Luxury sport-utility vehicles hail from many sources nowadays, but Land Rover is the original. The best of that renowned brand is the full-size Range Rover. Not only it is loaded with posh features and amenities in the British tradition, led by fine wood and leather trim, it’s a showcase of craftsmanship. In addition to virtually unbeatable off-road capabilities, Range Rover provides an ultimate helping of prestige, mixed with old-world charm and an iconic history dating back to long-ago treks through the African jungle.
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2016 Land Rover Range Rover Overview
What's New for 2016
A 3-liter diesel engine becomes available for both the base and HSE editions, promising markedly better fuel economy. Meanwhile, the HSE’s gasoline V6 gets a boost from 340 to 380 horsepower. Newly available driver-assistance features include All-Terrain Progress Control (like a low-speed cruise/crawl mode) and Surround Camera System3. A rear-camera wash system, Hands-Free Gesture tailgate, and Automatic Access Height now are standard. SV Autobiography is now the top trim level.
Choosing Your Land Rover Range Rover
All Range Rovers have full-time four-wheel drive with a Low range. The Terrain Response system optimizes traction through five selectable surface conditions. Terrain Response 2, available for every model (standard on some), goes a step further, sensing road characteristics and adjusting the appropriate systems with no intervention from the driver. Seating five, Range Rover is available with an extended wheelbase for even greater rear-seat comfort.
The standard supercharged 3-liter V6 produces 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. If that won’t suffice, you can upgrade to a 5-liter V8, also supercharged, that cranks out 510 horsepower (550 in the SVAutobiography model). For 2016, you also have the option of a diesel engine, with fuel economy estimated at 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway (versus 17/23 mpg for the supercharged V6). Mileage sinks to 14/19 mpg with the V8.
Each engine mates with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All versions have an adaptive air suspension, as well as automatic emergency braking.
Base, HSE and Supercharged models can get a Vision Assist package that includes Terrain Response 2 and a surround-view camera, as well as blind spot monitoring and adaptive headlights.
Best overall value, in our view, is the “well-rounded” HSE. Of course, some suggest that an SUV on this level demands a V8, as in the Supercharged model. Others won’t be satisfied with anything less than the power/luxury blend offered by an SVAutobiography.
2016 Land Rover Range Rover Review
The Range Rover is without a doubt the most iconic, and perhaps the most capable, SUV ever made. This British classic offers unparalleled refinement in a 4x4 vehicle that’s as capable as anything on -- or off -- the road.
Pricing and Equipment
With a price tag of $84,000, the base model Range Rover can hardly be called "entry level." The Rover has undergone improvements over the past several years with a lighter, more efficient aluminum body. Standard equipment includes:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Heated, grained leather-trimmed seats
- Terrain Response with hill descent control
We were fortunate enough to be handed the keys to the supercharged model for our test drive. This model boasts a whopping 5-liter V8 engine.
We quickly discovered that the 5-liter V8 turns the Range Rover into a powerhouse. Yet, it’s a refined performance. The ride remains comfortable and -- yes -- even quiet, but when you hit the gas, you learn what real power is.
- 510 horsepower. No, that's not a typo. This thing is a beast dressed for a dinner party.
- The Range Rover's handling is fantastic, as expected. Its finely tuned suspension affords a driving experience that is smooth and comfortable, yet sporty.
- With a combined 16 mph EPA rating, the Range Rover isn't exactly fuel efficient. To be fair, it's pretty much impossible to create a high performance vehicle that is also highly economical.
- Off-road electronics diminish some of the 4x4 fun.
We consider the Rover’s interior surprisingly modern and streamlined. The dash and instrumentation is cleaner and more elegant than past models. Overall, the Range Rover interior offers a tasteful blend of luxury, style and high-tech utility.
- We think the touchscreen interface lacks finesse.
- The optional third row isn't really a third row at all unless it is for small children.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Who knew they could fit so many horses into a luxury SUV? The supercharged Range Rover rivals many Italian performance cars in terms of raw power. Yet, the Rover somehow maintains a mellow, quiet ride.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
For us, the computerized handling tech took some of the raw fun out of off-roading. However, the average driver probably won't feel a difference.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 Range Rover lives up to its pedigree of ultimate luxury and 4x4 utility. We can’t say enough about the supercharged 3-liter V8. The Range Rover leads the way in terms of all-out SUV performance. And it does so with manners, offering a quiet, comfortable ride anyone can appreciate. The Range Rover is a clear, if expensive, winner.