by: Mike Ginsca
The current Range Rover is beloved by thousands of celebrities, sports athletes, and politicians alike. But why is that? Read on…
Performance – Well it’s definitely not for how it can go around corners. If you’re the type that’s looking for a sports SUV then have a close look at the Porsche Cayenne GTS because this Range Rover is the complete opposite. I’m not saying that the wheels will fall off every time it attempts to go around corners, the problem is that the suspension is too soft and the whole body rolls and pulls the entire vehicle to the outside of a corner which causes understeer. Also the steering feel is lacking and it’s almost as though the steering wheel is like a rudder control on a big boat.
Happily the 5.0L V8 engine does liven up the driving characteristics of the Range Rover. This particular SUV has the Jaguar derived naturally aspirated version which produces 370hp and 376lb-ft of torque. For the hefty size of the Rover, the engine feels quite powerful. In city driving, where the SUV will most likely spend most of its time, the rpm needle rarely has to go beyond 4000rpm due to the high amount of torque that is available on the lower end of the engine rev range.
Comfort – While performance may not the Range Rover’s forte, comfort definitely is. The reason why the suspension is so soft is because it was designed to “float” over the worst bumps city streets and off roads can throw at the SUV. To further aid in the comfort of the passengers, soft leather seats let the occupants sink into them and forget everything that’s going on outside. The cabin is very well insulated and not even wind noise at high speeds can be heard inside the cabin. Space is also plentiful with rear seating being able to accommodate even 7’ tall basketball players.
The interior is also fitted with some nice aesthetic touches and entertaining gadgets. For example, instead of analog gauges on the instrument panel, Range Rover decided to use a 12” TFT LCD digital display which can be customized to display whatever the driver chooses. In addition to this digital display, there is a central touch screen that features an intuitive navigation system and a multi-camera system which allows the driver, or a bored passenger, to display cameras that are positioned all around the vehicle. Land Rover has also fitted this SUV with their Terrain Response System. The system features 5 different settings that the driver can select to improve traction in difficult driving situations such as driving through sand or rock crawling.
Odds and Ends – Land Rover did update the design of this Range Rover in 2012 by giving it LED daytime running lights and a shiny new grille but the design looks a little dated by today’s standards. However, there is no other SUV on the market that closely resembles this one so it definitely stands out no matter where it goes.
So why do celebrities and politicians like this SUV? Well clearly it’s not because of its performance but it is a quiet, comfortable, luxurious, and prestigious vehicle that nearly everyone wants.
Thank you to Autoform Performance Inc. for providing the vehicle.
Editor at large and gearhead. Can drive anything on 4 or 2 wheels... sometimes 3 wheels too.