When you take the sizeable upward step into the Range Rover’s cabin, seat yourself in the standard electrically adjustable, heated, cooled, massaging, leather-covered seats and take in the luxurious ambience of the surroundings, it’s hard not to be impressed. The Range Rover’s leather looks like leather, its wood like wood and the metal like metal, while even the plastic and rubberised mouldings exude an impression of quality and luxury. The Range Rover has nothing to fear from any car costing less than £100,000 and little to fear from most cars even at well above that figure. In fact, from your lofty viewpoint you can even begin to understand why the Range Rover weighs as much as it does.
Accommodation in the front is spacious, and it’s fine in the back, where there are electrically adjustable seat backs. The 909 to 2030-litre boot is accessed by the traditional split tailgate, whose separate elements are both electrically operated as standard.
Our test Range Rover Vogue SE sits in the middle of three trim levels, sandwiched by Vogue and Autobiography. But the Vogue SE wants for little and it’s hard to imagine anyone coming away feeling short-changed. This is, without doubt, an interior worthy of a luxury car.
The driving position is first rate and the seats are excellent (particularly the super-soft optional winged head restraints), giving a clear view past mercifully thin pillars across a bonnet that is, similarly mercifully, easy to place. Owing to its easily judged edges, and with a limited amount of tumblehome (angle in the glasshouse), the Range Rover is easier to position on the road than its dimensions would suggest. Some cars, such as Audi’s Q7, feel too large and unwieldy for Britain’s country roads. The Range Rover was engineered on just such asphalt and spent serious amounts of time being threaded between the banks flanking the English Midlands and Welsh roads on which Jaguar Land Rover develops its cars.
This home-grown development manifests itself just as much in the all-round visibility and placeability of the Range Rover as autobahn testing does in the impeccable straight-line stability of German performance cars.