Now this is a vehicle that has a fair bit of history associated with it.  The flagship of the Land Rover brand, the Range Rover is now in its fourth generation and has been charming SUV lovers for almost half a century now. At 5.2 metres long and 2.2 metres wide the long wheelbase version is really is the big daddy of SUVs. Recently the British marquee gave this car a facelift that made it even more feature rich and car was launched in India starting at a cool Rs 1.8 crore that is almost double of any other car sold by the brand in India. The SUV has been launched in both standard as well as long wheelbase versions.

Looks

The beautiful thing about the Range Rover is that despite the generational changes the strong SUV heritage still shows in the design. It looks as muscular but this facelift has a bit more sophistication. The exteriors have been upgraded with a new front grille, the clamshell bonnet which is crafted out of a single sheet of aluminium. Then there is the redesigned bonnet along with Pixel-Laser headlights and rear LED lights. A cool thing about the headlamps is that you can make a choice between Matrix LED, Pixel LED and Pixel-laser LED headlights on this facelift. Overall when compared to the standard wheelbase the long wheelbase variant is longer by about 200mm.

Interiors

This is one cabin to really look forward to. Presence of Semi-Aniline leather, wider seats and deeper cushioning with soft foam interlayers makes the cabin a very comfortable place to be in. A retractable power deployable centre console, part of the optional rear Executive Class seating reveals a third seat in the pillion chamber, while heated arm rest, calf rest and footrest elevate the luxury experience. And this long wheelbase version gives you additional 186 mm rear legroom. Other highlight features include a panoramic sunroof with gesture sunblind that opens and closes at the occupant’s hand movement, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, 4-zone climate and a choice of Meridian Sound systems. Just like on the Velar the Touch Pro Duo dual screens are a highlight inside this cabin as well, only that there’s no compatibility with Apple car play. The rear seat passengers get their personal entertainment screen with headphones and can even operate the sunblind. With so many features there’s just no way to believe that we’re spending time inside one of the base variants of the SUV but that is indeed the reality. And in case you’re wondering there is no third row of seats in this one.

The semi-aniline leather seats and deeper cushioning with soft foam interlayers make the cabin very comfortable .

Engine

The new Range Rover has come to India with a host of petrol and diesel engine options. petrol options include a 3.0 litre Supercharged V6 that churns out 340 PS and 450 Nm or a mind boggling 5.0 litre Supercharged V8 that promises 525 PS and 625 Nm. The diesel options are both 3.0 litreV6 variants one delivering 340 PS along with a very impressive 700 Nm and the other giving 258 PS along with 600 Nm which is the one I got to sample on this drive. An 8 speed ZF Automatic transmission does the duty on all the variants. Kerb weights range from 2100 to 2300 kgs approximately and even this least powerful engine is able to carry that load pretty well.  Hitting the speeds of 100 kmph in under 10 seconds is a cakewalk

Ride & Handling

The stability this Range Rover provides is extremely nice. No matter how fast you’re going SUV is able to provide you a very confident drive. The Electronic Air Suspension on this new Range Rover offers a sure-footed and composed drive. It changes the ride height at the drop of a hat and allows cross linking of the diagonal wheels to keep all four wheels on the ground even on really uneven surfaces. The ride height settings range from an access height of 50 mm below normal to an extended height of 70 mm, with an additional extended 80 mm for extreme off-road conditions. And then there’s the new version of Terrain Response called Terrain Response 2, that offers seven settings that automatically optimise driveability and traction by adapting responses of the vehicle’s engine, gearbox, centre differential and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.

Closing

If spending upwards of Rs 2 crore to buy a set of wheels is something you can afford, this Range Rover has to be one of the strongest contenders vying for your attention. It’s providing you all the possible luxury along with skills and character of an SUV. And it can handle the worst of terrains with equal aplomb.  The tougher bit will be choosing which variant to buy because the top variant costs as much as Rs 4 crore. But if you take our word you can buy this long wheelbase Vogue SE for around Rs 2 crore and enjoy pretty much all the traits you look for in a Luxury SUV. 

Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars

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