From £94,695
The new Range Rover is much like the old one. Just much better.

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's 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

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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

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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11500 miles since March

Well ive just clocked up 11500 miles since March and still loving driving the New Range Rover as is my passengers loving being driven.

fuel consumption now averaging 32-34 mpg which is fantastic to be fair .

Quality of interior Parts needs to be a bit more up market for example the Carpets are a little cheap looking and feel cheap.

I think LandRover have cracked it though the drive is comfortable and only last week i drove from the West Midlands to Lockerbie then Edinburgh then back to Manchester in one day and to be honest had no discomfort at all.

Coming from a LWB S Class into this apart from some finese issues that need sorting like Parts Quality the Range Rovers so far been a great Purchase .

RPrior 29 October 2012

Range Rovers - What Market Segment

I grew up driving a series of 6 Land Rovers from age 12 & clocked up many thousands of miles before I reached 17, & several years before the first Range Rover was born.

The 1st RR was pitched towards the farming and hunting crowd and the car parks at local point-to-points overflowed with RRs.

Now, in 2012,  the shape remain more like a brick than any of its competition, and as a result is slower, less accelerative, more uneconomical than any of its competition.

I used to bury 2x a day an early Toyota FJ, and can say with certainty that less than 0.5% of RR owners will either come close to needing the off road ability of this vehicle, and if they did, they would not use an RR for the purpose for fear of damaging it.

So who comprises the primary RR market segment.  Bankers who have purchased a place on a pheasant shoot and er..... who else.   The members of a shoot are never required to drive far off road, and where thay need to, they transfer to tractors and trailers. On posh shoots - customised trailers with rudimentary seating. On our own home shoot, some straw bale seating was provided for the Guns.

If the RR is not going to be a second vehicle, then its economy and on road abilities compared with its competition are somewhat lacking.

At a comfortable legal cruising speed (in Germany) or a rather illegal cruising speed most anywhere else (95-110mph), the RR does not cut it due to its poor aerodynamics, combined with the fact that as soon as you push a diesel engine close to its limits, the fuel economy falls off dramatically.

No - the RR to me is now little more than a White Elephant, eclipsed in every way by MBs, Porsche's, BMWs and Audis.

The Brand still suffers historically from an appalling unreliability record - one of my Australian friends used to take his RR for a service before any long trip - whereas his Landcruiser had a once a year Service visit.

The seating is cramped in the back, and therefore has little chance on the burgeoning Chinese market - unless JLR produce a stretched version.

A look at the numbers

Top Gear suspension test



Sussex by the sea 19 January 2013

Oh we'll so it's rubbish!! I

Oh we'll so it's rubbish!! I have wasted my money thanks for your informed opinion, I will never even consider reading a car review ever, I promise.

steven211 27 October 2012

Usual suspects

The ususal suspects moaning about 'bias Autocar', well if a VAG car got a review as good as this then there would be no complaints. British engineering is best and always will be, Brunel etc? You should be supporting the UK car industry instead of supporting the dirty kraut Merkel EU country crap. Supporting German/EU jobs doens't help our country...

Anyway I have actually been in the new Range Rover, a SDV8, my mums BF had one for the night, he works at LR Solihull. The car is just awesome, it's really comfy, quiet and the materials used in the interior are sublime. The Stop/Start system is really good, it launches you from a stop very fast and the car goes like shit off a shovel. The handling seemed really good, corners fairly flat strangely.

The car does feel really safe and chunky, we tanked up behind a 90s Micra at a roundabout and it was just hysterical, they were a little spec in comparison. My mum said the get me home lights project range rover into the ground or something like that, that is just awesome! 

Overdrive 29 October 2012

No bias here then!

steven211 wrote:

The ususal suspects moaning about 'bias Autocar'.....

......You should be supporting the UK car industry instead of supporting the dirty kraut Merkel EU country crap....