Business

New Range Rover: First test drive of the new £100k luxury SUV

The new Range Rover has certainly landed with a royal flourish.

Even before its official launch this week – and ahead of the first cars landing with customers –the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have already given it their official Royal seal of approval.

For William and Catherine were recently photographed being chauffeured in the new fifth generation Range Rover during the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot – having leap-frogged commoner customers before it reaches the driveways of even well-heeled buyers who got their orders in early.

They were ahead even of its global launch this week in the US – a large and significant export market for a premium British product.

A Royal Range Rover: Daily Mail’s Ray Massey has had this first sample of the all-new 2022 Range Rover

The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, were pictured arriving in their new Range Rover last month, more than a fortnight before the car's global launch in the US

The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, were pictured arriving in their new Range Rover last month, more than a fortnight before the car’s global launch in the US

As showcased by the Duke and Duchess, who will be chauffeured most places in their Range Rover, it truly is a vehicle designed as much to be ‘driven in’ as to drive – especially the extended wheel-base and top of the range ‘SV’ models. 

That’s because for all its rufty-tufty off-road capability and superb British engineering, it also fulfils the role of a sumptuously-appointed luxury limousine – albeit an exceptionally practical one – to be seen in at high society ball-gown events as much as at country pursuits during the season.

For the first time in a Range Rover there is the option of a family-friendly seven seats – in the extended wheelbase version – which will be warmly welcomed by those needing greater flexibility. Customers can also opt for a standard five-seater. And the exclusive ‘SV’ version offers an executive four-seat option.

The new Range Rover is being built at the firm’s specially revamped factory in Solihull, near Birmingham, in the West Midlands. 

Its design is described as ‘more evolutionary than revolutionary’ – the rear styling and ‘hidden until lit’ lights and some tweaks to the grille being the most striking features. 

The line-up of standard and long wheel-base Range Rovers from launch includes mild hybrid petrol and diesel engines, a range-topping old-school petrol V8 and two new petrol-electric plug-in hybrids, or 'PHEVs'

The line-up of standard and long wheel-base Range Rovers from launch includes mild hybrid petrol and diesel engines, a range-topping old-school petrol V8 and two new petrol-electric plug-in hybrids, or ‘PHEVs’

Launch models have been available to order since the end of last year and are shortly due for delivery - before the end of this month - with prices ranging from £99,375 to £142,820

Launch models have been available to order since the end of last year and are shortly due for delivery – before the end of this month – with prices ranging from £99,375 to £142,820

A plug-in hybrid variant is due to arrive later this year along with the ultra-luxurious 'SV' variants, which will cost a fair chunk more

A plug-in hybrid variant is due to arrive later this year along with the ultra-luxurious ‘SV’ variants, which will cost a fair chunk more

The line-up of standard and long wheel-base Range Rovers from launch includes mild hybrid petrol and diesel engines, a range-topping old-school petrol V8 and two new petrol-electric plug-in hybrids, or ‘PHEVs’.

The latter combine a frugal petrol engine with an electric motor and battery to boost power while reducing emissions. 

A pollution-free pure electric ‘e-Range Rover’ is to follow from 2024.

Within days of first cars arriving with UK customers. Land Rover has revised upwards the Range Rover’s.

Originally, the base model started at £94,400, but this has since risen to £99,375 for the D300 SE diesel mild-hybrid short-wheelbase model.

The most expensive launch edition car is £142,820 – for the range-topping P530 First Edition in a long wheel base format.  

In January, order books also opened for the later arriving – but greener – Range Rover P440e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant, which now costs from costing from £108,385. 

The range-topping Range Rover ‘SV’ is priced from £151,175 (D350 SWB) to £178,220 (P530 LWB).

Following in the wake of the Royal couple, Ray Massey has tried out the new Range Rover for himself...

Following in the wake of the Royal couple, Ray Massey has tried out the new Range Rover for himself…

The first version sampled was the D350 mild hybrid diesel, which has a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine - this is likely to be among the top selling variants of the new Range Rover, with diesels still very much the most popular choice

The first version sampled was the D350 mild hybrid diesel, which has a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine – this is likely to be among the top selling variants of the new Range Rover, with diesels still very much the most popular choice

Ray said that, at first, he couldn't quite believe the D350 was a diesel! 'It is so exceptionally refined, smooth, stable, quiet and very well balanced,' he explains

Ray said that, at first, he couldn’t quite believe the D350 was a diesel! ‘It is so exceptionally refined, smooth, stable, quiet and very well balanced,’ he explains

What’s it like behind the wheel?

Following in the steps of the Royal couple, I tried the new Range Rover out for myself this week. 

I first tried the D350 mild hybrid diesel, which has a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine. This one was slotted into a short wheel-base version of the new Rangey.

At first, I couldn’t quite believe it was a diesel. It is so exceptionally refined, smooth, stable, quiet and very well balanced.

Diesels will take 40 per cent of the total UK mix, according to JLR bosses, with plug-in hybrids (not driven here) 30 per cent and petrols (including the mammoth V8) representing the remaining third of sales. 

In the UK, three quarters will be standard wheel-base with a quarter long-wheel base.

In its standard driving mode it feel supremely relaxed, but slot the lever into the ‘Sport’ setting and the sinews tighten noticeably fore more energetic, throttle-revving action

In its standard driving mode it feel supremely relaxed, but slot the lever into the ‘Sport’ setting and the sinews tighten noticeably fore more energetic, throttle-revving action

Daily Mail's Ray Massey pictured alongside the new Range Rover. With the SUV gulfing Ray, you can tell just how big it is in the flesh

Daily Mail’s Ray Massey pictured alongside the new Range Rover. With the SUV gulfing Ray, you can tell just how big it is in the flesh

In its standard driving mode it feel supremely relaxed, but slot the lever into the ‘Sport’ setting and the sinews tighten noticeably fore more energetic, throttle-revving action.

Riding on 23-inch wheels with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it absorbs bumps in the road beautifully and irons out undulations with aplomb.

With 350 horsepowers under the bonnet, it accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 6.1 seconds up to a top speed of 145mph, managing 37.2mpg and with CO2 emissions of 198g/km.

Riding on 23-inch wheels with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it absorbs bumps in the road beautifully and irons out undulations with aplomb

Riding on 23-inch wheels with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it absorbs bumps in the road beautifully and irons out undulations with aplomb

The range-topping Range Rover SV priced from £151,175 (D350 SWB) to £178,220 (P530 LWB) will arrive from later this year. The model pictured features the two-tone paint scheme

The range-topping Range Rover SV priced from £151,175 (D350 SWB) to £178,220 (P530 LWB) will arrive from later this year. The model pictured features the two-tone paint scheme

Next, I plonked myself into the driving seat of the P400 3.0-litre 400hp mild hybrid petrol, which matches the previous diesel’s 6.1 seconds 0 to 62mph acceleration time. 

This one was the seven-seat extended wheelbase version – my first chance to try a Range Rover with two additional chairs in the back. 

The compromise with the extra seats is limited boot space. But you have the choice.

I managed a short off-roading stint in this variant. 

It copes fine with grassy and gravelled surfaces that you’d expect at a racecourse or country estate – common locations for the Range Rover when it does arrive with UK customers. 

I took it up and down some pretty steep inclines and it took them in its stride. There was none of the more extreme tests that I’ve tired with more rugged off-roaders. But these are different beasts. 

Set into its low range off-road mode with increased ride height, it copes well with more challenging terrain. It’s not a Defender, but for a posh car enjoying a bit of rough, it’s the business.

We managed a short off-roading stint in the driving seat of the P400 3.0-litre 400hp mild hybrid petrol version

We managed a short off-roading stint in the driving seat of the P400 3.0-litre 400hp mild hybrid petrol version

Set into its low range off-road mode with increased ride height, it copes well with challenging terrain. It’s not a Defender, but for a posh car enjoying a bit of rough, it’s the business

Set into its low range off-road mode with increased ride height, it copes well with challenging terrain. It’s not a Defender, but for a posh car enjoying a bit of rough, it’s the business

What impressed my most with all the variants I drove was just how secure, sound, nimble and fun to drive they all felt – even at high speed and on twisting mountain roads.

These are heavy, high-sided 4X4 SUVs weighing around 2.5 tonnes yet have a sense of balance and firm-footedness that you’d expect on a much more compact vehicle.

There was none of the swaying ‘boatiness’ you find with some. It felt rock-solid. Surprisingly so. If there was even a hint of a twitch, the electronic and suspension systems clearly kicked in to correct it. The engineers have done a great job.

Out on the motorways these awesome 4X4s sailed along serenely – but with gratifyingly added oomph when in sport mode.

‘That’ll do’, I said to myself as I planted my foot firmly full throttle on the accelerator – enjoying a welcome punch of power moving smoothly, seamlessly but with attitude to the wheels. The acceleration feels satisfyingly connected. The ride and handling feels planted. The experience is engaging.   

NEW RANGE ROVER: WILL IT FIT IN MY GARAGE? 

On sale: now

Price: from £99,375 

First deliveries: April 2022

Built: Solihull, England

Seats: 4, 5 and for the first time 7 (depending on model)

Versions: Standard and Long Wheel-base 

DIMENSIONS

*Standard wheel-base / Long wheelbase (where dimensions differ)

Length: 5,022mm / 5,252mm

Width (inc mirrors): 2,209mm

Height: 1,870mm

Wheelbase: 2,997mm / 3,197mm

Wheels: Up to 23 inch

Turning circle: 10.95mm / 11.54mm

Maximum off-road clearance: 295mm

Maximum incline: 45 degrees

Wading depth: 900mm

Approach angle: 34.7 degrees

Departure angle: 29 degrees

Maximum tow capacity: 3,500kg

Maximum roof load: 100kg

Loadspace: Max behind row one, all seats folded: 1,841 / 2,601 litres

Transmission: 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox   

Trim levels: SE, HSE, Autobiography, and First Edition

From 2022: Exclusive ‘SV’ version from Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations arm (includes four-seat chauffer version)

POWERTAIN EXAMPLES 

– Plug-in Hybrid extended range PHEV

Available in two options: 510hp and 440hp

Electric-only range: up to 62 miles officially (real world estimate 50 miles)

Electric only top speed: up to 87mph 

0 to 62mph (100km/hr): up to 5.6 seconds

Top speed: TBC

CO2 emissions: under 30g/km

Engine: 400 horse-power (PS) Ingenium 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder

Battery: 38.2kWh (useable capacity 31.8kWh)

Electric motor: 105kw

Charging time on 7.2kW AC wall-box: 5 hours   

– New flagship 4.4 litre V8 530hp twin turbo petrol 

0 to 62 mph (100km/hr): 4.6 seconds

Top speed: 155mph

CO2 emissions: 263g/km

 – Mild hybrid ‘straight 6’ cylinder 3.0 litre petrol (P400) and 3.0 litre diesel engines (D300 and D350)

– First fully electric battery version from 2024 

What’s it like with someone else behind the wheel? 

And for those who will spend more time being chauffeured, the P530 SV long-wheel base is the bee’s knees.

Powered by the range-topping 530hp 4.4-litre petrol V8, it leaves rear seat passenger in the lap of luxury.

Having endured a couple of very challenging days having been caught up in flight-delay mellays, I enjoyed a totally stress-free chauffeur driven ride in the back of the voluminous 4X4 limousine.  

It is silky smooth and exquisitely quiet. There’s even an on board massage system. This is the way to fly. Even on the road.  

It really is a refined manner of travel whether for business of pleasure.

We also gave the Range Rover the Royal treatment by testing out the V8 petrol version from the luxurious back seats

We also gave the Range Rover the Royal treatment by testing out the V8 petrol version from the luxurious back seats

At the heart of it all is the executive SV seating with two business class seats in the rear. 

My comfortable armchair like rear seat reclined like a business or Fist Class airline seat and left me as chilled as the champagne that resides with glasses in an optional cooler.

The passenger seat in front moves further forward to create even more leg room, and there’s a drop down foot rest as your legs move up and out into a relaxing stretch out posture.

There is no shortage of distractions, mind. 

A big 13.1-inch screen in front allows you to watch your favourite movie, or choose from your play list on the Pivi Pro infotainment system. And it’s all controllable from an 8-inch touchscreen controller sitting in the space between the two rear sets.

There’s an element of magic and delight from the central electric powered ‘club table’ which opens up like a flower in an elegantly balletic manoeuvre. I could watch it all day. Or you could just listen to look out of the window and watch the world go by.

Passengers will always be sitting comfortably with the Range Rover featuring power seats, their own screens and control function located in the central armrest

Passengers will always be sitting comfortably with the Range Rover featuring power seats, their own screens and control function located in the central armrest 

The SV version will feature a clever 'Club Table' with a chiller recess for champagne bottle and two Dartington Crystal glass flutes

The SV version will feature a clever ‘Club Table’ with a chiller recess for champagne bottle and two Dartington Crystal glass flutes

The rear seat touchscreen controller also allows you to fine tune your surroundings in the back. Starting with the seat themselves, the memory system provide four-way powered lumbar and headrest adjustment. They can also be heated if you feel a bit chilly, or and cooled if you’re feeling a tad too hot.

And just like on a plane, they can be inclined (by four degrees) and reclined (by up to 12 degrees) until you find the perfect position for you.

There’s even enhanced shoulder support with heated door armrests, a heated centre console and deeper seat cushions. But for easing aching limbs after a hard day at the office there’s a hot-stone massage option, plus a heated heel catcher and calf-rest. From my commanding position in the rear I could programme the lights to suite my mood using configurable 30-colour cabin lighting in the doors, console and foot-wells.

And, just as on the most modern aircraft, the air is specially filtered to feel especially fresh – using an air purification system and the latest nano-technology to take impurities out of cabin. That is designed to leave you feeling full of energy, and not sluggish. And I did feel remarkably perky after my two hours as a VIP.

You really do feel quite pampered and privileged. Someone else- your chauffeur – is doing all the real work at the wheel. Though even that is immensely pleasurable for them. I know. The driver told me so. He said it was the best SUV he’s ever driven.

The ride is smooth and consistent. It lulls you to relax. And I’m sure owners who take delivery will justify it on the grounds that their very busy days doing deals and making decision of huge importance, means they need the down time to either catch up on their e-mail.

But the temptation to grab a few minutes snooze is at times overwhelming.

And for some reason as I swanned around in the lap of luxury, I could not get that most irritating of adverts for L’Oreal cosmetics out of my head. You know the one: ‘It’s because I’m worth it.’ Well I certainly felt it – for a while.

Mind you, with prices for the luxuriously top spec SV long wheelbase model starting from just under £158,000, you’d really have to be.

Does it get a Ray seal of approval as well as a Royal one? Mr Massey says it makes you feel unashamedly proud to be British

Does it get a Ray seal of approval as well as a Royal one? Mr Massey says it makes you feel unashamedly proud to be British

All-new Range Rover: The Cars & Motoring verdict 

As William and Kate, the new generation of young Royals, work hard to build a modern monarchy, the new cutting-edge Range Rover really is a luxury 4×4 fit for a future king and queen. 

And it does rather make you feel unashamedly proud to be British. 

It’s heady mix of modern luxury combined with engaging performance, useful practically, and plenty of style. 

Sadly not everyone will be able to enjoy such an experience – with prices starting just a shade under £100,000.

But just wait until a few years down the line, they start popping up on the second hand market at more affordable levels for more mainstream buyers. 

Then it could be a hard choice between a brand new car, or a punt on a second or third-hand fifth generation Range Rover. Now that’s going to be a real dilemma for some people.

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW RANGE ROVER

1. THE FIRST FULL-ELECTRIC LAND ROVER MODEL

The 2024 electric Range Rover with be Land Rover’s first battery-only model brought to market. It has sold plug-in hybrid versions of the luxury SUV in the previous generation and PHEV examples across the rest of the range, including the Land Rover Defender PHEV. 

Parent firm JLR’s first EV was the I-Pace, which launched back in 2018. 

An electric-only Range Rover will become Land Rover's first full EV model launched in 2024 and be followed by six others as part of the brand's efforts to switch power sources ahead of the ban on sale of new petrol and diesel cars at the end of the decade

An electric-only Range Rover will become Land Rover’s first full EV model launched in 2024 and be followed by six others as part of the brand’s efforts to switch power sources ahead of the ban on sale of new petrol and diesel cars at the end of the decade

2. YOU CAN GET A SEVEN-SEAT VERSION

A seven-seater Range Rover with a third row of two seats is now an option for the first time in the extended-wheelbase version. Customers can also opt for a standard five-seater. 

And the exclusive ‘SV’ version from the Special Vehicle Operations branch offers a four-seat chauffeur option.

For the first time ever, Range Rover buyers will be able to choose if they want a five- or seven-seat layout for their luxury 4X4

For the first time ever, Range Rover buyers will be able to choose if they want a five- or seven-seat layout for their luxury 4X4

3. IT HAS ALL-WHEEL STEERING

This is said to improve high speed stability and low speed manoeuvrability. 

The rear axle moves by up to seven degrees, giving a tighter turning circle of less than 11 metres. 

Stability is also improved with intelligent all-wheel drive and a new ‘active 48-volt electronic roll control system’.

The introduction of rear-wheel steering should make the weighty Range Rover feel more agile and nimble in the bends

The introduction of rear-wheel steering should make the weighty Range Rover feel more agile and nimble in the bends

4. DESIGN CHANGES HIGHLIGHTED BY A NEW REAR LOOK

The rear of the new Range Rover shows the biggest change in design with large ‘hidden until lit’ lights and indicators in the dark panel that runs across the top section of the tailgate and then drops down around the side of the lower part of the boot door. 

The front grille has also been tweaked and all sensors removed from the body panels and hidden out of sight in the lower bumper. 

It also gets new high definition digital LED headlights.

Ray Massey takes a closer look at the 'hidden until lit' rear light cluster, which is the standout change to the Range Rover's design

Ray Massey takes a closer look at the ‘hidden until lit’ rear light cluster, which is the standout change to the Range Rover’s design

5. AN INTERIOR THAT’S SUITABLE FOR VEGANS

Non leather and fabrics including Ultrafabrics and Kvadrat wool-blend, and others made from recycled plastics and fabrics, are offered to those with vegan tastes or ethical issues with animal hides.

Like many other car makers, Land Rover is moving away from animal-based materials for its interior fabrics to show it can be a sustainable brand

Like many other car makers, Land Rover is moving away from animal-based materials for its interior fabrics to show it can be a sustainable brand

6. RANGE ROVER’S BIGGEST INFOTAINMENT SCREEN EVER

The new 13.1-inch curved floating touch-screen – with graphics based around a three panel lay-out – dominates the elegant dashboard and is the biggest display to ever be installed in a Range Rover. 

Controls for the screen for the first time provide ‘haptic’ feedback which gives users ‘a positive confirmation’ without the need to take their eyes off the road to glance at the display. 

Rear passengers have a new rear-seat entertainment system with 11.4-inch screens for smart TV via in-car wi-fi.

The curved screen up front is the largest in Range Rover history at 13.1 inches

Passengers in the back also get 11.4-inch rear displays

The curved screen up front is the largest in Range Rover history at 13.1 inches. Passengers in the back also get 11.4-inch rear displays

7. POWER ASSISTED DOORS ALL ROUND

All four passenger doors are power-assisted – a first for Land Rover. They feature integrated hazard detection, meaning they can’t swing open if a vehicle or cyclist is passing in close proximity, and also an ‘anti-pinch’ safety feature that prevents the door shutting on flailing limbs.

All doors in the new Range Rover are power assisted and incorporate a safety feature that will stop you from knocking cyclists off their bikes and trapping your arm as you try to get in

All doors in the new Range Rover are power assisted and incorporate a safety feature that will stop you from knocking cyclists off their bikes and trapping your arm as you try to get in

8. SPLIT REAR TAILGATE GETS PRACTICALITY TWEAKS…AND DOG RAMP

The split rear tailgate – a feature since 1970 – is updated with new features. Inside the load-space floor has flexible panels to partition areas for easier load-lugging. 

The five-seater version also has a new auto-folding loadspace cover which retracts when the upper tailgate is opened, providing unrestricted access without lowering the lower tailgate. 

There’s the option of podium seating, for when you want to pull up at a regatta, and also a dog ramp as part of an additional pet pack (also includes travel cage and mobile hose) to make it easier for your furry friend to access the boot compartment.

As William and Kate, the new generation of young Royals, work hard to build a modern monarchy, the new cutting-edge Range Rover really is a luxury 4×4 fit for a future king and queen. 

And it does rather make you feel unashamedly proud to be British. 

The new Range Rover features this podium seating option, so you can park your bum on the bottom section of the split rear tailgate. This will be ideal for when owners want to pull up at a regatta

The new Range Rover features this podium seating option, so you can park your bum on the bottom section of the split rear tailgate. This will be ideal for when owners want to pull up at a regatta

Land Rover have made changes to the boot and tailgate to make it more practical - for you and for your pets, it appears

Land Rover have made changes to the boot and tailgate to make it more practical – for you and for your pets, it appears

9. VOICE CONTROL FEATURES IN A SUPER-HUSHED CABIN

This is a Range Rover you can have a full blown conversation with. It features voice control and commands for music, navigation and traffic updates via Amazon ‘Alexa’, as well as using its artificial intelligence to check the news and weather, schedule meetings, and even turn on your lights at home. 

You should have no issues telling the Range Rover what you want as there will be little to no road rumble in the cabin. That’s because noise-cancelling technology piped through speakers installed in the headrests to help maintain the interior as a ‘calm oasis’. 

It will also have clean air technology to filter out odours and viruses, including Covid-19 and Sars viruses.

The interior should be quieter than ever before - and not just because Land Rover is adding electric power. It's because noise-cancelling tech will prevent road rumble being audible in the cabin

The interior should be quieter than ever before – and not just because Land Rover is adding electric power. It’s because noise-cancelling tech will prevent road rumble being audible in the cabin

10. ACTIVE SUSPENSION THAT KNOWS WHEN YOU’RE ABOUT TO HIT A BUMP

The new Range Rover enjoys ‘pre-emptive suspension’ which uses chassis control and Electronic Air Suspension to ‘read’ the road ahead via the sat-nav and sensors and prime the vehicle for looming bumps and corners. 

A 'pre-emptive suspension' system means the Range Rover can prepare its shocks for the biggest ruts by scanning the road ahead

A ‘pre-emptive suspension’ system means the Range Rover can prepare its shocks for the biggest ruts by scanning the road ahead 

 

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

New Range Rover: First test drive of the new £100k luxury SUV Source link New Range Rover: First test drive of the new £100k luxury SUV

Back to top button