2019 Land Rover Range Rover
2019 Land Rover Range Rover
Fans of the Range Rover expect a classic SUV with an upright body and off-the-charts off-road ability. That’s what they get in the current full-size SUV, a benchmark luxury SUV with timeless looks.
For the 2019 model year, the Range Rover has added a plug-in hybrid variant. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are now standard.
Full-size Range Rovers come in short- or long-wheelbase body styles. Short-wheelbase Range Rovers come in base, HSE, Autobiography, and SV Autobiography trim. Long-wheelbase models are offered only in Autobiography and SVAutobiography form.
Land Rover offers a dizzying selection of engines for the big SUV. The base engine for short-wheelbase Range Rovers is a supercharged gasoline 3.0-liter V-6, offered with either 340 or 380 horsepower. The SVAutobiography unleashes a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that generates 557 horsepower. A 518-hp version goes into the Supercharged Autobiography model, capable of reaching 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.
Land Rover offers a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 rated at 254 horsepower and a brawny 443 pound-feet of torque. Smooth-running and docile, the diesel delivers far better fuel economy and low-speed brawn than any other engine in the lineup.
All engines mate with a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. Every Range Rover has full-time four-wheel drive, incorporating off-road traction modes. Towing capacity reaches 7,716 pounds.
Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA has crash-tested the Range Rover. Each comes with automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control are standard on HSE trim and above.
Prices do not include $1,295 destination charge.
V-6 Supercharged short-wheelbase ($89,500) comes with the gasoline 3.0-liter V-6, leather upholstery, Bluetooth with audio streaming, a twin-screen infotainment system, 380-watt Meridian audio, heated power front seats, panoramic sunroof, and 19-inch wheels.
HSE V-6 Supercharged short-wheelbase ($94,950) adds perforated leather, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, heated rear seats, 20-way heated front seats, soft-close doors, and 20-inch wheels.
V-8 Supercharged (short-wheelbase $105,950, long-wheelbase, $109,950) substitutes a 518-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 for the base V-6 engine. Standard features include 21-inch wheels, 20-way front seats, panoramic roof, 380-watt Meridian audio, front/rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitors.
Autobiography V-8 Supercharged (short-wheelbase, $143,000; long-wheelbase, $149,500) is fitted with the 518-hp V-8 and comes with quilted semi-aniline leather, heated/cooled rear seats, power recline, a wood/leather steering wheel, 1,700-watt Meridian audio, head-up display, and 21-inch wheels.
SVAutobiography Dynamic V-8 Supercharged (short-wheelbase, $178,500, long-wheelbase $209,500) upgrades to a 557-horsepower V-8 and includes a retuned suspension, quilted/perforated leather, 24-way front seats, and special exterior accents.
Td6 Diesel short-wheelbase ($91,500) is similar to base gasoline model.
HSE Td6 Diesel short-wheelbase ($96,950) is similar to HSE gasoline model.
Autobiography models can add an Executive Seating package that includes reclining rear seats with plentiful legroom and eight-way adjustable headrests.
In either short- or long-wheelbase form, the Range Rover steers clear of any visual excess. Built with an aircraft-style aluminum body structure, the full-size SUV exudes streamlined precision.
LED headlights stretch across the trim front end. The Range Rover profile spares curves as its roofline and shoulders reach toward the rear and its LED taillights.
Short-wheelbase Range Rovers tend to convey a more balanced appearance. Both sizes benefit from an airy greenhouse, helping to keep the simple design fresh. Land Rover also offers a custom-bodied two-door version, but few are sold.
Not many vehicles can match, much less exceed, the near-palatial comfort of a Range Rover. In terms of both comfort and utility, nothing is lacking within the beautifully assembled, enticing cabin. Few competitors, too, approach the Range Rover’s space and refinement.
Front seats excel in comfort, regardless of trim level. In addition to wide adjustment range, a massaging function is available. Front occupants can be sure of ample space for knees and shoulders, as well as head room.
Shapely rear seats include a power-recline function and can be upgraded with heating and cooling, as well as massaging. Leg room isn’t all that expansive in the standard-length Range Rover, but long-wheelbase models add 7.3 inches, mostly benefitting back-seat passengers.
Glossy wood and soft leather trim the cabin, but upper trim levels substitute more exotic materials and even softer hides.
Two 10-inch infotainment screens are vertically stacked at the dashboard center. The top screen handles navigation and audio; the lower one shows climate-control functions and traction modes.
Standard-length models hold as much as 31.8 cubic feet of cargo. Long-wheelbase Range Rovers can stow up to 75.6 cubic feet. The cargo floor is somewhat high, but a loading mode lowers the air suspension for easier access.
Off-road capability is simply astounding on any terrain, accompanied by exceptional on-road ride, traction, and handling. Not many vehicles are as versatile as the Range Rover, or so powerful.
With an air suspension and electric power steering, the Range Rover often feels more like an ultra-luxury sedan, relaxed on the road. For a vehicle of its size and weight, this SUV handles particularly well, even with the standard suspension. Precise, direct steering ensures accuracy through curves and corners.
On the road, the air suspension is taut; but it doesn’t turn punishing over rough surfaces. The adjustable-height suspension lowers for easy access, or rises to 12.1 inches of ground clearance for serious off-roading. It can soften to allow 10.2 inches of wheel travel up front, but more than a foot at the rear.
All Range Rover drivetrains excel in performance. As expected, supercharged V-8 versions are quickest, but even the turbodiesel provides sufficient power for all-around driving.
Today’s Range Rover is immensely capable, fitted with all the necessary off-road hardware. Full-time four-wheel drive continuously senses the need for greater grip, altering power to the wheels as needed. In some versions, a locking rear differential works in concert with the terrain-traction system. Six drive modes automatically adjust for such conditions as mud, gravel, sand, or rocks.
Except for the turbodiesel, fuel economy is on the low side. Models with the Supercharged V-6 are EPA-rated at 17/23 mpg City/Highway, 19 Combined. The turbodiesel is EPA-rated at a thriftier 22/28/24 mpg. V-8 models are EPA-rated at only 16/21/18 mpg, or 13/19/15 mpg for long-wheelbase SV Autobiography editions.
Lavish standard equipment and an impressive infotainment system add to the luster, but the Range Rover deserves most of its accolades for its blend of luxury and go-anywhere potential. The Range Rover HSE, with its relatively moderate price tag, is the most prudent choice.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.