Excellent off-road ability, big power and unprecedented luxury make the Range Rover a worthy rival to any luxury saloon

Nothing is quite like a Range Rover. It has long been the luxury SUV benchmark, and even rivals luxury limousines for upmarket style, grace and refinement. Its regal image, exquisite interior, powerful engines and unrivalled off-road ability make it the go-to vehicle for those who want a luxury car that can do it all.

Like-for-like rivals are actually few and far between, and span everything from the Porsche Cayenne to the Mercedes S-Class. At the top of the range, the top-spec SVAutobiography version competes with the Bentley Bentayga

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There’s lots of hi-tech kit on board, including adjustable driving modes that help with varying terrain. But, the car’s real trick is to tackle all sorts of off-road terrain while surrounding you with a sumptuous, leather-lined interior and luxury car comfort.

Land Rover hasn’t spared any expense decking out the Range Rover's interior. Build quality is good enough to rival the Mercedes S-Class, and even the entry-level Vogue model is loaded with equipment.

Alongside the Vogue model are the Vogue SE, Autobiography and SVAutobiography versions – the latter two are also available in long-wheelbase guise – adding even more features to an already generous standard equipment list.

If it’s more performance you’re after, Jaguar Land Rover’s SV division also offers the SVAutobiography Dynamic; it’s a standard-wheelbase car that gets the SVAutobiography’s tuned supercharged V8 petrol engine, in 542bhp trim, but has a more focused chassis to deliver greater agility in the twisty stuff.

There's virtually no rival that can match the Range Rover’s multi-tasking ability, as the big British 4x4 combines its posh, upmarket image and imposing looks with incredible all-road capability. 

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The Range Rover was first introduced in 1970 as a luxury alternative to the agricultural Land Rover, and it wasn’t until Mercedes launched the M-Class in 1997 that any car maker offered a similar rival. While the original was built for 26 years, this is now the fourth generation model, which was introduced in late 2012. 

It comes in standard (SWB) and long wheelbases (LWB), although the LWB is only available on higher-specification cars. The trim range starts with Vogue, then goes through Vogue SE, Autobiography and SVAutobiography trims. However, this top-spec version is significantly more expensive than an Autobiography model with the same engine and offers more in-depth personalisation options.

With big power and lots of torque, the Range Rover munches miles with ease, providing maximum comfort on long journeys
Although lighter than before, the Range Rover is still thirsty – and it’s pretty expensive to buy and run
Beautiful exterior and sumptuous interior make the Range Rover feel worth the high entry price
The Range Rover has a massive boot, some useful technology to make access easier and plenty of pulling power
Land Rover’s none-too-impressive 2014 Driver Power showing looks to be improving. The Range Rover has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, too

The most powerful cars come with Jaguar Land Rover's 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine. In SVAutobiography cars, it's the most powerful version that's shared with the Jaguar F-Type R and Range Rover Sport SVR, although thanks to the car's sheer size, Land Rover quotes the same acceleration figures as the regular 5.0-litre. Permanent four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard across the model range.

The Range Rover is JLR’s flagship vehicle and as such offers the most luxury and equipment possible for a high starting price. It sits at the top of a three-model Range Rover line-up, above the Evoque and the Sport models, although the latter isn't far from the Range Rover in terms of size, quality or price.

Last updated: 
28 Feb, 2019