Highlights: The redesign Range Rover is the first SUV to be built from a light-weight, all- aluminum body, causing the vehicle to be lighter, while at the same time improving gas mileage. And don’t expect a third-row in any Land Rover. This is a true five seater, with room for cargo.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $96,195 (Base price $83,545)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: air bags (front, side, head, knee and side impact); ABS; electronic brake distribution; all-terrain dynamic stability control; electronic brake-force distribution system; a hill descent control; an electronic parking brake; a roll stability control system; an anti- trap feature on all windows and sunroof; front and rear parking and distant control features; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a rear view camera.
Standard Equipment: 19-inch wheels; an 8-speed transmission; Xenon headlights; a 4-wheel drive system; an air suspension system with automatic load leveling; a LCD instrument cluster; a voice-activated nav system; real-time traffic updates; push-button keyless starter; a triple zone climate control system; a heated power automatic tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel; power heated front seat with lumbar support and driver’s memory; manual recline rear seat; grained leather seats; electrically heated door mirrors; a power assist upper (and lower) tailgate; and automatic high beam/low beam headlights
Standard Audio: a 380-watt, 13-speaker AM/FM/HD/Satellite radio/6-Disc CD changer
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Towing Capability: 7,716 lbs
Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder/375-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 14-city/20-hwy
What’s New: The fourth-generation Range Rover, Land Rover’s flagship vehicle, is all-new for the 2013 model year. The vehicle has shed weight, allowing a more modern streamline appearance.
Pros: Besides the new exterior design, no attention to detail has been spared inside the vehicle. The Range Rover’s upscale interior continues to be surrounded by real wood veneers and chrome instruments. How many vehicles can make that claim? In fact, our vehicle included an optional ice box located inside the front center armrest. The cooler is large enough to hold a few 12-ounce water bottles (or any other cold beverage and snacks).
Moreover, the vehicle offers duplicate controls for the a/c system. By having this duplicate system, the front occupants aren’t totally reliant in having to use the high-tech touchscreen system to cool-off or warm-up the vehicle without going through a maze of screens.
The second-generation Land Rover Terrain Response System is another plus for the Land Rover. Those yearning to maneuver this luxurious SUV off-road should place this SUV on their shopping list. The Terrain Monitor System monitors ground conditions to determine the most appropriate response to the road condition, while automatically optimizing the vehicle settings for an enhanced and assured experience for almost all-driving conditions. The system provides settings for grass, gravel, snow, mud, sand, and rock crawl by literally the turn of the dial, which is located on the center console. With this high-tech system, the vehicle instantly reconfigures transmission, suspension, and traction settings for maximum drivability in almost all driving conditions. This feature alone causes the Range Rover to stand apart from every SUV on the market.
Added to the aforementioned noted features, our vehicle was outfitted with the following options: a crystal clear world-class 19-speaker audio system, ventilated massage seats (for the front occupants), form-fitting 12-way power Oxford leather (front) seats, rear heated seats, adaptive front lights, a blind-spot system, a reverse traffic sensing system which supports the standard rearview camera, the oversized panoramic roof and 20-inch rims.
Furthermore, we were enamored with the power operated split folding rear tailgate. Having this feature made it easy to load and unload objects.
Lastly, the fourth-generation Range Rover is not only known for its style and attention to detail, it’s capable of towing close to 8,000 lbs., something that can’t be done in today’s super-popular car-based crossovers.
Cons: Yes, we had a few quirks with this British made land yacht. For one, the roof of the vehicle seems quite bare. In our eyes, a chrome roof rack should be standard on the vehicle, having it could help accentuate the look of the vehicle, although this could be an issue, when the vehicle is equipped with the oversized panoramic roof. Moreover, when the rear center armrest isn’t in use, the rear center head restraint impedes the driver’s view. Furthermore, we were unable to determine how many miles were left to empty in the brand-new range. We couldn’t find a gauge to help us monitor the fuel level, such an important must-have feature for this mammoth size vehicle, which isn’t exactly considered to be one of the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles.
Lastly, most folks who purchased this vehicle will never ever use the second-generation Terrain Response System. Unfortunately, this luxurious serves more as a status symbol and will never be taking off road. Just wondering: could the price tag be lowered a bit, if this feature was optional?
Verdict: While crossovers, car based utility vehicles, have literally driven the SUV into extinction, there still a need for large SUVs, if not just for the towing capabilities alone. The premium class 2013 Range Rover proves that point, while combining the best of maintaining the brand’s British heritage with today’s latest technological advances.
For those looking for a premium class fullsize SUV, which stands out from the me-too SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the Lexus LX 570, the 2013 Range Rover fits the bit. Unfortunately, some of the features on the vehicle like the second-generation Terrain System will never be used. As noted earlier, most of the buyers will never take this vehicle off-road. With that said, the 2013 Range Rover is definitely for those who can afford to make a statement! Oh yes, and for buyers seeking more oomph, a 510-horsepower Supercharged Range Rover is also available.
Competition: It’s in a class by itself. Some would say the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the Lexus LX 570 goes after this vehicle. However, we beg to differ, since this is truly a vehicle that can be driven on or off-road.
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him twitter/JeffCars.