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.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • 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

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    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