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Land Rover's Lineup Is Confusing, So I'm Going to Explain It To You

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2017

Over the past few months, it has become increasingly clear to me that most people don't really understand the current vehicle lineup over at Land Rover. Even friends of mine who really understand cars, and the car industry, and vehicle segments, are sort of at a loss regarding Land Rover and its lineup.

This, I suspect, is because Land Rover has filled basically every luxury SUV niche -- as they very well should, since SUVs are now wildly, tremendously popular, and Land Rover's brand name is stronger than ever. But the problem is: When you have six SUVs, where do they all fit in? Today, I'm going to explain it to you.

Two Brands

Before I get started, it's crucial to understand that Land Rover is trying to convince you it has two brands: Land Rover and Range Rover. While Range Rover is technically not a separate brand (yet), Land Rover sees value in separating them -- for one, because Range Rover has stronger luxury market connotations than Land Rover, and for another, because offering "Land Rover" and "Range Rover" models gives you the chance to simply sell more vehicles.

With that in mind, consider that "Land Rover" is intended to be sort of the down-market, everyperson alternative to "Range Rover," which is the more stylish, more luxurious of the two brands. And so we begin.

The Small Ones

There are two small Land Rover models: the Range Rover Evoque and the Discovery Sport. Although many will point out that these cars share a powertrain and are relatively close in dimensions, they're pitched to different buyers, in keeping with their brand identities. The Evoque is the stylish "lifestyle" small SUV, while the Discovery Sport is more practical. Owing to that difference, the Discovery Sport is larger, with more interior space and an available third-row seat -- and it's also cheaper and more accessible. The Evoque, on the other hand, is what you buy when your budget isn't as tight and you want to look fashionable. The Discovery Sport starts at $38,700, while the Evoque starts at $42,800.

The Midsize Ones

There are currently three midsize Land Rover SUVs, which I think is where most people get confused. There's the Land Rover Discovery, the Range Rover Velar, and the Range Rover Sport. So where do these fit?

The best way to think of these is that, once again, the Discovery is the mainstream model, aimed at shoppers looking for a 3-row family SUV; it has a large interior and it starts around $51,000. While the Range Rover Velar is technically the same size, it plays sort of the "Evoque" role in Land Rover's midsize SUV lineup: It's not as large as the Discovery, and it doesn't offer 3-row seating -- but it's more stylish and fashionable. It costs the same as the Discovery, but some people will prefer the Velar simply because it looks better.

Then, at the top of the "midsize" lineup, there's the Range Rover Sport. It's intended to combine the attractive looks of the Velar with the practicality of the Discovery (as the Sport, too, offers 3-row seating) -- but doing so isn't cheap, as the Range Rover Sport starts around $66,500 -- or basically $15,000 more than a Discovery or a Velar.

The Large One

And then, at the top of the range, is the flagship of them all: the Range Rover. Even though Land Rover is trying to make you think of Range Rover as a brand, "the Range Rover" is still the top model of them all, with no additional model name. The Range Rover starts around $86,500, and it has no peer from the "Land Rover" brand.

And so, that's a quick rundown of the Land Rover models. The next model on the agenda appears to be the new Defender, which will likely be revealed in a little over a year -- and I'm curious to see whether Land Rover slots it in its old spot (as a cheap, utilitarian SUV) or in a totally different spot, competing with the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, with a massive pricetag -- or if it's somewhere in between.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Land Rover's Lineup Is Confusing, So I'm Going to Explain It To You - Autotrader