There are few vehicles on the road as accommodating, as standout or as adaptable a package as the Range Rover.
Following a facelift in 2018, the current version of the model is bang up to date, with a near-buttonless central console and excellent comfort options available.
As well as the cosmetic updates, Land Rover also added a plug-in hybrid alternative to the standard range of petrol and diesel units.
But can the old guard of full-on oil burners still be a good fit for the Range Rover? We get behind the wheel of the diesel V8 version to find out…
Under the bonnet of the Range Rover we tested was the SDV8 – a 4.4-litre V8 diesel engine that is the largest diesel engine in Land Rover’s arsenal. You don’t see many diesel engines on sale of this size at the moment, but here it’s suited perfectly to the Range Rover’s character – providing 335bhp and 740Nm of torque.
Teamed with four-wheel drive and a very smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, the SDV8 can go from 0-60mph in just 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 130mph. It may not be as rapid as the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol, but the diesel feels like the sweet spot if you aren’t after face-bending performance from your luxury SUV.See Available Range Rover deals
Ride & Handling
Land Rover has ensured that you can waft along in this thing, as the standard-fit air suspension offers a cushioned ride that can also hide almost all imperfections in the road surface. Even the largest alloy wheels don’t affect the ride badly. And, despite the car weighing close to three tonnes, the suspension helps keep the Range Rover on an even keel without feeling like it will topple over.
With the help of light steering, it can also maneuver easily around town – with large windows allowing for excellent visibility as well. The accurate steering is also good for getting you in and out of spaces quickly, although you will need the all-around cameras and sensors to make sure you fit. Also, as with all Land Rovers, the Range Rover is pretty good off the beaten track as well and it can hold a candle to any of the more rugged offerings on the market.
Interior & Equipment
Combining high-end materials and lots of space, it is difficult to criticise the Range Rover for its cabin. Although there may be a little less rear legroom than you might expect, there is still more than enough to stretch out. And even if Land Rover states there is room for five, the middle seat on the rear bench is not particularly accommodating. The two either side of that space did have reclining seats in the spec we tried, so you can seat four in comfort no problem. The 550-litre boot space is more than ample, while folding down the rear seats can open up a 2,030-litre load space.
The SDV8 is available on all Range Rover trim levels, with the entry-level Vogue model featuring equipment such as 20-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights, triple-zone climate control, leather upholstery, keyless entry, a rear camera and the Touch Pro Duo infotainment setup.
On the range-topping Autobiography model we tried, the Range Rover was fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, surround cameras, adaptive cruise control, massaging, heated and cooled front seats, reclining heated rear seats and four-zone climate control.
Starting from £83,655, it’s safe to say that the Range Rover is not a cheap car to buy, and in the Autobiography grade we tried, with a few extras on top, it cost £105,865. But with the quality of finish on offer, it’s easy to see why it’s so much to purchase.
Fuel economy is surprisingly good though, as Land Rover claims that the SDV8 can achieve 33.6mpg, although the emissions of 219g/km CO2 are quite steep – meaning a higher rate of road tax.
The SDV8 is an excellent unit for the Range Rover and is superbly refined to help you cover long distances with ease. Although the V6 diesel can do this just as well, the SDV8 is great for that extra kick of performance. Elsewhere, the Range Rover is as you would expect – well appointed, comfortable and easily one of the most desirable cars on the market. There can be some faults with the electrics, but on the whole, the Range Rover remains one of the best cars currently available – if you can stomach the price.