Range Rover 4.4 SDV8

Autobiography

Range Rover Autobiography, front
Range Rover Autobiography, front
Range Rover Autobiography, front
Range Rover Autobiography, interior
Range Rover Autobiography, interior
Range Rover Autobiography, interior
Range Rover Autobiography, detail
Range Rover Autobiography, interior

THE Range Rover really is a gentle giant.

It created and has dominated the luxury off-road market for over 40 years and there is no real sign of its popularity waning or its ability diminishing.

In fact, the latest model, this year's Autobiography, is probably the most impressive in the five decades it has been on and off the road.

Now in its fourth generation it competes against models such as the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and even the Bentley Bentayga and comfortably adapts to it's surrounding, be it in the city, through country lanes, off-road or at red-carpet premieres.

Available in several trim levels, Vogue, Vogue SE, Autobiography and SV-Autobiography - the latter two also available in long-wheelbase - the entry level Range Rover Vogue starts from £75,800 increasing to £149,800 for the SV-Autobiography. By any stretch of the imagination it is not cheap.

The car driven here was a premium-level Autobiography powered by the new twin-turbo diesel 4.4-litre SDV8 engine.

Finished in Waitomo Grey with Ebony interior trim and 21-inch alloy wheels, the car certainly looked the part of a sophisticated executive limousine.

The optional extras included a state of the art Meridian audio system, heated steering wheel and seats, panoramic roof and head up display.

The powertrain is truly refined and sophisticated with huge pulling power and performance underfoot, with eight gears as well as high and low range to select whatever you need for any road or terrain.

Power pours out with some noise at higher revs but the changes remain silken and quick.

Performance on and off-road was effortless and the car responded according to the road surface and conditions without effort or edginess. Its permanent four-wheel-drive, carefully tuned suspension, powerful brakes and well-weighted steering combined to instill confidence in its capabilities.

Despite the mass of the car, it handled with ease and once you knew its physical limits it could be accurately placed in a big parking spot, so good was the visibility helped by sensors and cameras.

The Range Rover is a big car and once you get use to climbing up into the cabin you appreciate the space for five with lots of rear legroom and even headroom to allow a hat for some passengers.

I liked the big clear multi-function instruments' display and the position and feel of the secondary stalks and buttons controls.

Oddments provision and a massive loadspace in the back behind the drop-down tailgate make this ideal for a weekend away on an active break.

The favourite feature had to be the massaging front seats which actually work on the move and must count as the ultimate calming feature after a hard day at work before you sink into your favourite chair at home.

FAST FACTS

Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 Autobiography

Price: £98,550

Mechanical: 339ps, 4,398cc, 8cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 135mph

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 25

Insurance Group: 49

C02 emissions: 219g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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