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2013 Range Rover blends rugged with refined (pictures)

It's hard to match the all-new Range Rover's blend of luxurious appointments and go-anywhere capability.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 27 James Martin/CNET

The all-new 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

The newest generation of Range Rover switched from a body-on-frame to a monocoque construction, but it doesn't seem to have lost any of its off-road capability.
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Evoking the Evoque

The Range's design has been updated to be more in line with the aesthetic of the smallest Range Rover, the Evoque.
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Headlamps

The headlamps now wrap around the corners of the vehicle and feature LED daytime running lights. Opt for the Vision package and the high beams will automatically deactivate when oncoming traffic is detected by a camera high in the windscreen.
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Supercharged

Under the hood spins a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine. Power is rated at 510 horses; torque is 461 pound-feet.
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Eight-speed transmission

Power exiting the engine must first pass through an eight-speed automatic transmission, then a two-speed transfer case, and then a sophisticated array of differentials on its way to all four wheels.
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15 mpg combined

The EPA estimates 15 mpg combined fuel economy. I finished my testing at 15.1 mpg.
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Parallel parking

An optional $650 park assist system allows the Range Rover to measure parking spaces with its sonar sensors and take over the electronic power steering to guide the SUV into the spot.
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Ride height adjustment

The air suspension featured four levels of height adjustment. The standard height is fairly tall and offers pretty good ground clearance for most situations and good on-road manners.
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Access height

The Access height lowers the SUV significantly to make entry and exit easier, as well as allowing the Rover to fit into garages with low ceilings.
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Two off-road levels

There are also two off-road ride height levels that increase ground clearance, which in turn increases the approach and departure angles, break-over angle, and wading depth.
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Power lift gate

At the touch of a button, the Range Rover's power lift gate opens to reveal a spacious cargo area.
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Rear storage

The rear hatch also features a small tailgate (also motorized) that creates a small lip into the cargo area.
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Interior

The rugged Range Rover's interior is rather refined, with leather, wood, and real metal trim as far as the eye can see.
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Steering wheel

The heated wood steering wheel is a non-standard option. Wood or not, the steering-wheel controls are well laid out and cleverly designed.
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Digital instrument cluster

Like its sister brand's luxury sedans, the Range Rover features a fully digital instrument cluster that adapts to display audio source, navigation, and off-road options.
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Climate controls

Physical controls for the climate control system are also well-designed and easy to understand. Sadly, this ease of use drops off significantly when it comes to the touch-screen infotainment system.
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Touch-screen navigation

The hard-drive-based navigation system that is standard on the Range is also a reskin of the infotainment system that graces Jaguar's vehicles.
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Maps and design

The maps and menus boast decent resolution and an eye-pleasing design.
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Menu structure

However, the menu structure hides many of the most commonly accessed features in submenus, requiring more driver interaction than we're comfortable with. Additionally, the shortcuts on the far right bezel were too far from the driver's seat for me to reach without stretching.
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Too many taps

Getting to the address entry screen or the destination search requires about a half-dozen key presses. Even voice command address entry can be time-consuming.
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Multiple cameras

The aforementioned Vision package also adds an array of cameras that arm the driver with an around-the-vehicle view. Unfortunately, full access to these cameras is hidden two levels deep in the touch-screen menu.
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Front corner cameras

Perhaps the most useful of the cameras are the ones in the front bumper that give a pair of 90-degree views off of the front bumper, which is useful for nosing the large SUV out of blind spots. Thankfully, these cameras have a one-touch shortcut key.
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Meridian surround

Our tester was equipped with a 19-speaker, 825-watt Meridian surround stereo system and it sounds fantastic.
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Audio sources

The standard list of audio sources includes satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, USB, and iPod connectivity.
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Comfort package

A Comfort package adds four-zone climate controls, heated and cooled surfaces with pneumatic massage for the front row seats, and motorization for the second-row seats.
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Cool box

That Comfort package also adds a refrigerated cool box to the center console that keeps drinks and snacks chilled.
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4x4 monitoring

The off-road systems can also be monitored via the infotainment screen as well.

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