Land Rover Ireland has good reason to celebrate the success of this all-new Range Rover, introduced onto the Irish market earlier this year. The new Range Rover has recently been crowned Continental Irish Executive / Luxury Car of the Year 2014. In my opinion it’s certainly a very deserving winner, this new model combines luxury and unrivalled off-road prowess at an elevated level.
If asked to describe the new Range Rover in just one word I’d say opulent, from the outset driver and passengers are cocooned in a world of luxury. This lavishness does come at a price, with the entry-level 3.0-litre TDV6 variant priced from €119,355. Our test car was finished in the Vogue trim level of this model, costing from €135,075 and prior to adding some obligatory items from the extensive options list. With the Range Rover’s far-reaching skill set and elevated levels of refinement, it’s in a similar league to a Bentley or Rolls-Royce, and when you consider they’ll each cost in excess of €200,000 the Range Rover starts to look like value for money. You won’t climb a mountain or cross a river in either of the aforementioned.
This fourth-generation Range Rover has a sleeker appearance over its precursor, aided by a new lower roofline which also aids its aerodynamic efficiency. Efficiency is something that has seen a welcome improvement, resulting from a new engine line-up, but also from the significant weight loss. This new model marks history in being the lightest Range Rover ever built, its lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body structure results in an impressive 420 kilogram weight saving over its predecessor. Therefore its fuel efficiency has seen an improvement, with CO2 emissions reduced too.
Previously you would have required the largest engine available in order to have the power to match the car’s stance. Now the 3.0-litre TDV6 is a competent unit, offering 258hp and a notable 600Nm of torque. With the significant weight reduction this engine has ample power for the vast majority of drives. Power is transferred to its all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides silky-smooth gear changes. The most notable difference to this new Range Rover over its predecessor is its handling traits on the road. As a result of its significant weight reduction, the Range Rover can now tackle twisty sections of road with remarkable poise. Corners that would have raised a driver’s eyebrow in its predecessor are now taken in its stride. If you wish to venture off-road you can rest assured you won’t be limited to gravel roads, the off-road prowess of a Range Rover has to be experienced to be believed. All models feature Land Rover’s latest Terrain Response 2 system, it will automatically select a drive setting from one of five different terrain settings, allowing you to tackle snow, sand and rocky trails with ease.
There are two other engines available, a 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel which produces 339hp and an impressive 700Nm of torque, and a petrol variant that is equipped with a 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 engine, it develops 510hp and 625Nm of torque, we don’t envisage seeing many of these on Irish roads. The 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel model should meet the vast majority of motorist’s requirements.
Customers can choose from three levels of trim specification, SE, Vogue and Autobiography. The standard level of equipment includes, electronic air suspension, Xenon headlights, climate control, mood lighting, LED rear lights, rear view camera, satellite navigation, Bluetooth and USB connectivity and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist). The advancement to our Vogue test model incorporates 20” alloy wheels, Oxford leather upholstery, a heated windscreen, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power tailgate, soft-close doors and a digital television. The driver’s seating position is elevated in a commanding position, with excellent all-round visibility. The digital instrument cluster provides clear, easy to view information. Navigating your way through the various menus on the infotainment system is straightforward using the touch-screen.
This new Range Rover has progressed significantly over its predecessor across a multitude of areas. Its weight loss has provided a notable increase in fuel efficiency and a welcome improvement in the driving experience. There’s no denying the fact that the Range Rover is pretty colossal in size, yet it drives like a smaller luxury SUV. It will have no difficulty holding the mantle as Continental Irish Executive / Luxury Car of the Year 2014.
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