Land Rover's flagship SUV gains new semi-autonomous safety technology and an even plusher interior

What is it?

Let's be honest, there's not a lot about the Range Rover that needs improving. It's still the consummate luxury SUV - a master of all trades that offers those who can afford its expensive price tag a comfortable, spacious and exclusive way to cross countries and continents. Almost explicitly and by design, it's all the car you're likely to need.

That said, the current car has not yet been a five-star contender in anything near standard form. It's painfully close, but the fact is that there are cheaper large plush SUVs out there, not to mention a plethora of luxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 saloons to contend with.

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Land Rover's annual updates to the Range Rover line-up continue to bring fresh features, and for 2017 the Range Rover gets a raft of new driver assistance systems, including an intelligent speed limiter which can automatically lower its speed to the posted limit. Other new features include a driver attention monitor and a blind spot assistance system that can steer the car back into its lane. There's also a new SVAutobiograpy Dynamic model, which we drove back in January.

Here we're driving the entry-level TDV6 diesel version in mid-range Vogue SE specification. Already, our car commands a price tag of more than £83,500, but thanks to a seemingly endless options list, which on our car includes a panoramic sunroof, 21in alloys, park assistance, a head-up display, surround-view camera system and electrically deployable tow bar, the final list price comes to an eye-watering £97,565.

What's it like?

To drive, this Range Rover is virtually unchanged over the outgoing model. That is to say, it's very good indeed. The 3.0-litre diesel engine of our car may be the entry-level option, but it's not short on low-rev pulling power. There's not the same shove you'll get from the larger V8 diesel, but it can still get this largest Land Rover model from 0-62mph in 7.4sec. It's rated for a claimed 40mpg, although we'd suggest 35mpg would be more realistic in the real world, and even then only if you've got a light right foot.

As before, the Range Rover steers with precision, and although there's some pitch and lean through fast corners, it's generally stable and well-controlled. It's surprisingly agile, too, masking its hefty bulk very well, especially at motorway speeds.

What has changed with these model-year updates is the infotainment, which is now JLR's 10.0in-screened InControl Touch Pro system. It's a lot more intuitive than the older system, which we've criticised in the past for being clunky to use and slow to respond. Just as we've found in the latest round of Jaguar models, InControl Touch Pro is easy to use and navigate, with clear menus and an intuitive design. The enhanced system also lets you put the map display onto the Range Rover's digital dashboard - as with the Virtual Cockpit display features of the Audi Q7 - and you can change the look of the dashboard with three preset themes.

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There's also more safety equipment on this 2017 Range Rover, so cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking are standard. Our car also received adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance as part of a new Drive Pro package, which also offers blind spot detection. By themselves, those systems don't make a night-and-day difference to your Range Rover experience, but they add up over time to make driving the car even more relaxing than before. We've found the new forward collision warning to be a little over-zealous in its warnings, but in that respect it is at least typical of other manufacturers equivalents. 

As a place in which to spend time, the Range Rover continues to offer one of the best interiors around. Soft leather covers most surfaces, and you'll have to venture pretty far down the cabin to find any scratchy plastics. The seats are comfortable, fully adjustable and supportive, and those in the second row get a similarly good deal. Three adults won't complain back there, even over longer journeys.

Should I buy one?

Certainly, if you've been looking at the Range Rover and wondering whether to take the leap, now is the time to do so. These updates make it a more appealing proposition than ever, and whether you're intending to use one as your daily driver or as a weekend mile-muncher, you won't be disappointed. The Range Rover is still a tremendous tour de force in the world of luxury cars. It's unapologetically big, tremendous to spend time in and rewarding to drive, and those who can afford to buy and run one will be absolutely delighted.

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All that being said, it's still not a class leader, and that's because for all its interior luxuries and off-road prowess, it's still a weighty and expensive beast. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers the same levels of comfort for a lot less (currently £6000), and it's an equally fine and relaxing car to drive. The Range Rover, then, keeps its second-place slot for now.

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Land Rover Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Vogue SE 

Location Surrey, UK; On sale Now; Price £83,750; Price as tested £97,565; Engine 3.0-litre, V6, diesel; Power 254bhp; Torque 443lb ft at 1750-2250rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic; Kerb weight 2215kg; Top speed 130mph; 0-62mph 7.4sec; Economy 40.9mpg (Combined); CO2 182g/km; Rivals Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Salisbury 30 March 2017

From £69,125?

Can you get one at that price? Not according to Land Rover.
Ski Kid 23 March 2017

The s class may be £6k less but will cost more on depreciation

the Range Rover every time,probably cost less due to depreciation and can be used for anything,the s class a darn good taxi in good weather.
geed 23 March 2017

Ski Kid wrote:

Ski Kid wrote:

the Range Rover every time,probably cost less due to depreciation and can be used for anything,the s class a darn good taxi in good weather.

Have you ever rode in an S-Class or one of these? Creamy Camembert verses curdled cottage cheese. The RR simply does not compete.

TheDriver 23 March 2017

Real author?

Another unbiased article written by Gerry McGovern.
Hedonist 23 March 2017

And your problem is?

The author acknowledges the Range Rover isn't the class leader, but is still a very good car and you can only come up with a snarky comment. What is your problem?