|Reviewed By||Chester Allen|
|Price as Tested||$82,375, 5.0-liter V8 with 6-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4-wheel drive with Terrain Response System — multiple modes for driving in snow, off-road, mud, sand and over rocky terrain.|
This Range Rover looks like a cushy 4-wheel-drive grocery-getter for the upscale suburban family. It is really a very capable 4-wheel-drive truck that can also get groceries, transport kid soccer players and take adults out to a 4-star restaurant in style. I took the Rover on a tour of Mount Hood logging roads, snow-covered parking lots and highways. The Rover mushed through three-foot snowdrifts without hesitation. I would change the tires to sturdier models for hardcore off-road adventures. The cargo area swallowed up piles of fishing, skiing and snowboarding gear.
The engine is powerful and has tons of torque, which is what you need off the paved road. The electronic air suspension and all-terrain anti-lock brakes make the truck as steady as a rock in all road conditions. The power-adjusted front seats create a custom fit for just about any driver. I’m well over six feet tall and over 200 pounds, and I was comfortable. My wife, who is considerably shorter and lighter, sat in our driveway and adjusted the seat to another perfect fit. The monocoque integrated body/chassis with three steel subframes is very stiff and solid — yet comfortable driving around town.
This truck is just about perfect for the upscale outdoors enthusiast. It will take you to the ski hill, along a dirt road or even cross country in style. It’s also a very classy car for a night out on the town.
All the electronic gizmos, especially the Terrain Response System, are great, but I wonder what would happen if a gremlin invaded the microchips while I was happily snowplowing to my favorite ski hill or driving a logging road to a favorite fishing stream. I’m pretty sure this Rover has more computing power than the Apollo 11 command module. I also wonder how much it will cost to maintain these complex systems over time. The powerful engine also gulps $4-per-gallon gasoline. I got about 10 mpg in the city and on gravel roads, and my best highway mileage was 20 mpg. Huge instrument and navigation screens seem to be part of the deal on every upscale vehicle these days, but the 12.3-inch display was a distraction for me. Finally, I wonder how many people will really take a leather-upholstered, $82k vehicle off road. Then again, this is a truck for people who don’t have to ask the price.
This is the perfect 4-wheel-drive truck — hidden behind tons of luxury features and finish — for the outdoors person who wants to travel in impressive style. I would religiously keep to the maintenance schedule, as I would not want any of the electronics to fly south while I was far from paved roads.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
Apr 30, 2012