Indian conglomerate Tata Motors purchased iconic British automaker Jaguar Land Rover in 2008, obtaining a luxury line of cars and utility vehicles – the Land Rover brand having been around since 1947. Land Rover started selling a bigger Range Rover SUV in 1970, and since 2013, the model has been available in its biggest version to date. A Fuji white 2015 Range Rover Supercharged LWB (long wheelbase) was the subject of a recent test that I conducted, and it was the largest foreign non-pickup unit ever loaned to me for review.
American manufacturers produce SUV’s of this size, of course, but not with as many amenities, at such a price, or with as much power. Power which for my test Range Rover LWB came in the form of a 5.0 liter, 510 horsepower, 32-valve, supercharged V-8, permanent four-wheel drive, two-speed transfer case, and an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. With such of a power train, acceleration from zero to 60 is reportedly 5.5 seconds, blazing for a 5,320 lb. aluminum-intensive behemoth. The Range Rover is fast, and its ride, handling, guidance and visibility all go hand in hand with its drive train prowess. Plus it can wade through 35.4” of water.
With regards to the amenities, they are in abundance in the Range Rover that I drove, and included four-zone climate control, front massage seats, rear climate seats, beverage cooler, surround cameras, 360 degree parking control, 825-watt Meridian premium stereo, and panoramic moonroof that is controllable from the rear seats. Also, HDD navigation, adaptive cruise control, terrain response system with five settings, rear cabin power blinds, and 21” aluminum alloy wheels were on hand.
People like this journalist are not often spotted in the driver’s seat, or back seat for that matter, of a vehicle such as the Range Rover. It’s convention is often as a form of transportation for an entertainer or business owner. In fact, Range Rover LWB sales are brisk in China, where owners enjoy riding in the back seat where all the room is. This model represents nearly half of Sino-sales, whereas in America only 25% of Range Rover buyers opt for the 7.9” longer version. All but a half inch of that additional exterior dimension benefits the legs of the passengers in the rear, and a lengthened back door that needs careful handling is often taken care by someone outside of the vehicle – the driver.
My rating of the Range Rover in question would be “par excellence”, in the areas of driving experience, off-road capability (reportedly), comfort, and styling. It’s expensive, at $118,000.00, but shoppers in this category have no problem at this price point, and the brand has a loyal following.