Range Rover 2011 review: Range Rover 2011

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Brilliant rear-seat entertainment system; intensely cool 360-degree camera; Outstanding off-road performance; Mandatory carbon offsetting programme.

The Bad Doesn't come cheap; High running costs; Carbon offsetting doesn't lower road tax.

The Bottom Line The 2011 Range Rover combines stonking luxury with exceptional off-road performance. A vehicle very much at the top of its game.

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The 2011 Range Rover brings with it a wealth of new-fangled technology. This model acquires a new rear-seat entertainment package, a cleaner, more powerful, more efficient engine, and subtle tweaks to its bodywork, including a new grille, wheels and vents. But in its quest to become more civilised, has it lost its off-roading pedigree?

Watch your back

Land Rover would have you believe this car is an ideal candidate for trundling across inhospitable deserts or expeditions in the arctic, but you wouldn't think so to look inside. The top of the range Autobiography model we drove was ludicrously luxurious -- particularly in the back, where it has one of the best rear-seat entertainment systems we've seen.

A pair of rear-facing 5-inch TFT displays are mounted into the front headsets, on which passengers can watch DVDs and digital Freeview telly, or even enjoy devices such as games consoles, which can be connected via twin composite inputs and juiced from a dedicated power point. Audio can be played over the car's superb Harmon Kardon speaker system, or -- if Mummy and Daddy don't want to hear what's going on back there -- channelled directly to a set of wireless headphones.

A bespoke touch-sensitive remote control unit has been developed specifically for the Range Rover. The 64mm (2.5-inch) display, which uses resistive touch technology, allows you to choose video and audio sources independently for each display. It's extremely clever, but we won't go as far as to say it's perfect. It doesn't show you artist, playlist or video information and its graphical user interface takes some getting used to. We're not complaining though -- it beats the hell out of standard rear-seat remotes, so well done Land Rover.

Check out the twins up front

The 2011 Range Rover has a dash-mounted entertainment system designed to keep those up front captivated and informed. It uses the same dual-view technology we saw in the Jaguar XJ , meaning what you see on screen depends entirely on which seat you're sitting in.

Half the display's pixel columns are angled towards the driver, while the other half are angled towards the passenger. Hit the dual-view button and the screen divides the picture, showing the driver only the satellite-navigation or general system menu, while the passenger enjoys a DVD or a spot of Freeview -- even while the vehicle is in motion.

Traffic lights, camera, action

Understandably, it's not possible to watch DVDs or TV in the driver's seat. We were a tad disappointed we couldn't watch some Cloudy from the driver's seat, but that's not to say there aren't plenty of toys to distract you. We particularly liked the virtual instruments -- a 12-inch display that replaces the old-school speedometer and rev counter -- but we got most of our kicks from the Range Rover's Surround Camera system.

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Where to Buy

Range Rover 2011

Part Number: CNETRange Rover 2011

Typical Price: £81,395.00

See manufacturer website for availability.