2021 Land Rover Range Rover

By January 27, 2021

The Range Rover is Land Rover’s flagship SUV, boasting unmatched elegance. It marks its 50th anniversary in 2021 with three new special editions.

The 2021 Range Rover comes in two versions, with short or long wheelbases. There are four available engines for the short-wheelbase Range Rover. The base turbocharged inline-6 makes either 355 or 395 hp, depending on the trim; a turbodiesel V-6 has more torque for towing; a plug-in hybrid with a turbo-4 has an all-electric range of 19 miles; and a 5.0-liter V-8 makes either 518 or 557 hp and offers sport-sedan acceleration.

That V-8 comes standard on the long-wheelbase Range Rover.

Every Range Rover uses an 8-speed automatic transmission with a two-speed transfer case for its standard all-wheel drive. Its off-road capability is legendary, along with its luxury. And price.

The inline-6 is rated by the EPA at 18 mpg city, 23 highway, 20 combined, on premium fuel. The turbodiesel is better, at 22/28/24 mpg. As for the V-8s, expect as little as 13/19/15 mpg.

The Range Rover hasn’t been tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. Adaptive cruise control is optional on lower trims, standard on others.

Model Lineup

Made in England, the Range Rover models include the mid-level HSE and ultra-opulent SVAutobiography. Prices start at about $93,000 and climb to nearly $260,000.

Options include special paint for $23,500; $4,500 for quilted leather seats (they’re quite comfortable); $1,225 for especially exotic woods; a few hundred bucks for water-depth sensors; and $11,350 for arena-like seats that attach to the tailgate. Land Rover also offers a Drive Pro Pack with adaptive cruise control, and Park Pack with a surround-view camera system.

The Range Rover has a 4-year, 50,000-mile warranty, but doesn’t include free scheduled maintenance as Jaguar does.

Exterior

The Range Rover hasn’t changed much since 2013, and its basic shape goes back farther than that. Even today’s version shares some of the DNA of the first Range Rover that dates back to 1970. It’s especially clear in the slab sides and a tall greenhouse. Despite all the LED lighting and metallic jewelry added over the years, it’s still instantly recognizable—and still a beautifully-detailed SUV.

Interior

The cabin materials start out opulent in standard trim and get better with money. There’s a huge palette of available interior colors and trims. Most of the controls are integrated into the two touchscreens on the center stack.

The firm front seats are like chairs, with optional cooling and massaging. The Executive Seating Package allows back seat passengers to control their climate using their phone.

There is plenty of room in the short-wheelbase version, while the long wheelbase adds another seven inches of rear legroom.

The cargo space is modest, with 31.5 cubic feet behind the second row of the short-wheelbase version. If cargo space is a priority, the long-wheelbase version offers 75 cubic feet with the second row folded.

Driving Impressions

The short-wheelbase version comes with a choice of engines: an inline turbo-6, a turbodiesel V-6, a turbo-4 plug-hybrid, or big thirsty V-8. The standard inline turbo-6 has plenty of power in any situation; the turbodiesel V-6 is quiet, quick, and relatively frugal. The gasoline inline-6 engines use mild-hybrid tech to deliver a little extra punch and use a little less fuel.

The plug-in hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter turbo-4 to a 114-hp electric motor and a 13.1-kwh lithium-ion battery. It makes a total of 398 hp, which is plenty, but the hybridized engine lacks refinement compared to the other smooth-running engines. Its best feature is its 19-mile electric-only range.

A V-8 has been traditional in the Range Rover since the beginning, and today in 2021 there are two of them, both 5.0 liters, with either 518 hp or 557 hp, in the SVAutobiography model. It’s a charming engine that can accelerate from 0-60 mph in a whisker over five seconds. That’s the kind of acceleration you might expect from a V-8 Mustang, not a huge heavy SUV. As a result, don’t expect much more than 15 mpg.

Every engine is mated to a slick 8-speed automatic transmission, with all-wheel drive.

The height-adjustable air suspension flattens the bumps to deliver a ride that’s just shy of plush, even with bigger wheels that have shorter sidewalls. The air suspension helps endow the Range Rover with handling that overcomes its mass and height to deliver more carlike road manners. Pushed hard into a corner, this big SUV leans over just enough to remind you that it can weigh as much as three tons. We couldn’t call it nimble, but it sure will make you smile to hustle this massive vehicle down a winding road, with confidence.

The steering feel is good for a big SUV, and the SVAutobiography Dynamic version handles best.

Any Range Rover is ready to tackle a serious trail, and options such as a locking rear differential add even more traction and off-road capability. Watch out with the big wheels, however, as those short sidewalls don’t have much resistance to sharp rocks.

Final Word

The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover earns its place at the top of the luxury SUV realm. It’s stunning and capable, and offers a wealth of choice, from its cabin trim to its engines. We’re not sure we’d ever spend a quarter-million dollars on a car, but the Range Rover at least makes the justification a bit easier.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

 

 

 

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