Last year, Land Rover introduced its first new Range Rover since being acquired by Indian car manufacturer Tata. The result is a lighter, leaner and more luxurious Range Rover, still every bit as off-road capable and loaded with British charm and sensibility. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover continues to improve, adding new features and powertrains, as well as a more varied option list.
The great irony with the Land Rover Range Rover is, unlike so many other luxury SUVs, this one can actually be taken to some of the most extreme places on Earth and back again. Unfortunately, due to its lofty price and position as a status symbol, much of the Mother England's best technology rarely, if ever, gets to prove itself in the wild.
What's New for 2014?
The biggest change for the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover is under its hood, where a new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 replaces last year's 5.0-liter V8 engine. (The supercharged V8 is still available.) A long-wheelbase model highlights the Autobiography series, while less dramatic changes to the lineup include the addition of LED headlights to all trims, Intelligent Start/Stop technology on the V8 Supercharged and a revised options list with more standalone options.
What We Like
Outstanding supercharged V8 engine; sumptuous interior; more rear legroom on the long-wheelbase model; still an off-road champ; improved fuel economy on V6 models
What We Don't
Styling less expressive than previous Range Rovers; fuel economy still lacking; jury still out on long-term reliability
The Range Rover's standard engine is a new 3.0-liter supercharged V6 producing 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates its fuel economy at 17 miles per gallon city/23 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 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy.
All Range Rover models feature full-time 4-wheel drive with low-range gearing. Base V6 models get the standard knob-controlled Terrain Response system for managing different off-road driving scenarios, while supercharged models upgrade to the new Terrain Response 2 Auto system, which can sense changes in terrain and adapt accordingly even without driver input.
Properly equipped, a Range Rover can tow up to 7,716 pounds.
Standard Features & Options
A 2-row luxury SUV, the 2014 Range Rover is offered in four main trim levels: base, HSE, Supercharged and Autobiography.
The base Range Rover ($83,545) includes 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights with washers, LED lighting accents in the front and rear, a power tailgate, a heated steering wheel, wood interior trim, leather upholstery, multi-way power heated front seats with driver memory, a TFT/LCD instrument panel, tri-zone climate control and an 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with voice control, Bluetooth, a hard-drive-based navigation system and a 380-watt Meridian sound system.
The Range Rover HSE ($88,545) adds 20-in wheels and the panoramic roof (with optional black trim on the periphery), as well as niceties such as Oxford leather upholstery, heated rear 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 Supercharged ($99,995) cranks up the power with a supercharged V8 and tacks on 21-in wheels and an upgraded 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 ($135,995) is in a league of its own, as it boasts adaptive xenon headlights, start/stop engine technology, reverse traffic detection with blind spot monitoring, 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. A long-wheelbase model is also available this year.
Options for the base model include 20-in wheels, adaptive cruise control and a full-length panoramic roof.
New safety options this year include the Enhanced Parking Aid package with parallel and perpendicular park assist, as well as the Lane Departure Warning system that includes a forward-facing camera capable of recognizing speed limit and road hazard signs.
Cargo space measures 32.1 cu ft behind the rear seats and 71.7 cu ft with the rear seat backs flipped forward. That's not overly impressive for an SUV of this size, but we'd call it competitive -- not to mention more than most Range Rover owners will likely ever need.
The 2014 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 rear traffic detection and blind spot monitoring.
To date, neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute of 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 fast -- 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.
Other Cars to Consider
Mercedes-Benz G-Class -- Treated to numerous improvements for 2014, the G-Class nonetheless continues to employ a chassis that dates to the 1970s. It doesn't matter; we want one anyway.
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 5.6-liter V8, bold styling and genuine off-roader roots. It's a great all-around truck at an appealing price.
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.
We'd skip the $130,000-plus Autobiography, but the Supercharged model offers the same glorious 510-hp motor at a considerable discount. We're sold.