Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Vogue/5.0 V8 Vogue SE review

By: Greg Leech

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Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover
Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover
Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover
Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover
Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover
Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover Driven: Range Rover

No longer just the first choice of the gentleman farmer it's now a sporting option

Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Vogue/5.0 V8 Vogue SE review
Driven: Range Rover

 

Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Vogue/5.0 V8 Vogue SE

Ever since the first luxo-Landy made its way to these Antipodes back in 1972, driving a Range Rover sent a firm message. Back then your surname was likely to be hyphenated, your jacket leather-patched and your kids ‘doing well’ in the best boarding school. Just as you’d have it, don’t you know.

While that market segment is as conservatively rusted-on as it ever was, these days you could well be heading out to a sophisticated club in your Rangie, towing a speedboat or trucking the billy lids to the local high school. You’ll need to be well-employed to do the Range Rover thing of course, but from smooth blokeabout- town transport, to soccer-mum-bus extraordinaire, to highly competent bush basher, the Rangie hits the mark.

In 2013 customers have a choice of two diesel engines, the 3.0-litre 190kW TDV6 and 4.4-litre 250kW SDV8. There is also the 375kW 5.0-litre LR-V8 Supercharged, all of which are now paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Those that may baulk at a big truck like this due to a fear of lacklustre performance will think again. The LR-V8 Supercharged model (oddly-named because the blown V8 is the only petrol option) boasts healthy numbers. Try 0-100km/h in just 5.4sec. You’ll be drinking fuel at a healthy rate if you belt about showing that stat off to your mates, but reasonable consumption figures are achievable with a very light right sneaker.

The SDV8 diesel was designed exclusively for the Range Rover, and torque is this one’s strong suit. There’s a staggering 700Nm produced between 1750 and 3000rpm, offering 0-100kmh in 6.9 seconds.

The 2013 Range Rovers represent the world’s first SUV range with a lightweight all-aluminium body that makes the car the most aerodynamic Range Rover ever, with a drag coefficient starting from 0.34.

A cornerstone of the 2013 Rangies is the use of Land Rover’s Terrain Response® system, which analyses driving conditions and automatically selects the most suitable vehicle settings.

The new system is able to automatically switch between five settings: General; Grass/ Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl, optimising traction by adapting the responses of the car’s engine, gearbox, centre differential and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.

There is no getting around the fact that this is a BIG body; indeed you are looking at a 12.3m turning circle. You just don’t get this sort of cavernous interior space otherwise (2030 litres of load space with the rear seats down). To keep you from getting altitude sickness (you really are up a long way), the air suspension offers four levels of ride height adjustment. In ‘normal’ mode, the step up into the cabin is fairly hefty. At the touch of the console-mounted dynamic adjustment control, the car lowers to its ‘access’ height (20mm lower), for easier loading and to keep the duco from the roof of your favourite Rodd and Gunn underground car park. Need more clearance? No worries, there are two off-road heights that raise the big girl.

So, there’s some of the maths, how about the poetry?

We drove the SDV8 diesel and the Supercharged V8. The oiler offered almost silent running, taking the rattly diesel bugbear of engine noise out of the equation altogether. The big calling card here is the wave of momentous torque available from right off the bottom. It’s almost impossible not to plant the boot away from lights, just to experience it. Of course, the car settles into a licence-preserving gait easily and happily. The petrol V8 is even more satisfying in regard to go, but harsher and more frenetic. It’s decidedly quick and long-legged.

These are superbly finished and well-appointed four-wheelers with real off-road ability. You’ll need to be well-heeled or have an understanding bank manager, but that message is still there for Rangie buyers: Yep, you’ve made it.

But wait, there's more...

Making your Rangie one of a kind:

- 17 interior colour themes, plus additional choice of seat colour

- Three interior veneers at launch, with more to follow.

- Three headlining colours.

- Rear Executive Class seating.

- 15 exterior paint finishes.

- Two contrasting roof colours - Santorini Black or Indus Silver.

- Eight alloy wheel designs on 19-, 20-, 21- or 22-inch wheels.

- Alternative Dark Atlas finish for the exterior accents.

- Panoramic roof, illuminated tread plates, electrically deployable side steps.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Vogue/5.0 V8 Vogue SE

Engine: 4367cc V8 diesel, DOHC, 32v, turbocharger/5000cc V8, DOHC, 32v, supercharged
Power: 250kW @ 3500rpm/375kW @ 6000-6500rpm
Torque: 700Nm @ 1750-3000rpm/625Nm @ 2500-5000rpm
Weight: 2630/2330kg
Gearbox: 8-speed auto
0-100km/h: 6.9/5.4sec (claimed)
Top speed: 217/249km/h (claimed)
Price: $195,100/$224,200
Our rating: 8.0/10

 

*****

 

More reviews:

> Range Rover Evoque review here

> Buyer's Guide: 1995-02 Range Rover P38 S/SE/HSE review here

 

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