From £83,6309

Is the Mk5 Range Rover better than not only all its peers, but all its predecessors too? We find out

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.

Third-gen Range Rover was the first to feature a strong vertical line in the body (though the Mk1 had upright door handles). It breaks up the vast bodywork and adds height to accentuate the 4x4 feel

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.

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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.

Range at a glance

The Range Rover is offered with a standard and a long wheelbase, though not all engines are available in the long-wheelbase version. Engines are all straight sixes, apart from the BMW V8-powered P530. The P440e and P510e are plug-in hybrids, and an EV is due in 2024.

ENGINES POWER FROM
D300 SWB SE 296bhp £99,375
D350 SWB SE 345bhp £102,475
D350 LWB SE 345bhp £107,675
P400 SWB SE 394bhp £102,975
P400 LWB SE 394bhp £108,175
P440e SWB SE 434bhp £108,385
P440e LWB Autobiography 434bhp £130,235
P510e SWB Autobiography 503bhp £131,355
P530e SWB Autobiography 523bhp £137,820
P530 LWB Autobiography 523bhp  £139,820

 

 

Land Rover Range Rover First drives