The Range Rover is back in its fifth-generation guise and if there was ever a car that didn’t feel like it needed reinventing, we think you’re looking at it.
For more than 50 years, the Range Rover has simply done what it does: combine the best off-road ability with a plushness – a theme Land Rover pretty much claims it invented. It has, traditionally, been a car you can take anywhere: from checking the fences in the bottom field in the morning, to the market, to a school pick-up, then out for an opera, all in a day.
The questions are whether that is something it still needs to do today and, if so, just how much car does it take to do it? Land Rover sells cars in 130 countries and they all have different ways of doing things – and different amounts of space in which to do it. We’re already aware that the latest Range Rover is a big car, more than five metres long and two metres wide across the body even in its more modest forms, which is what we have here.
It’s the uppermost diesel, a D350, which means it has 350 metric horsepower, or 345 of the Queen’s nags – ample by most standards but still in the lower half of the new Range Rover’s line-up. But thus equipped in HSE form and with a few choice options, it’s a £124,245 car by the time you get it on the road in the UK.
And one can go much further: this is a regular-wheelbase Range Rover but there’s a long one too, and a raft of petrol engines that make a lot more oomph again, before you even get into more bespoke Special Vehicle Operations territory. That makes the Range Rover not just a high-end SUV but one that wants to be a luxury car, too. We are about to test all those credentials and more in the toughest test in the business.