"The Range Rover is an SUV icon, built to be one of the most upmarket and comfortable ways to travel, whatever terrain you need to cross"
The latest evolution of the legendary Range Rover SUV would be almost unrecognisable to owners of the simple original model, which was designed to offer more comfort than the Land Rover on which it was based, but was still rather workmanlike.
Before long, the Range Rover was adopted by wealthy owners with sprawling estates, making it the 4x4 to be seen in – a fact cemented by the Royal Family being photographed driving them – and its utilitarian plastic interior trim was gradually made more luxurious, with wood veneer and swathes of leather.
Over the years, it’s been kept bang up-to-date, but one thing that has never changed is Land Rover’s commitment to the Range Rover being the most capable off-roader you can buy. To this end, even a top-spec Range Rover – with an interior as luxurious as a premium saloon car and destined to spend its life in Kensington – still has the technology to scale almost any mountain or ford any river.
The Range Rover has taken this concept to the next level, with a greater emphasis on exterior and interior design than before. Inside, the dashboard is uncluttered and simple, with attractive materials and a pleasant design. A 2017 update modernised the infotainment system, ushering in two screens on the central console but this now feels dated compared with JLR's latest infotainment in newer models like the Land Rover Defender. There's gesture control for the sunblind, LED headlights and an Activity Key that allows owners to leave the normal key in their Range Rover while wearing a rugged, waterproof bracelet version. Meanwhile, comfort for rear-seat passengers is better than ever – especially if you go for the long-wheelbase model.
Impressively, despite all these technological additions, the latest Range Rover is 420kg lighter than its predecessor, which improves performance and running costs. The P400e petrol hybrid is the cheapest to run, despite its impressive pulling power. For those that want a mild-hybrid, the P400 MHEV uses a 3.0-litre straight-six engine producing 395bhp. For higher mileage drivers who want a diesel engine, there’s the 3.0-litre D300 and D350, a pair of 'Ingenium' straight-six diesel mild hybrids introduced in 2020, with 296bhp and 345bhp respectively.
The other extreme is the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with 518bhp or 557bhp, which you can also find in sports cars like the Jaguar F-Type. The most powerful version is exclusive to the SVAutobiography Dynamic, which is as menacingly raucous as you’d want. This model comes with a tuned chassis and has responses honed to be as close as possible to a Range Rover sports car. It manages 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds, while passengers travel in unabashed luxury.
Managing the same 5.4-second 0-62mph time, the ‘normal’ 518bhp version of that engine is available on Autobiography models. That name signifies the top of the Range Rover tree, but you can still spend many hours poring over the options, colour combinations and accessories in the brochure – it’s easy to send the cost of this SUV deep into three figures. However, even the entry-level Vogue and Vogue SE models are well equipped, the opulent Autobiography versions compete with the Bentley Bentayga – the world’s most expensive SUV – for luxury and comfort.
While the off-road prowess and craftsmanship of the Range Rover aren’t in doubt, the marque has struggled for reliability in the past. Not enough owners provided details for the latest version to appear in our 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but the Land Rover brand came a disappointing 25th out of 30 manufacturers overall, hampered by poor reliability and steep running costs. But we’d imagine few people buy a Range Rover expecting it to save them pennies and there’s nothing else on the road quite like it, with a stunning design and unique ability to sooth long journeys one minute and then canter up grass banks too steep for most horses the next.
Range Rover SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2
If you’re worried about fuel economy, chances are you’re probably not after a big luxury 4x4. The Range Rover is expensive to buy and run.
Despite Land Rover's best efforts to lighten the Range Rover, it's still an absolutely huge car and as a result, it's still heavy. Factor in the poor aerodynamics of its tall, boxy shape, and it's clear the Range Rover will struggle to deliver impressive economy and emissions.
While the latest Range Rover is the most fuel-efficient yet, we’re still talking about a car with a fair appetite for fuel. Even with a new design and mild-hybrid technology, the latest 3.0-litre D300 diesel claims an official fuel economy of 32.5mpg (WLTP) and CO2 emissions of 228g/km.
The more powerful D350 Range Rover, is even thirstier, managing 30.6mpg and 242g/km of CO2 - although this is an improvement on the SDV8 it replaces. If you want the ultimate in SUV performance, Land Rover says the 5.0-litre V8 petrol will do around 19mpg, but in everyday use, it's likely to be closer to 15mpg. However, you’re unlikely to find the economy much better in other high-performance SUVs like the Mercedes GLS 63 AMG, BMW X5 M or BMW X6 M.
The Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid – which we've reviewed separately – combines a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor, providing an all-electric driving range of 25 miles on a full charge. Land Rover claims CO2 emissions of 77g/km and an average fuel consumption figure of up to 82.3mpg. The P400e brings significant Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) reductions for business users, being the only Range Rover not in the highest band. Unfortunately, though, its emissions mean it just misses the 75g/km cut-off for free travel into the London Congestion Charge zone.
A mild hybrid was introduced in 2019, the P400 MHEV is fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine and a mild-hybrid system consisting of an electric supercharger and battery pack. It stores the energy normally lost under braking into the 48-volt battery. This power is used to improve the engine’s efficiency under load, assisting acceleration when starting off as well as improving the effectiveness of the stop start system. Land Rover claims this setup can achieve fuel economy of up to 26.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 243g/km - which isn't far off the efficiency of the D350 diesel engine.
With the exception of the plug-in hybrid version, every Range Rover is liable for £150 annual road tax from the second year. The P400e attracts a slightly reduced rate of £140. Again from the second year, all versions are liable for an additional surcharge of £325 for five years because they cost more than £40,000.
In terms of residual values, a rule of thumb is that the more expensive the model of Range Rover, the worse the depreciation will be.
Even Range Rovers fitted with sensible engines attract hefty insurance premiums. The cheapest model in the range – the SDV6 Vogue – is in insurance group 45 out of 50. As models get more expensive, they begin to move up the group rating system, with the V8 Autobiography and SVAutobiography models sitting in group 50, the most expensive insurance bracket. As ever, make sure to contact your insurer before making a buying decision.
Land Rover says you should have your Range Rover serviced every 15,000 miles. Big engines have lots of spark plugs and other things that will need to be replaced, so it'll be a lot pricier to service than your average family car.
There's a fairly generous three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty offered on the Range Rover. That’s pretty much average for this type of car, but the Toyota Land Cruiser comes out top here, with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Range Rover SUV - Engines, drive & performance
Incredible off-road performance and towing ability when you need it, plus a comfortable limousine-like ride when you don’t
The latest Range Rover weighs 420kg less than its predecessor, which has a positive effect on handling and performance and for such a big, bulky car, it certainly doesn’t disgrace itself on a twisty road.
While all models handle surprisingly neatly, the SVAutobiography Dynamic shows exactly what the Range Rover can do. Sure, it won’t shrink around you and you’re always aware of the weight and bulk of what you’re driving, but with lowered ride height and modifications to the suspension and steering, fast corners can be taken with confidence.
Step into one of the SVAutobiography’s less muscular sisters and there’s a profound difference – they feel looser, less responsive and more prone to leaning in corners. However, the high view out inspires confidence: the car is easy to place and swift cross-country progress is a relaxing experience. Occupants are well insulated from the outside world and the suspension is comfortable so you’re likely to adopt a more sedate driving technique.
With all its comfort and ability to take corners without tripping up, it’s all the more impressive that the Range Rover is still one of the most capable off-roaders you can buy. Its Terrain Response technology adjusts the suspension and traction-control systems to suit the kind of surface you're driving on. The car is capable of wading through water, crossing mud and ruts and ascending and descending steep slopes with ease.
All engines send their power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which works smoothly around town, yet can also provide quick, sudden shifts when accelerating quickly.
Range Rover diesel engines
If you’re buying your Range Rover as a sensible, mile-munching workhorse, all you really need is the entry-level 3.0-litre D300 engine. New for 2020, this straight-six with mild-hybrid tech will launch the car from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds, which is about what you'd expect from a sporty hatchback. This engine is also incredibly quiet and smooth, to the extent that you'll only ever really hear it if you accelerate as hard as you can, and even then it doesn't sound bad.
The D350 is a more potent version of the same engine with 345bhp, which makes motorway cruising terrifically relaxing. It’s quick, too – acceleration from 0-62mph takes 7.1 seconds and it even makes a nice noise, which is unusual for a diesel. With as much pulling power as the supercharged V8 petrol, the Range Rover gets moving surprisingly quickly, and the automatic gearbox does a good job of keeping it in its deep power band.
At the very top of the range is the SVAutobiography Dynamic, with its 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine. It’s a remarkable engine, producing 557bhp and a fantastic noise from the exhausts, and can catapult the 2.3-tonne SUV from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds – such performance was the stuff of supercars until fairly recently. It's the same engine that you'll find in the performance-oriented Range Rover Sport SVR, though it’s been tuned to be a little smoother in the flagship, full-size Range Rover. You can also buy a slightly less extreme version of this engine in other Autobiography models.
Nice as they are, we struggle to recommend either, simply because the diesels are so good. All engines give the Range Rover a top speed of at least 130mph, but the V8 petrol is capable of taking it to an electronically limited 155mph.
The P400e plug-in hybrid, combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with electric power for a total of 399bhp. This gives it 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds, along with the ability to drive using electric power alone for around 31 miles. We've reviewed the Range Rover P400E separately, and found its ability to drive in silent electric mode suited the luxury feel of the big SUV, especially in town.
The most recent addition to the range is the P400 MHEV, which combines a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine and a 48-volt mild hybrid system to produce 395bhp. This powertrain can achieve a 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds, putting it firmly behind the V8 petrol engines in the range. Considering the power and pace on offer, and the fact the P400 MHEV isn't far off the efficiency of the D350 diesel engine, it should appeal to low-mileage drivers who don't spend too much time on the motorway.
Range Rover SUV - Interior & comfort
Luxury and quality is everywhere you look and touch in the Range Rover
The Range Rover has one of the very best – and quietest – interiors in the business. However, its designers clearly haven’t forgotten the car’s humble roots. Those elegant, solid and easy-to-use controls are designed to be operated while you’re wearing gloves – which could be the case on an off-road expedition.
Luxury has clearly been pushed to the fore, though, and this shines through in how the Range Rover rides as well as how quiet the interior environment is. Even the formidable SVAutobiography Dynamic with its monster engine remains relaxed – there’s just enough engine noise on acceleration to lend a sense of occasion.
And even on that most extreme of Range Rovers, the ride remains supple – albeit not as velvet-smooth as on models with less sportily set up suspension.
Compared to the previous Range Rover, the latest model looks far more elegant and futuristic inside. Land Rover says there are half as many individual buttons on the dashboard as there were in the previous generation and it's easy to see the difference. Even the gear selector is hidden away for the majority of the time – it simply extends when you need it.
A 10-inch touchscreen mounted in the centre console operates Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. This replaces a host of minor control buttons as well as providing sat nav and entertainment services, with an on-board wi-fi hotspot as a useful feature. It's starting to feel quite dated against rival systems in the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS, though, and even Land Rover itself has a better Pivi Pro system in its newer models.
The quality of materials used inside the Range Rover is absolutely fantastic, too. You get soft, luxurious leathers on the dashboard, steering wheel and doors paired up with piano-black lacquer or wood-veneer inserts in the centre console and on the steering wheel.
Most models also come with a mood lighting system that uses LED lamps placed throughout the interior to create a glowing effect. You can choose from 10 different colours, and at night this helps create a really classy atmosphere.
As with any Range Rover, you sit high and get a panoramic view of the road. The seats are also extremely comfortable and there's a massage function in addition to the heating and cooling capability on most versions.
Even your rear passengers can travel in luxury if you upgrade to the Executive Seat package (standard on the SVAutobiography). This replaces the three-seat rear bench with two luxurious chairs that can be reclined and also have a massage function. Long-wheelbase models even have calf rests. Screens can be fitted to the headrests and a fridge can be placed in between the rear passengers, too.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to find that a car starting from over £83,000 wants for very little in terms of standard kit. Even the entry-level Range Rover Vogue sports 20-inch alloy wheels, a 380-watt Meridian stereo and leather seats. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are also standard. Both front seats are heated and the driver's seat has a memory function for its electric adjustment.
The Vogue SE, which we reckon offers the best value for money, adds a heated windscreen, power-operated bootlid and extra adjustment for the front seats, which are also heated and cooled.
The Autobiographyand SVAutobiography models feature the likes of a glass roof, Pixel LED headlights and a more impressive stereo. Autobiography models are available in standard or long-wheelbase lengths. Both add driver-assistance aids such as active cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assistance – which are optional on the Vogue and Vogue SE models.
The sporty SVAutobiography is long-wheelbase only and comes loaded with equipment, including heated and vented front massage seats, heated power-adjustable rear seats, sat-nav, DAB digital radio, USB ports, four-zone climate control, digital TV, a high-end Meridian stereo, keyless entry, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a surround-view camera, a powered-operated split tailgate, towing assistance and air suspension (which automatically lowers the car when you park to make it easier to get in and out).
The ultimate high-performance Range Rover is the short-wheelbase SVAutobiography Dynamic, which can be identified by its unique finish to the side vents, bonnet and front grille, along with accents and badges on the bumper. Inside, passengers are treated to diamond-quilted leather with contrasting stitching and a special veneer finish to the dashboard.
A key option is the Drive Pack, which includes a driver condition monitor to identify and warn of driver fatigue, blind-spot monitoring with reverse traffic detection and traffic-sign recognition incorporating a speed control system, which will automatically limit your speed according to the prevailing limit.
There's a huge amount of accessories on offer, but if you're a music fan there are a couple of special choices available, such as the 825-watt Meridian stereo with 19 speakers. True audiophiles can opt for a mind-blowing 1,700-watt, 29-speaker set-up.
Range Rover SUV - Practicality & boot space
There’s plenty of room in the Range Rover for a driver and four passengers, as well as loads of boot space
Anyone who's ever seen a Range Rover can tell you just how large it really is – at five metres long, there's not much on the road that’s bigger. That obviously means loads of space inside, but it's not much fun when it comes to negotiating narrow streets or squeezing into tight parking spaces. The long-wheelbase model is even bigger, so you’ll have to make sure you're not short on garage or driveway space.
Thanks to the Range Rover's considerable length, width and height, there's no shortage of space inside this large SUV. The big seats in the front are superb and there's enough room for the tallest or widest of occupants.
It's the same story in the back: few models provide this much space. But if that's still not enough, the long-wheelbase model increases rear legroom enormously.
Most models have space for five, but a four-seat option ditches the middle rear seat to create storage space and more room for the two remaining back-seat passengers. It feels wonderfully opulent, but choosing this option means you can't fold the rear seats down, although you can recline them.
There's lots of storage space, too. The dashboard has two gloveboxes, there are big pockets in the doors and centre console and you can even specify a fridge between the front seats.
The bad news, though, is that the Range Rover feels huge. It can be difficult to get into it unless you use the 'access height' function, which temporarily drops the suspension by 50mm to let you climb in.
Once inside, you'll find the Range Rover's huge dimensions make driving it a bit tricky. It's a good job that you get large windows and big mirrors, and that you can see the bonnet edges from behind the wheel, because this all helps you to place the car on the road.
Land Rover offers plenty of gadgets to help make life easier for you, including a rear-view camera that comes as standard across the range. Then there's an automatic parking system to help with parallel and perpendicular parking, a system to alert you of traffic while you're reversing out of a space and a 360-degree camera, too.
If you want a bit more space in the rear, Land Rover also offers a long wheelbase version of the Range Rover for an extra £7,000.
First, the good news: the Range Rover has a massive 909-litre boot. If you need to put that into perspective, just consider that the practical Volkswagen Golf family hatchback has a 380-litre boot.
If you ever need more space than that, then you can just flip the rear seats forward to more than double the amount of storage up to 2,030 litres – as long as you haven’t gone for the two-rear-armchairs option.
All models get a powered split tailgate as well: you just press a button on the key to open the boot. The bottom half of the tailgate also folds out, giving you somewhere to sit while you take your muddy shoes off, or simply a way to slide big, heavy items into the boot. Recent revisions to the car included a hands-free boot opening feature.
It's a safe bet that a lot of Range Rover buyers will use their cars for towing – and it certainly boasts some impressive figures. The D300 diesel can tow an unbraked trailer, caravan or horsebox weighing up to 750kg and a maximum braked load of 3,500kg.
Those figures also apply to the D350 diesel, P400 and the V8 supercharged petrol models, while the P400e plug-in hybrid has a slightly reduced towing limit of 2,500kg. All Range Rovers have a maximum roof-rack load limit of 100kg, including the weight of the roof rails.
Range Rover SUV - Reliability & safety
Early cars had a few electrical gremlins, bu most of these seem to have been ironed out. The Range Rover also has excellent safety credentials.
Range Rover reliability
Land Rover has a reputation for making high-class, stylish 4x4s, but there's no denying its poor record for reliability over the years. The company has often finished towards the bottom of owner satisfaction surveys, with some big bills reported on older models.
The latest Range Rover is built in a different way and in a different factory to the previous car, while its electrical components are less complex and more reliable.
Too few Range Rover owners participated in our 2020 Driver Power satisfaction survey for it to be included. However, Land Rover finished 25th overall out of 30 brands covered in our 2020 survey, a disappointing fall from seventh place in 2018. The number of owners reporting a fault was 33.8%, the highest proportion of all the top 30 manufacturers.
The Range Rover has also been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, which includes one of the highest ratings ever given for pedestrian protection in the large off-roader category.
Euro NCAP's tests praised the car for how it protects adult and child occupants. Its safety rating was boosted by a full suite of features, such as autonomous emergency braking and advanced traction-control systems that make the car safer and more stable on the road as well more capable off it. Should the worst happen, you and your passengers are protected by a full complement of airbags.