Range Rover TDV6

Deft, supple, lithe... Something’s different about the new Range Rover

Price: From £71,295
Engine: 2,993cc, V6 cylinders, 24 valves, turbodiesel, 258bhp
Transmission: Eight-speed paddle-shift automatic, four-wheel drive
Performance: 130mph, 0-62 in 7.9sec, 37.7mpg, CO2 196g/km

Can you spot the differences between this, fourth-generation, Range Rover and its predecessor? To be sure, you need to be well up on your Range Rover nuances. Even then what you might not be able to tell is that the new one weighs up to 420kg less than the last one.

Some of this colossal weight saving, equivalent to five substantial adults, has come about as the body and chassis structure is now made from aluminium; more results from the virtuous circle of weight reduction, which means less engine is needed to haul less car.

You can still have a 5.0-litre, 510bhp supercharged V8 or a 4.4-litre, 339bhp V8 turbodiesel, but its new-found light-footedness means the 3.0-litre, 258bhp V6 turbodiesel used in the Discovery can now find a home under the Range Rover bonnet and still give the brisk pace that befits Land Rover's grandest product.

Indeed, never has a Range Rover been grander: its creators regard it as much a rival to a Bentley or a Mercedes-Benz S-class as to high-end SUVs such as a Porsche Cayenne or a BMW X5.

But back to those old-versus-new differences. Most obvious are the dummy, vertically slatted vents on the flanks, formerly ahead of the front doors, now on them, as nothing more than a garnish to reduce the visual impression of length. There are the little tongues licking around the corners from the front and rear light units. Look longer and you'll notice that the nose is shorter, the windscreen leans back more racily and the waistline rises a little as it heads rearwards, all designed to give a more dynamic stance. The roof is a little lower, while length, width and wheelbase have all grown slightly. Rear passengers benefit the most from this, with truly decadent lounging room now on offer.

Yet for all that, the new Range Rover seems somehow more compact. Visually this is because the wheelarches hug the wheels more tightly, making the bodywork appear less burdensome, and dynamically it's the result of the lower weight, meaning it feels almost lithe.

This is best experienced in the lightest version, the TDV6. Thanks to its massive 443lb ft of torque, it accelerates with a laid-back ease that should please anyone planning on tackling treacherous terrain in a hurry. Given the right circumstances it can reach 62mph in 7.9 seconds and waft onwards to 130mph.

The V6's other great asset is its deft, supple ride over bumps combined with steering and handling of amazing precision in a car so large and tall. It's no sports car, but neither does it lumber.

The V8s, though faster, thud and shudder more heavily into potholes and feel too stiff when cornering, perhaps because of their built-in anti-roll system.

Off-road prowess is a Range Rover given, so you know it can drive along the sides of sand dunes with barely any tail-slippage and can clamber along rocky riverbeds before clawing its way back up the bank while still on standard road tyres. Terrain Response 2 is the latest version of the automatic system which makes sure each wheel receives power or braking as dictated by what lies beneath, and whose "probability estimators update 100 times a second" in sorting out how to do it. The extraordinary part is that it does so while keeping occupants in near-silent, air-conditioned, touch-screen luxury with barely a body-wobble.

Normally there's damage when two worlds collide, but not here. I am not a lover of outsize 4x4s, but somehow this Range Rover transcends the opprobrium that is my default position. It's brilliant.

Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    1st line call logger/ User access administrator

    £9 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Warrington a...

    Shine Night Walk 2014 - 'On the night' volunteer roles

    Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...

    Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

    Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

    £200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star