New Car Review
2017 Land Rover Range Rover: New Car Review
In many ways, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover represents the pinnacle of what a luxury SUV should be. The Land Rover name is sufficiently respected as to command admiration from all income levels, and the Range Rover's long list of luxury features fill an exquisitely designed interior as comfortable as it is accommodating. But, where the Range Rover really stands out is its impressive off-road abilities, an attribute you won't find in a Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS or Audi Q7.
Of course, most owners don't buy the Range Rover for its off-road abilities but rather for its status as the standard that luxury SUVs are judged against. Powerful, comfortable and surprisingly agile for its size, the Land Rover Range Rover is the ultimate expression of ruggedness and comfort wrapped in a very seductive shell.
What's New for 2017?
For 2017, the Land Rover Range Rover gains a new, top-of-the-line trim designated as the SVAutobiography Dynamic. The Dynamic is equipped with a 550-horsepower supercharged V8 engine and a performance tuned suspension that improves handling without impacting ride comfort. InControl Pro with a 10.2-in viewscreen is made standard on all trims, while Land Rover offers an expanded version of its Advanced Driver Assistance System across the model range.
What We Like
Outstanding supercharged V8 engine; fuel-efficient diesel option; sumptuous interior; more rear legroom on the long-wheelbase model; still an off-road champ
What We Don't
Styling less expressive than previous Range Rovers; similar features can be found on less expensive competitors; jury is still out on long-term reliability
The Range Rover's standard engine is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 producing 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. In the HSE trim, this same engine is tuned to produce 380 hp. An 8-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates its fuel economy at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Optional on the SE and HSE is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 good for 254 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates for this engine are 22 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.
The Supercharged models are powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8, good for an astounding 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates for this engine are a meager 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy. The new SVAutobiography uses the same engine tuned to 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque.
Standard Features & Options
A 2-row luxury SUV, the 2017 Range Rover is offered in five main trim levels: base, HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography and SVAutobiography. The Supercharged, Autobiography and SVAutobiography are also available in long-wheelbase models, while the SVAutobiography Dynamic is only offered with the standard wheelbase.
The base Range Rover SE ($86,645) includes 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights with washers, the Automatic Access Height air suspension, a hands-free gesture power tailgate, a rear camera washer, LED lighting accents in the front and rear, a heated steering wheel, wood interior trim, leather upholstery, multi-way power heated front seats with driver memory, a TFT/LCD instrument panel and tri-zone climate control. Also included is a 10.2-in touchscreen infotainment system with voice control, the InControl Pro upgrade, Bluetooth, a hard-drive-based navigation system and a 380-watt Meridian sound system.
The Range Rover SE Td6 ($88,645) includes the same equipment as the supercharged SE but adds the diesel engine.
The Range Rover HSE ($93,645) adds 20-in wheels and a panoramic roof (with optional black trim on the periphery), as well as niceties such as Oxford leather upholstery, heated rear seats, climate-controlled front seats, winged headrests in both rows and available massaging front seats with power-adjustable bolsters. Quad-zone climate control and a self-parking system with automated steering are also offered.
The Range Rover HSE Td6 ($95,645) includes the same equipment as the supercharged HSE but adds the diesel engine.
The Range Rover Supercharged ($104,890 for short wheelbase; $109,890 for long wheelbase) cranks up the power with a supercharged V8 and tacks on 21-in wheels, All-Terrain Progress Control and the Terrain Response 2 Auto adaptive off-road driving system. But otherwise, it's pretty similar to the HSE in terms of equipment.
The Range Rover Autobiography ($141,990 for short wheelbase; $146,990 for long wheelbase) is in a league of its own, as it boasts adaptive xenon headlights, start/stop engine technology, reverse traffic detection with a blind spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, available 22-in wheels, unique color combinations, semi-aniline leather upholstery, 20-way power front seats, a rear-seat entertainment system, an 825-watt 29-speaker Meridian sound system and the option of two executive-style rear seats instead of the standard 3-person bench.
The SVAutobiography Dynamic ($171,990) gains 550-hp V8, unique suspension calibrations, unique exterior trim and wheels, red Brembo brake calipers, 29-speaker 1700-watt Meridian sound system, diamond quilted seat pattern plus black dash and door appliques with red striping.
The SVAutobiography ($200,945) is the ultimate Range Rover, loaded with every possible option including reclining rear seats and a center console cooler. Some of the Range Rover's more extravagant options include a $5,100 wood cargo floor and $14,000 Duo Tone paint job.
Safety options this year include the Drive Pro Package with adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor with reverse traffic detection, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, driver condition monitor plus a forward-facing camera capable of recognizing speed limit and road hazard signs. The Park Assist System adds parallel and perpendicular park assist.
Cargo space measures 32.1 cu ft. behind the rear seats and 71.7 cu ft. with the rear seatbacks flipped forward.
The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and a robust roster of airbags (front, side and full-length side-curtain). The various available driver aids include autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign detection, rear traffic detection and a blind spot monitoring system.
To date, neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has performed crash tests on the new Range Rover, but chances are you'll be well protected in an accident.
Behind the Wheel
No matter which engine you choose, the Range Rover is very fast. But the overarching impression here is one of world-class refinement. Whether you're making time in the fast lane or gliding across sand dunes in the desert, the Range Rover remains cool, calm and collected. The standard air suspension keeps the ride smooth on just about any surface, while a variety of electronic aids keep you on course in corners. We also love the super-high command driving position -- a traditional Range Rover strength that happily persists here. No vehicle is invincible, but perhaps the Range Rover comes closer than any other to feeling that way.
Land Rover's website is full of fun facts about the Range Rover's insane off-road capabilities. Our favorite is the 35.4-in wading depth, replete with a photo illustration of a half-submerged Range Rover. Properly equipped, a Range Rover can tow up to 7,716 pounds.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class -- Treated to numerous recent improvements, the 2017 G-Class nonetheless continues to employ a chassis that dates to the 1970s. It doesn't matter; we want one anyway.
2017 Infiniti QX80 -- Not traditionally considered a Range Rover competitor, the 3-row QX80 earns its place in this discussion on the basis of its robust 400-hp 5.6-liter V8, bold styling and impressive ride and handling characteristics. It's a great all-around luxury SUV at an appealing price.
2017 Porsche Cayenne -- You give up some off-road ability with the second-generation Cayenne, which lost some weight of its own by shedding its hardcore trail-busting hardware. But the payoff is sports-car-like handling that the Range Rover can't touch.
Used Land Rover Range Rover -- A 2014-15 Range Rover will give you almost everything the 2017 model offers and still have its original warranty, but for less money.
We'd skip the Autobiography that could cost you $130,000-$220,000 and up, but the Supercharged model offers the same glorious 510-hp motor at a considerable discount. We're sold. Worried about fuel economy? A loaded HSE turbodiesel should put your mind at ease.