Steve Cropley
26 October 2012

What is it?

This is the fourth and easily the best all-new Range Rover to see the light of day since the iconic original appeared in 1970 and changed off-road vehicles forever. 

That first Range Rover’s aspirations were modest by today’s standards - to make traditional work-based Land Rovers more versatile - and in that it succeeded brilliantly. 

That original model looked so great, drove so well and was so quickly recognised as a fine machine simply to spend time in that over the years successive models came to be viewed as viable rivals to traditional luxury saloons like the Mercedes S-class.

The new 2013 Range Rover extends the rivalry. To the expected more imposing looks and sumptuous interior it adds a new, weight-saving aluminium chassis, a more efficient engine line-up that for the first time includes a high efficiency diesel V6 (still with 442lb ft of torque) that emits less than 200g/km of CO2, a very frugal figure in SUV and especially Range Rover terms. 

2013 Range Rover 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography review

2013 Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography review

And for the first time a Range Rover offers a truly spacious and luxurious rear package, increasingly important in fast-expanding export markets like China and South-East Asia. In short, this new edition is just like a Range Rover, only better.

What is it like?

Our test car was a premium-level Autobiography powered by the new twin-turbo 4.4 litre diesel SDV8 (expanded from the previous 3.6 V8) now packing a generous 334bhp at 3500rpm plus 516lb ft of torque delivered between 1750rpm and 3000rpm, which turns out to be the rev band in which the engine spends most of its time, given that it’s attached to a standard eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, with paddle-shifts. 

Prices for this model start at £94,695, but there’s an extensive options list that will offer owners the opportunity to specify cars in Bentley territory, costing up to £120,000. 

Performance is effortless: The car has a 135mph top speed and zero to 62mph acceleration in a decidedly brisk 6.9sec yet the engine rarely gets close to its theoretical 4500rpm redline. You only really hear the engine as it starts: even the idle is subdued.  

There’s a faint V8 “woofle” if you use the engine hard, but mostly the car just glides as if propelled by a giant elastic band attached to the horizon. Gearchanges are rarely felt, though if necessary you can shift to a Sport regime (which holds indirect gears longer) operate it manually via shift paddles for extra zing or engine braking. 

None of the Terrain Response facilities will surprise a modern Range Rover driver, but a new generation system arrives with the latest Range Rover that offers an automatic setting that gauges driving conditions and configures throttle, clearance, transmission and chassis electronics to suit changing conditions.

2013 Range Rover 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography review

2013 Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography review

How is it different from the outgoing car? Not much, in overall size. But its tracks are wider, it has 20mm more ground clearance, the self-levelling (and height adjustable) air suspension has more travel and it can wade through 900mm water pools, 20mm than before. 

On-roads it feels tall but more stable that the previous model, with an even smoother ride, less sensitivity to crosswinds and even more relaxed, accurate steering especially near the straight-ahead. If the previous Rangie was easy to drive, this is even more so, and the margins are easily detectable. 

Should I buy one?

If you’re in the bracket, don’t miss the opportunity. 

The new Range Rover SDV8 is no bargain — the cheapest in the range is £70,000-plus — but this new model is better in every respect, and its margins of improvement are instantly obvious, even over a machine as good as the outgoing L322 Range Rover. 

Our settled opinion must await a direct comparison, but we reckon it’s overwhelmingly likely this 2013 Range Rover sets a new SUV standard for the world. 

JLR certainly thinks so: brand boss John Edwards expects annual sales to eclipse the previous best (32,000 units in 2007) by posting “a figure with a four in front” in the first full year, and it might even do better than that.

Range Rover Autobiography 4.4 SDV8

Price £84,320 0-60mph 6.9sec; Top speed 135mph; Economy 30.1mpg; CO2 253g/km; Engine V8 diesel twin-turbo, 4367cc; Power 313bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 516lb ft, 1500-3000rpm; Gearbox eight-speed automatic

Join the debate

Comments
75

Marvellous

1 year 44 weeks ago

Looking forward to the proper test Wink

Where is the REAL test-

1 year 44 weeks ago

Off - ROAD?

The range rover came with all

1 year 44 weeks ago

The range rover came with all new features and i am very excited to see this car in market. Though the price is high but for the added features people will surely loose their pocket.

 

BMW Repair Los Angeles

Now there's a surprise!

1 year 44 weeks ago

Steve Cropley wrote:

Our settled opinion must await a direct comparison, but we reckon it’s overwhelmingly likely this 2013 Range Rover sets a new SUV standard for the world. 

Well it's jolly good of you to keep everyone in suspense as to the result of the impending comparison test of the new RR against it's rivals, Mr Cropley. I can't for a moment predict which SUV is going to come out as the winner.

Could the new RR possibly pull off a 'shocker' win (esp given that it's a JRL car) against its rivals in an Autocar test? The excitement is just too much to bear.

Oh, Good ...

1 year 44 weeks ago

... Another massively overpriced behemoth for overpaid footballers to zoom around in ...

Interior does look good but

1 year 44 weeks ago

Interior does look good but it is barely the difference I'd expect. I hope this one isn't plagued with the quality problems of the older one.

Suzuki QT wrote: ... Another

1 year 44 weeks ago

Suzuki QT wrote:

... Another massively overpriced behemoth for overpaid footballers to zoom around in ...

Exclusively? Don't be ridiculous.

Overdrive wrote: Steve

1 year 44 weeks ago

Overdrive wrote:

Steve Cropley wrote:

Our settled opinion must await a direct comparison, but we reckon it’s overwhelmingly likely this 2013 Range Rover sets a new SUV standard for the world. 

Well it's jolly good of you to keep everyone in suspense as to the result of the impending comparison test of the new RR against it's rivals, Mr Cropley. I can't for a moment predict which SUV is going to come out as the winner.

Could the new RR possibly pull off a 'shocker' win (esp given that it's a JRL car) against its rivals in an Autocar test? The excitement is just too much to bear.

My god it's boring seeing the same old predictable bias allegation blurted out in these forums, it's been happening for years - any good review and Autocar has a bias towards that brand, and bad review and Autocar has a bias against that brand. Yesterday Autocar was apparently biased towards VW for giving the golf Mk7 a good review, now it's biased towards JLR. Tomorrow it'll be Audi, monday will be BMW. Ever thought it's maybe it's because the cars are actually quite good?

It's mind numbingly tedious, makes the commenter writing it look like a numpty and I'm sick of reading it.

That on top of the seemingly British determination not to be proud of their own products and want to talk themselves down at every opportunity.

Why don't the testers from Autocar show some enthusiasm

1 year 44 weeks ago

If they showed any interst in their jobs they would realise that they have quoted the wrong figures for the 4.4 diesel it is the old models mpg, performance and co2 the new one is far better .Please pull up your socks and correct it thanks

R32

Another bloody mistake....

1 year 44 weeks ago

Quote from Steve Cropley - Land Rover's Head of PR - "Performance is effortless: The car has a 130 mph top speed and zero to 60 mph acceleration in a decidedly brisk 7.5 seconds yet the engine rarely gets close to its theoretical 4500rpm redline."

Brochure says 0-60 for the 4.4 SDV8 is 6.5 seconds - please check your articles before release.  Bad enough readers can spot the mistakes.

 

Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

The fourth-generation Range Rover is here to be judged as a luxury car as much as it is a 4x4

Driven this week

  • BMW M4 convertible first drive review

    BMW M4 convertible first drive review

    First drive
    30 August 2014 11:02pm

    More visceral than the M4 coupé thanks to its more audible exhaust and the well-controlled swirl of air in the cabin, but its dynamics suffer slightly for the decapitation

  • Radical RXC

    Radical RXC

    Car review
    29 August 2014

    The Radical RXC offers one of the most extreme driving experiences available on public roads

  • Denza EV first drive review

    Denza first drive review

    First drive
    29 August 2014

    Daimler joint venture with BYD yields this four-door notchback for China, but it's not fast or refined enough to compete on European turf

  • Renault Twingo TCe 90 Dynamique first drive review

    Renault Twingo TCe 90 Dynamique first drive review

    First drive
    28 August 2014

    New city car is entertaining to drive and commendably spacious, although it lacks the refinement of the Volkswagen Up

  • Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE first drive review

    Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE first drive review

    First drive
    27 August 2014

    Fast, loud and brash, the race-inspired 1LE option package transforms the standard Chevrolet Camaro into a track-ready pony car