The Land Rover Range Rover is now in its fourth generation. Most significantly, Land Rover shaved an incredible 700 pounds from its curb weight during the 2013 redesign, and the current Range Rover weighs only 4,850 pounds. This was achieved thanks to copious use of aluminum, which now makes up much of the unibody as well as both front and rear subframes.
Five Range Rover models are offered: base, HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography and SVAutobiography. Base and HSE models are powered by a supercharged 3.0L V6 engine capable of 340 horsepower. In the Supercharged trimmed Range Rover, a supercharged 5.0L V8 is utilized. The V8 makes 510 horsepower -- enough to make the Range Rover startlingly quick. The SVAutobiography takes things a step further with a 550 hp version of the same engine. Maximum speed on models so equipped is 155 mph. A turbocharged 3.0L V6 diesel makes an excellent compromise between power and efficiency. It makes 254 horsepower but an intense 440 lb-feet of torque. The highway fuel economy is estimated at 29 mpg.
All Range Rovers come with an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which features steering wheel paddles for complete driver control.
All Range Rovers are equipped with Terrain Response 2 Auto, Land Rover's next-generation system of off-road control. The system provides enhanced capability across every terrain and automatically adapts to driving conditions and road surfaces. Additionally, Range Rovers feature a permanent 4-wheel drive system that splits torque 50/50 front to rear, along with a 2-speed transfer case for high and low ranges.
Range Rovers include 19-inch alloy wheels, auto-leveling xenon headlights, power-folding and heated exterior mirrors, heated and rain-sensing wipers as standard equipment. Front and rear parking sensors with display, grained leather in one of three colors, a choice of veneer appliques, power seating with heated front seats, a 380-watt Meridian sound system, 3-zone climate control, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, hard disk navigation on an 8-inch touchscreen and satellite and HD radio are also included.
Upgrading to the HSE adds 20-inch wheels, several more interior leather choices, soft-close doors and heated rear seats. Supercharged models are similarly equipped but feature 21-inch wheels, in addition to the more powerful engine. Finally, the Autobiography comes with all the bells and whistles, including adaptive xenon headlights, 17 interior leather options, perforated climate-controlled front seats that also feature multi-mode massage functionality, power reclining rear bench seat, a leather headliner, 4-zone climate control, programmable ambient lighting, adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, an even more powerful Meridian audio system and a rear seat entertainment with twin touchscreen displays. Autobiography, Supercharged and HSE Range Rovers are all available in long-wheelbase versions, which adds 7.3 inches to rear seat legroom.
Options allow for even more exclusivity in the Range Rover. The options list offers massaging front seats, front console coolers, surround cameras and full-size panoramic roofs.
Finally, safety is paramount on the Range Rover, and it comes loaded with a full slate of airbags and driving aids such as traction and stability control, cornering braking control and roll control.
At first glance, it's difficult to believe that the Land Rover Range Rover was updated for 2018. Land Rover says its flagship SUV sports a restyled clamshell hood, grille, headlights, bumpers and wheels. To confirm, I had to pull up pictures of the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover HSE Td6 I drove a couple of years back and put them side-by-side with ones of the 2018 HSE Td6 that's the subject of this review. There are slight differences, but they take quite a keen eye to pick out.
As you slide into the cabin, new-for-2018 seats that are wider and more comfortable greet front passengers, while the power seat controls move to the door panels from the sides of the lower cushions making for easier adjustment. There's 0.2-inch-thicker glass, too, to better insulate the interior from road, wind and engine noise, which definitely works because the diesel clatter at low revs that I heard in the 2016 model isn't as prominent here.
However, the most noteworthy update to the 2018 Range Rover takes place in the center stack, with a new Touch Pro Duo system quarterbacking infotainment features. Dual 10-inch touchscreens control a great-sounding Meridian audio system with 19 speakers, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 8 devices and Bluetooth. The new system will also be Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible with an upcoming software update that is coming any day now, according to a Land Rover spokesman.
The Good The Range Rover's available diesel engine provides lots of torque and excellent driving range. Standard air suspension can provide a comfy ride and respectable handling depending on mode. New Touch Pro Duo infotainment will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto soon.
The Bad Touch Pro Duo infotainment suffers from laggy operation and the navigation system is confusing to use.
The Bottom Line A big, luxury SUV that offers the great mix of ride comfort and handling, and is the only one to offer a diesel.
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