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Stretched Range Rover is as capable as its shorter sibling, but the majority of owners will no doubt be enjoying the experience from the vast space in the rear
Steve Cropley Autocar
10 January 2014

What is it?

Simple, it’s a stretched Range Rover. It may sound crazy to suggest that some owners find a five-metre SUV rather short, but to the (mainly) Chinese and American buyers — already queueing around the block to buy the new, stretched Range Rover revealed late last year — the standard model always lacked rear legroom. In those markets, well-heeled owners are inclined to travel in the rear and hate not being able to stretch their legs.

To accommodate these people, Range Rover engineers have let 200mm (7.9in) of extra length into the wheelbase — all of it visible in the extended rear door. They’ve taken care to reinforce the basic aluminium monocoque structure to concede very little in torsional rigidity. The result is a rear compartment with genuine sprawling space, and the bonus of commanding rear seating, which no Rolls or Bentley can currently provide. As a bonus, you can now recline a Range Rover L rear seat twice as far as in the short wheelbase model. It all costs, of course — around £7400 extra, model for model.

In Britain, you can only get the long wheelbase as a TDV8 (diesel) or the full-fat 5.0-litre supercharged V8, although the 3.0-litre diesel V6 is to be sold in some markets where tax breaks favour smaller engines.

What's it like?

First up, it looks just as well proportioned and perhaps a shade more imposing than the standard model, which has been much praised for its own shape. This is a major achievement: it is far more common for stretch models to lose their sense of “rightness” but as Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern made clear, the two versions were designed at the same time, so neither is a mere modified version of the other.

On test, the stretched TDV8 felt very similar indeed to the standard wheelbase version, though with careful assessment you can just about detect a slightly flatter ride, a slightly larger turning circle (because of the longer wheelbase) and a slightly smaller rear window in your mirror (because in the L-model you sit further from it).

Driving the L-model is the same calm, reassuring experience you’re likely to encounter in any other modern Range Rover. It is composed, smooth, powerful soft riding and especially torquey. There’s no detectable difference in performance between short and long models even though the bigger model’s weight rises around 80kg; and fuel consumption is the same, too, model for model. Neither do you lose anything significant in agility, though the extra length does add to the standard Range Rover’s problem with reverse parking at the kerb, despite all its parking sensors and surrounding cameras. In the average British parking spot, it’s very, very large.


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Should I buy one?

Well, it makes sense to us. The main commodity on offer in this L-model is much better rear legroom, with none of the ugliness “stretching” frequently brings to graceful cars. So if you need the extra rear space, and can afford it, there’s no reason to hold back

Range Rover L Autobiography TDV8

Price £102,100; 0-60mph 6.6 sec; Top speed 135mph; Economy 32.5mpg (combined); CO2 229g/km; Kerbweight 2488kg; Engine V8 turbodiesel, 4367cc; Power 339bhp at 3300rpm; Torque 516lb ft at 1750-3000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

Join the debate


10 January 2014
Given how expensive the basic car is, the extra cost for the longer version is hardly any different percentage wise to adding metallic paint to a VW up.

I suspect the longer version will quickly become the more popular model.

10 January 2014
As the first image shows, this isn't how 3 ton cars are meant to be driven.

10 January 2014
I do prefer the LWB version to the standard. I think its a winner.

However, competitors, 7 series, A8 and S class even Lexus LS, all offer LWB versions on their saloons, and you cant tell the difference unless its 2 vehicles parked side by side, so its NOT new that both versions designed at the same time, and also NOT new that the LWB does not look different, Autocar please stop kissing JLR's A**.

10 January 2014
What a deathtrap! Looks as though it's going to topple over in the first pic! And asking over £100k for such a heap of junk is a joke.

10 January 2014
Not just Chinese and US buyers who've commented on the relative lack of space in the rear for such a large and expensive vehicle. I hope this wasn't a deliberate ploy to shift more of the costlier L versions...?

10 January 2014
@winston churchill are you a little slow? Deathtrap?

You can see from the picture it's being spanked around a test track and certainly doesn't look like it's about to tople over.

10 January 2014
billybobthethird wrote:

@winston churchill are you a little slow?

Not as slow as this turd of a car, which appears unable to negotiate a gentle bend without almost falling on its side.

10 January 2014
Relax, billybobthethird. Winston Churchill likes to wind people up. He himself eats barbecued babies and tosses the bones to his dog.


10 January 2014
I think this looks just plain wrong now...I like the standard RR but this starts to make the rear three quarter proportions all wrong, much like the trashy American SUV barges do - Navigator et al.
I am sure this wont bother the Asians and Chinese as this still looks a million times better than anything they have designed, they are only interested in the badge anyway (and of course the rear leg room.....I have often wondered what they do with all this extra room they so desire...considering they are hardly a tall race...karaoke perhaps).
I have seen these long wheel base versions when I have been at Whitley and they are absolutely photo quite prepares you for the shock!

10 January 2014
According to this review, aside from "problem with reverse parking at the kerb", the new RR L Autobiography, does not have a single weak point! So, the Autocar reckons this is the perfect car then.


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