4WD
; Power 377bhp at 3750rpm; 
Torque 623lb ft at 2000-2750rpm
;Gearbox 8spd auto

Is the Range Rover really worth nearly £30k more, I dont think it is, its massively overpriced compared to the opposition, V6 Range Rover or V8 Porsche, it doesnt really take much thinking about really.. And the Porsche is only 30kg heavier, was the switch to aluminium really worth the effort and expense?

Citytiger wrote:Range Rover

1 year 25 weeks ago

Citytiger wrote:

Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography

Price £87,895; 0-62mph 7.9 seconds; Top speed 130mph; Economy37.7mpg; CO2 196g/km; Kerb weight 2160kg; Engine type 2993cc, turbocharged six-cylinder, diesel; Installation Front, longitudinal; Power255bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 442lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox Eight-speed automatic; Fuel tank 85 litres

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel

Price £58,243; Top speed 156mph; 
0-62mph 5.7sec; 
Economy 34mpg; 
Co2 218g/km; 
Kerbweight 2195kg; 
Engine 4134cc, V8 twin-turbodiesel, 4WD
; Power 377bhp at 3750rpm; 
Torque 623lb ft at 2000-2750rpm
;Gearbox 8spd auto

Is the Range Rover really worth nearly £30k more, I dont think it is, its massively overpriced compared to the opposition, V6 Range Rover or V8 Porsche, it doesnt really take much thinking about really.. And the Porsche is only 30kg heavier, was the switch to aluminium really worth the effort and expense?

All spot on, except, bear in mind Land Rover quote the weight of the *base* Range Rover  TDV6 "from 2,160 kg". The "Autobiography" spec will certainly weigh much more; the glass roof, if it's included, probably weighs around 75 kgs extra on its own.

Land Rover, I'm afraid, are quite notorious for understating the weights of their vehicles. Take for instance the Evoque. Most actual, independent kerbweight tests put a fairly typical Evoque at over 1,800 kg, compared to the 1,660 kg advertised.

My guess is the new Range Rover generally will likewise come in at around 100-200 kgs over the advertised "from" weight, so a typical TDV6 will actually weigh nearer 2,300 kg kerbweight(no driver, full tank), and an "Autobiography" spec one probably around 2,400 kg.

I agree entirely this whole "world's first aluminium SUV" thing has been overplayed and overhyped. Amazing things can be done with steels and other alloys. VW's MQB-based cars, like the Golf VII and new Audi A3, show what can be achieved by clever design and selective use of higher strength steels, not just simply substituting nominally lighter starting materials.

As has been said elsewhere, if aluminium was the be all and end all why is it that the largely conventional material-bodied, slightly longer 911 Cabriolet still weighs around 200 kg less than the new aluminium Jaguar F-type?

As to the new Range Rover's price, again I completely agree. Products like the Cayenne S Diesel and the nearer eye-to-eye in size 2012 Mercedes GL show how over-priced this product is.  However, as JLR were able to pull off rebranding and redressing a Freelander to a Range Rover Evoque, and almost doubling its price, the executives at Gaydon must think lightning can strike twice, and they can pull off the same chutzpah trick with this Range Rover. Trouble is, life teaches us generally 'once bitten, twice shy'.

I'm sure the Land Rover people and supporters here will scream at the top of their lungs that the blatantly p!ss-taking price is justified by the "only aluminium, lightweight SUV" thing and upgrades to the terrain reponse system and so on. But objectively, it's still actually very heavy, nowhere near the hyped claim of 400 kg weight-saving, like for like engine spec, and contrary to Copley et al's fawning it will have to go some to beat the off-road qualities of a 2012 Mercedes GL say, which has just been awarded Motor Trend's 'Best SUV of 2012' in the States.

The Thing Is...

1 year 25 weeks ago

Citytiger wrote:

Is the Range Rover really worth nearly £30k more, I dont think it is, its massively overpriced compared to the opposition, V6 Range Rover or V8 Porsche, it doesnt really take much thinking about really.. And the Porsche is only 30kg heavier, was the switch to aluminium really worth the effort and expense?

The Porsche Cayenne is an executive off-roader, the Range Rover is a luxury off-roader - they're in different classes.  Your comparison is like saying: why pay for a full-price Porsche Panamera when a Jaguar XF would do?

Why compare the old V8 with

1 year 25 weeks ago

Why compare the old V8 with the new base model?

Dark Isle wrote: Citytiger

1 year 25 weeks ago

Dark Isle wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

Is the Range Rover really worth nearly £30k more, I dont think it is, its massively overpriced compared to the opposition, V6 Range Rover or V8 Porsche, it doesnt really take much thinking about really.. And the Porsche is only 30kg heavier, was the switch to aluminium really worth the effort and expense?

The Porsche Cayenne is an executive off-roader, the Range Rover is a luxury off-roader - they're in different classes.  Your comparison is like saying: why pay for a full-price Porsche Panamera when a Jaguar XF would do?

Dont be silly. Objectively there is no difference between a "luxury off-roader" and an "executive off-roader". As many have already said the Cayenne and other SUVs like the ML/GL, X5, even the Jeep Grand Cherokee, probably ride and handle at least as well as the R/Rover, out-perform it dynamically, out-perform it fuel efficiency and modernity of engines wise, and in the case of the VW Touareg and ML/GL, contrary to the constant propaganda put out by Land Rover and its media helpers, are probably at least as able off-road, when equpped with their various off-road options.

The *only* thing that makes the Range Rover a "luxury off-roader" is because Land Rover says so, and it's faifthfully repeated by its press helpers in that conceit.

A fully-loaded Cayenne, or X5, or ML/GL, or even Touareg/Q7 can be made at least as 'tart's parlour' "luxury" spec as the new Range Rover, if one wnats to raid the various options programme and further, the various customisation programmes, like "BMW Individual", and Mercedes' "Designo" or full AMG customisation for ML-/GL-/G-63 and the like.

Name me one thing on the new Range Rover which isn't able to be offered by its competitors already as a "luxury"? Turning it around, how many things do the competitors have that the Range Rover doesn't offer? Already, elsewhere, the new Range Rover has been criticised for unimpressive rear leg room compared to full-size luxury sedans and hindered rear ingress and egress over the rear wheel arch, and for a less than impressive touch screen operated Sat Nav and entertainments/vehicle operations interface, compared to the competition, plus a not very impressive electronic instrument panel.

The competition has moved on. Claims by Copley that the new Range Rover is effectively on a par with Rolls-Royce and Bentley are rather sad and pathetic. Its powertrians are ageing, its four wheel drive 'technology' is offered by the from $30k Ford Explorer, and its electronic interfaces are a generation behind, soon to be made totally archaic with the step-change of the 2013 S-class's new vehicle architecture, and the also in 2013 to be introduced new X5 and Porsche Macan.

Land Rover and its PR-reproducers in the media may conceitedly claim to be the only "luxury off-roader" but that is really just a lame attempt to try to justify a £30k extra price, and gull sap punters.

R/R V Porsche Cayenne Deisel V8

1 year 25 weeks ago

As some one who will soon be in the market to replace my wifes ML (new ML is no no design gone back a generation) I have been looking forward to the reveiws of the new R/R and been configuring a new Autobiography 4.4 Deisel (within spitting distance of 100K). Like some comments above after reading the reveiw of the Cayenne (fully loaded to my spec 73K) asking the same question is the new R/R worth and extra 30K? just cant see how it is apart from the badge, the Porsche outguns it in every way....prior to the the V8 diesel Porsche I hadnt thought about this car at all.... totally confused!!!!

 

Don't judge me by my past, I don't live there anymore 

Weight reduction is very important.......

1 year 24 weeks ago

......will be easier for the AA to tow it to the main dealer.

Very good my lord

1 year 24 weeks ago

I'm convinced 'Nic Cackett' is Julian Fellowes having a go at a horseless carriage column. This must be his fruitiest attempt yet. "Driven thusly"?? Pure Earl of Grantham! With some sexual subtext voiced by Thomas to spice it up. But what does the Dowager Countess think of the new Range Rover? I await her acid aside on the subject...

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