In the world of SUVs, there are a few that are easily and immediately recognizable. But in the case of the Range Rover, there is no mistaking it for some other brand. For the 2018 model, Range Rover has reinforced its signature look. Besides the obvious tall rectangular body shape with a narrow floating roof over the tinted side windows hiding the door pillars, the front end received a number of changes. The headlights are now high-tech LEDs and have been substantially reshaped. In addition, the grille is completely revised with a more pronounced appearance. Finally, the front bumper has been altered with some interesting vent openings. On the sides, different accents starting at the front door and sweeping down and back can be presented. Multiple large alloy wheels are available from 19-inch to 22-inch sizes. Overall, the refreshed Range Rover presents a unique and good-looking large sports utility vehicle.
The prospective customer has multiple choices not only for powertrains, but even different vehicle sizes. Our test model had the smallest and most economical engine— a 254- horsepower, diesel 6-cylinder with a very good average fuel mileage for a large vehicle with a rating of 24 mpg. Next up is a supercharged V-6 with either 340 horsepower or 380 horsepower. For those seeking the ultimate power, there are supercharged V-8s with either 518 or 557 power ponies. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gear shifting choice. All- wheel-drive comes standard. With the most powerful model, the 0-60 time is a mere 5.1 seconds. In the near future, a 398-horsepower hybrid (electric- and-gas motor combination) will be available. Besides the base model, the optional version stretches the body model by adding about seven inches of wheelbase and overall length, which, of course, adds a substantial amount of interior space. To save weight, the body is all aluminum.
As one would hope and expect, the interior surfaces are fully leather and wood-lined. A large panoramic sunroof is also part of the package. Large video screens are found in the center of the dash and dashpod, while two, 10-inch screens dominate the center arena. Depending on one’s requirements, you can shift control of systems or information between the screens. For example, you can use the top screen for navigation and the bottom one for radio input and control. Below these screens are other controls with big dials to handle the automatic climate system. Besides the video versions of a speedometer and a tachometer in the dashpod, an additional screen provides data and a navigation map showing the location of the vehicle. A heads-up display in the lower portion of the front windshield shows the speed and the speed limit on the road being traveled.
Rear seating room is generous on all fronts. Separate climate controls are available for the rear passengers. The seat back angles are adjustable and added amenities include a coat hanger that can be attached to the back of the front seat. The rear seat backs are split 60/40 in the three-passenger configuration, and are easily dropped with a push of button for greater carrying capacity. Not that it will have to be used much, since there is more than enough room in the back area.
One obvious feature on the road is overall height of this SUV since most of the time the driver and passengers are peering down on the other vehicles surrounding it. Even with the lowest power rating of the diesel engine, speed and power are readily available. Transmission shifts are rarely felt, and can be controlled by the driver with the big paddles behind the steering wheel. The air suspension is both con- trolling on the corners and absorbing on rough pavement. The front seats are quite comfortable and have extensive 20-power adjustments available.
With the 2018 revisions, Range Rover has clearly been upgraded. If a tall, large SUV with multiple choices of power, size and luxurious interior design is of interest, this is a real option to consider.
2018 RANGE ROVER
Model: LARGE SUV, 4 OR 5 PASSENGERS
Powertrain: ALL WHEEL DRIVE WITH THE 5-LITER, SUPERCHARGED V-8 557 HORSEPOWER, 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
PERFORMANCE: (557 HORSEPOWER V8) 0-60:5.1 SECONDS, TOP SPEED 140 MPH
SOUND SYSTEM: MERIDIAN SURROUND SOUND CD/DVD PLAYER. 13 SPEAKERS
Price: $105,546 AS TESTED