Range Rover SDV8

 

Engine: 4.4-litre V8 turbo-diesel

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 313 PS at 4,000 rpm

Torque: 700 Nm at between 1,500 and 3,350 rpm

Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 30.1 mpg

CO2 emissions: 253 g/km

Top speed: 130 mph

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 7.5 seconds

Price: from £84,320

Land Rover’s third-generation Range Rover is a magnificent car that still stands up well after a decade in production. Its looks, which hark back to those of the original, exceptionally handsome, 1970 Range Rover, have changed little over the years, and still appeal, while its beautiful interior, a modern reinterpretation of the traditional British wood-and-leather approach, is a lot nicer than anything you’ll find this side of a Bentley.

Under the skin, though, there have been quite big changes. The current Range Rover was launched with BMW engines, but by the time this happened, the Bavarians had sold Land Rover to Ford, and the engines were later changed too. The original BMW diesel, a (by today’s standards) comparatively puny 3.0-litre straight six, gave way to a 3.6-litre V8, which was itself replaced by a mighty 4.4-litre V8 pumping out over 300 horsepower and 700 Newton metres of torque. The original six-speed automatic has given way to a more modern and efficient eight-speeder. All that means that the Range Rover is a lot quicker and quieter than you’d expect a car that is still one of the best off-road vehicles you can buy to be.

And yet, for several reasons, the current car will shortly be replaced. The first is the strength of the competition. In the old days, the Range Rover could afford to rest on its laurels a bit because it was the only luxury SUV on the market. Now Audi, BMW and Mercedes have at least one strong Range Rover rival each and their model cycles are shorter. Another reason for doing a new car is that in-car technology is developing at a rapid pace and some of the new plumbing required is best incorporated via a clean-sheet design.

But the main reason for producing a replacement is something that you cannot see but can sometimes feel when you drive or travel in this car – its weight, which is a whopping 2,580kg. That’s broadly comparable with other big SUVs that appeared a few years ago, including Land Rover’s own Discovery 3 and the Volkswagen Touareg, but after decades in which cars got steadily fatter, they are now getting fitter. The new Peugeot 208 and Audi A3, to take two recent examples, are both lighter than their predecessors, and the latest Touareg has slimmed down quite a bit too. Even wealthy Range Rover drivers who can afford big fuel bills probably still worry about emissions-based company car taxation and the social acceptability of the cars they drive, and taking a few hundred kilogrammes out of the Rangie would help a lot with consumption and emissions. Land Rover can probably do it – the Jaguar Land Rover combine has a lot of experience of using lightweight materials, and the big Jaguar XJ weighs only as much as some smaller cars – but the trick will be to pull it off without taking away the powerful feeling of solidity and cross-country indestructibility that is one of the current Range Rover’s biggest pluses. As for the rest, I think Land Rover would be well-advised not to mess too much with the Range Rover formula, which has served it so well for forty-two years.

Suggested Topics
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Performance Consultant Trainee

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Consultant trainee opportunit...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - (Full marketing mix) - Knutsford

    £22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Knu...

    Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

    Day In a Page

    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
    Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

    Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

    A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
    Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

    Election 2015

    Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
    Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

    Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

    The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
    The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

    The US is getting frayed at the edges

    Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
    Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

    New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

    A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
    Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

    British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

    Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
    Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

    Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

    Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
    Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

    Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

    He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
    How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

    Celebrating 100 years of Leica

    A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world