2022 Land Rover Range Rover review: Super sized luxury
Published on Sep 19, 2022 08:30:00 AM
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Captains of industry and film stars, take note. There’s an all-new Range Rover in town and it’s here to win you over with more of everything – more style, more luxury, more tech, more ability, you name it. Of course, parting with big bucks for one is your part of the deal. The Range Rover’s ‘range’ starts at Rs 2.38 crore (ex-showroom), with the priciest of the lot, sans options, yours for Rs 3.51 crore. In all, there are 35 versions of the new Rangie on sale in India, split between three engine and two wheelbase options, with the larger of the kind further offered with the option of a third row for the very first time. With us is the Rs 3.16 crore D350 LWB Autobiography, which translates to a highly specced 3.0-litre diesel-powered long-wheelbase Range Rover.
2022 Range Rover: exteriors
It’s the Range Rover’s size that gets you first. It’s colossal. At 5.2m+ long, the LWB dwarfs everything else on the road this side of a bus. That the ordinarily massive 22-inch rims only look adequate on the Rangie will tell you that this is an SUV almost built to a different scale. The other thing is, it doesn’t shout it’s the ‘new’ Range Rover. In fact, it’s only the distinctive and pretty rad vertical strip LED tail-lights that immediately give this one away as the latest of the kind. There’s been no meddling with that iconic shape but a close look will tell you the devil is in the details. There’s been an almost obsessive pursuit to tighten shut lines, hide what’s not needed to be seen (the door handles fold in and sit flush with the body), and keep surfacing flat (note, there’s no step in the glasshouse and pillars). It balances familiar and fresh with masterful ease.
Under the skin, the Range Rover debuts Land Rover’s latest Flexible Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA-Flex). Significantly improved stiffness, enhanced refinement, future-proof connectivity and versatility of powertrains give the latest Rangie a very robust core, says Land Rover.
2022 Range Rover: interiors and equipment
There’s loads of ways to customise your Rangie, but we’d advise you start with the option of an electrically retractable footboard. It’s almost a necessity given how high the cabin is even with the air suspension at its lowest aka Access Height. With the suspension at full off-road height, the cabin is a full pole vault away.
The positive? You get a commanding view of the world outside, no matter where you may be seated in the Rangie. That elevated seating is one part of what gives the Range Rover an imperial air few other SUVs can match.
Of course, the experience is best from the seat you’ve paid for – the rear left passenger seat or ‘boss seat’ to us commoners. Space in every direction is incredible, even with the seat at full extension (the front passenger seat slides forward for max room), and the general vibe is of a high-tech living room on wheels. It’s a place you can totally geek out in, too, with virtually every function powered or electrically assisted. Bade sahib or mem won’t be found struggling with the oversized rear armrest, for instance. It whirrs down at the touch of a button. Heck, even the rear cupholders that extend out of the armrest are powered. Overkill? Maybe. But oh so cool.
You can also spend hours playing with the 8.0-inch rear touchscreen, sampling all that the throne-like rear seats have to offer. There’s all manner of adjustments, heating and ventilation, as well as a full menu of massage functions. Helping lower your pulse rate further are active noise cancelling speakers embedded into the seats that work to drown out exterior sounds. It’s hushed alright, though you can still hear the distant grumble of the engine. For ultimate refinement, you’d probably have to wait for the Range Rover electric that’s in the works.
Oh, did I mention how rich all surfaces feel to the touch? The leather upholstery (the roof lining can be optioned in leather too), the metallic window buttons, the glossed surfaces... this is clearly a costs-not-spared product. You get what you pay for and I mean that in a very very good way.
The richness extends to the front as well, with a leather-lined dashboard that gives pride of place to a 13.1-inch touchscreen. The Pivi Pro unit is slick and fast, and particularly handy is the 360-degree camera that shows an augmented reality version of the car in the surroundings. Auto park is included too, and does a slick job of manoeuvring the huge Rangie into an identified parking spot. Even so, there’s no getting around the Rangie’s size in chaotic Indian city traffic. Wiggling the 2m+ wide SUV amidst crazed bikers, autorickshaws and the like can be nerve-wracking.
2022 Range Rover: performance, handling, ride
But who are we kidding? Chances are it’s going to be your trusted chauffeur doing much of the driving. And they will be quietly grateful for rear axle steer that’s standard fit on the new Range Rover. The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction at low speeds and make the Rangie no harder to manoeuvre than a midsized sedan. Incredible.
You’ll also hear a word of praise for the engine. This D350 uses a 3.0-litre, straight-six twin-turbo Ingenium diesel engine that makes 258hp and 700Nm. A mild-hybrid system chips in under hard acceleration, but it’s the engine that does the heavy lifting. In town, there’s a feeling of ready power and what’s even more impressive is that the Rangie doesn’t feel out of depth in a hard launch; initial acceleration is strong for what is a 2.5-tonne behemoth. The D350 takes off with a genuine urgency and the 8-speed automatic gearbox plays its supporting role well with quick shifts. It’s when you are at cruising speeds and want to make a quick overtake that you can sense the engine’s need to work harder. If performance is top priority, Land Rover will happily sell you a Rangie with a BMW-sourced 4.4-litre, twin-turbo, V8 petrol. Now that would be quite something, wouldn’t it?
What the Rangie is not is an SUV that’ll shrink around you on your favourite driving roads. Rear axle steer does comes into play at higher speeds (turning in the same direction as the front wheels) to enhance stability and there’s a 48V active anti-roll bar system, too, that’s there to counter weight transfer. And for the most part, engine power is channelled to the rear axle alone. But the support systems can only do so much. The Range Rover turns with grace that is more than acceptable for something with supertanker dimensions.
Oddly, where we were left slightly wanting was in ride comfort, a traditional Range Rover strength. Sure, the air suspension’s damping is well judged but the 285/45 section tyres on our test car’s 22-inch rims couldn’t completely soften the blow of the potholes beneath. We suspect smaller rims with chunkier rubber would be better suited to our conditions.
2022 Range Rover: off road ability
And what of off-road ability? The question might be a bit redundant in the India scheme of things, but then again, this is a Range Rover, an SUV designed to the brief of taking you to the corners of the world in utmost luxury. So, if just for academic interest, I’ll run through some of its highlights. There’s Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system that can automatically read conditions and prep the four-wheel drive, diffs, suspension, throttle responses and electronics for the environment. At the air suspension’s full height, there’s 294mm of ground clearance and wading ability is rated at a mad 900mm.
All said, the fact that the Range Rover gets a full-size spare wheel is perhaps one of most relevance to typical Indian buyers to whom off-roading would be no more than a section of kacha raasta on the drive to the farmhouse.
On said drives out of town, there’s plenty of room for luggage. And as before, the split tailgate doubles up as a bench.
2022 Range Rover: verdict
There are many ways to spend crores on your next car. To a certain few, that car is by default a Range Rover. It’s an icon of the automotive world that signifies having arrived in life.
The latest Range Rover takes the story forward by pampering its few lucky owners like never before. It’s not quite perfect with ride quality, which is a notch down on like-priced options, but few have a Rangie’s breadth of abilities. It’s an SUV that’s just at home in the muck as it is on the red carpet.
What’s a pity is that most owners will only see one side of it.
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