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2007 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

2007 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

We complained about the interior appointments of the 2006 Range Rover Sport, so Land Rover sent us its 2007 Range Rover Supercharged to show us that it does indeed know how to make people comfortable. (For those who insist that Land Rovers aren't about being comfortable, there's a lot that's changed since 1967.) The meaty but refined body style remains the same from 2006 to 2007, complete with side vents on the engine compartment to let the car's massive power plant breathe. Our Range Rover is the Supercharged model, with a 4.2-liter engine making 400 horsepower. This power moves the big car adroitly in traffic and lets it easily stroll up the steep hills of San Francisco. We felt the supercharger add its considerable boost at higher RPMs, making acceleration from stop initially slow. As with the 2006 models, an HSE version will be available with a nonsupercharged 4.4-liter V-8, which is good for 305 horsepower.

Our test model is painted in Giverny Green Metallic, a nice deep sage color, with neatly matching interior upholstery. The power-adjustable seats move every which way, including moving the headrest up and down. Although it doesn't exactly float over potholes like the 2007 Mercedes Benz S550, the stiffer suspension damps out the bumps very well. The Range Rover includes Land Rover's Terrain Response System, which is standard on all 2007 Range Rovers. A large knob on the console lets the driver easily set the car's electronic road-handling for a variety of terrain, including paved roads, snow, and rock crawling. This Range Rover further holds up Land Rover's impressive off-road pedigree with hill descent control, locking differential, and an optional rear electronic differential to complement the standard center e-differential.

Electronics abound in the cabin of this high-end Land Rover, with a crisp-sounding Harman Kardon Logic7 stereo, Bluetooth phone connectivity, navigation, and rear-seat DVD entertainment. We're usually impressed with Harman Kardon systems, and this one produces audio with great clarity, with three speakers in each front door, a midrange on the dash, two speakers in each rear door, and a subwoofer. Digital signal processing lets passengers adjust the sweet spot around the cabin via an intuitive diagram on the car's LCD. However, the speaker arrangement doesn't lend itself to a full surround-sound experience, with the audio primarily emanating from in front of the driver and passenger. And Land Rover is still behind the times with the six-disc CD changer, which relies on a glove box-mounted cartridge system, instead of the more modern in-dash CD changer found on many other luxury cars. The system does play MP3s, although it doesn't display ID3 tag information, showing file and folder name instead. Similarly, the rear-seat DVD system has its media loaded into a cargo area-mounted changer, a fault that is only mitigated by the fact that six movies can be loaded in, ensuring a day's worth of travel entertainment.

We like the Bluetooth integration on the Range Rover, which effortlessly paired with our phone. It allows voice-command dialing, even accepting a spoken string of numbers, and has message and SMS capability. The GPS system is adequate, although it uses the same interface as on the 2006 models, which we haven't found to be particularly intuitive. In our quick first look drive, we couldn't find a zoom control that would allow us to select a destination from the map, but its points-of-interest database helped us find the location we wanted. A big plus with the Range Rover is that all of its cabin systems are controllable from the touch-screen LCD, as opposed to the multiple interfaces in the lesser Land Rover models we've seen previously. Our test model carries a price tag of about $95,000, comparable to luxury sedans we've reviewed. And even though the interior lacks in a few areas, the 2007 Range Rover Supercharged goes places where luxury sedans can't follow.