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2016 Land Rover Range Rover: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader February 2016

In the world of pricy luxury SUVs, it's rare to find many that are taken far from the paved road. However, for those who don't fear the occasional paint scratch or scuffed bumper, there's the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover, one of the most luxurious and competent full-size luxury SUVs available today.

Of course, most owners don't buy the Range Rover for its off-road abilities but rather for its status as the standard by which other luxury SUVs are judged. 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 2016?

For 2016, the Range Rover HSE gains a more powerful standard V6 engine, while the SE and HSE can now be equipped with an all-new 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Additionally, the InControl Remote and Protect infotainment upgrade is made standard on all grades, as is an air suspension that lowers the vehicle for easier entry and exit, a hands-free gesture power tailgate and a rear camera washer. All-Terrain Progress Control (standard on V8 models) is added to the Range Rover's driver assist features, and the SV Autobiography replaces the Autobiography Black as the new top-of-the-line trim.

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 still out on long-term reliability

How Much?

$85,945-$221,000

Fuel Economy

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 city 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 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

A 2-row luxury SUV, the 2016 Range Rover is offered in four main trim levels: base, HSE, Supercharged and the Autobiography series. The Supercharged and Autobiography are also available in long-wheelbase models.

The base Range Rover SE ($85,945) 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 an 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with voice control, the InControl Remote and Protect infotainment upgrade, Bluetooth, a hard-drive-based navigation system and a 380-watt Meridian sound system.

The Range Rover SE Td6 ($87,445) includes the same equipment as the supercharged SE but adds the diesel engine.

The Range Rover HSE ($92,945) 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 ($94,445) includes the same equipment as the supercharged HSE but adds the diesel engine.

The Range Rover Supercharged ($104,190 for short wheelbase; $109,190 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 ($140,990 for short wheelbase; $145,990 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, 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 SV Autobiography ($200,490) is the ultimate Range Rover, loaded with every possible option. Options for the base model (the long-wheelbase version) include 20-in wheels, adaptive cruise control and a full-length panoramic roof.

Safety options this year include the Driver Assistance package with parallel and perpendicular park assist, traffic sign recognition and 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 seatbacks flipped forward.

Safety

The 2016 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 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 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. Properly equipped, a Range Rover can tow up to 7,716 pounds.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class -- Treated to numerous recent improvements, the 2016 G-Class nonetheless continues to employ a chassis that dates to the 1970s. It doesn't matter; we want one anyway.

2016 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.

2016 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 Range Rover will give you almost everything the 2016 model offers and still have its original warranty, but for less money.

Autotrader's Advice

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.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Land Rover Range Rover: New Car Review - Autotrader