Why would I buy it?
- Amazing road presence
- Luxurious cabin
- Brilliant ride quality
Why would I avoid it?
- Not much of a driver’s SUV
- Expensive options list
What is it?
8.5 / 10
The Range Rover is one of those SUVs that do not need an introduction. It’s a name synonymous with luxury SUVs with brilliant off-roading capabilities. And the new 2022 Range Rover takes a step forward in everything, be it design, technology, features, and performance. We drove the long-wheelbase Autobiography variant with the 3-litre V6 diesel and here’s how it fared.
Is the cabin any good?
9 / 10
Special is the first word that comes to your mind when you enter the new Range Rover’s cabin. No complex designs or dramatic curves, just a straight-up dashboard, and that’s what you call elegance personified. As expected, you get swathes of leather which can be had in the shade of your liking. The dashboard gets a real wooden insert that runs along the bottom and shiny aluminium inserts at the ends.
Bang in the centre is the 13-inch Pivi Pro touch screen that looks and feels brilliant. Then, there are the complex aircon controls positioned right below the screen. This centre console indeed looks and feels like a skilfully crafted piece of furniture. Even the gear selector feels exotic to look at and upon touch. Further, the full-colour instrument console is as sharp as the infotainment screen and belts out more than enough information. Now, let’s get to the seats.
The front seats are 24-way, heated and cooled, hot stone massage electric chairs that are supposed to offer supreme luxury. I say ‘supposed to’ because after a couple of hours of driving I did need the massage feature and some re-adjusting to get comfortable again.
At the rear, you get the executive class comfort package. So, just a tap on the screen on the centre console and the seat at the front makes way for additional legroom, the rear seat slides into a cosier position, you get additional under-thigh support, and an extra support flips open for your feet. With the 11.4-inch screen in the front, this is opulence at its best.
Should you have an extra passenger, a few taps on the infotainment screen and the centre console folds itself between the rear bench. Basically, everything in the Range Rover is at the tap of a button and almost nothing is manual.
Notable features include a panoramic roof, Meridian sound system, a fridge, noise-isolated cabin via headrest speakers, multiple powered tailgate options for loading and sitting, and plenty more.
Is it nice to drive?
8 / 10
Powering this Range Rover is a 2,997cc, diesel unit that pushes out a strong 346bhp and a monster 700Nm of torque. Power is transferred to all four wheels via an eight-speed torque converter gearbox. What is immediately noticeable is the refinement. The engine is absolutely silent and the noise-isolated cabin makes it even more difficult to feel that there is a diesel engine under the hood.
Now, the gearbox isn’t exactly lightning quick, but then this isn’t a sportscar. Torque is available from extremely low down and there is no dearth of shove at any rpm. Mash the throttle even in its sportiest mode and the Range Rover gets up to speeds with no drama at all. It masks speeds so well that one has to look at the speedometer to really believe the ludicrous velocity it is really hurtling at.
Even though it weighs almost 3 tons, this Range Rover hits 100kmph in just 7.36 seconds and that is seriously quick for a massive ultra-luxury SUV. Performance figures aside, the Range Rover is in its element when munching miles. Even at relatively high triple-digit speeds, the rev counter barely ticks over 2,000 rpm and it feels like one can just keep going on and on. Till you need to refuel, that is. But the Rangie had another surprise in store for us in the efficiency department. In the city runs, we recorded an efficiency figure of 9.02kmpl while on the highways it went up to 12.26kmpl. Again, excellent figures considering the weight and performance of the vehicle. And it’s not just on the road, the Range Rover is also capable of taking you to places where most SUVs would struggle.
With its vast trickery in the form of the Terrain Response 2 system, an off-road ground clearance of 294mm, and a water-wading capability of 900mm, the Range Rover is almost ready for an apocalypse.
Talking about the ride and handling, the Range Rover gets adaptive dynamics and electronic air suspension with dynamic response pro. So basically, it automatically adjusts depending on the terrain. In Comfort mode, the car just wafts over roads and it’s literally like a magic carpet ride. It feels so good that you actually want to experience the suspension on the smoother bumps. Of course, no suspension has an answer to India’s craters, and even the brilliant air suspension kicks over the sharp bumps, and one needs to be careful about the massive 22-inch wheels.
Finally, we come to the handling. The Range Rover feels nice and planted when handling the long corners. You can feel that suspension is working overtime to keep this land yacht in check. The Range Rover, as expected, does not like quick direction changes and even with four-wheel steering, it’s just about managing. But as far as its main purpose is concerned, which is comfort, the suspension does a fantastic job.
Should you buy it?
8.5 / 10
Range Rover is a brand that has carved out a niche for itself and it’s done it by staying true to its roots, while also bringing forth some of the best technology and engineering. The new Range Rover drives home this point even further. It looks like nothing else on the roads, has an unbelievable road presence, and boasts a cabin that is fit for millionaires. I say millionaires because, at Rs 3.16 crore, you need to be one to buy one. Its closest competitor is the Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS, but then Range Rover triumphs in price and the important wow factor.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi