In a world where luxury automakers are marketing sumptuous trucks, it’s easy to forget that Range Rover got there before the rest. If any vehicle reminds motorists of what a true luxury SUV should be, it’s a Range Rover. TheDetroitBureau.com had the chance to drive this newest iteration in several trims at the vehicle’s global media debut in Napa Valley, California.
At the model’s first reveal to the media in September, Land Rover Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern said of the new Range Rover in an exclusive interview “the design brief was how do we make this vehicle look breathtakingly modern, reducing back to this absolute essence? That is the greatest challenge.”
It seems the challenge has been met.
The lavish, newly redesigned Range Rover returns with a choice of short and long wheelbase models, two powertrains — with more to come — and a more lavish yet modernist design. Land Rover offers the Range Rover in SE, Autobiography, First Edition and SV models with either a short or long wheelbase. All have seating for five, although long wheelbase trims are available with seating for seven.
And while it possesses the necessary off-road chops expected of any Land Rover, the Range Rover’s primary mission will be tromping across the lawn of an estate, carrying royalty, CEOs, celebrities and other 1-percenters in regal fashion. This is truly an all-terrain limousine rather than a true boulder basher.
At first glance, the redesigned Range Rover doesn’t seem strikingly different. But truly consider the details and you’ll find a lot has changed. The new model is a striking example of reductive design, of eliminating unnecessary details, particularly in the back, where a distinctively strong visual line lends the vehicle an instant identity, even as it houses the taillamps, which is visually hidden unlkess activated. Also hidden are the door handles, which are flush unless you’re approaching the vehicle or unlocking it, then they pop out.
And you’ll find that while the vehicle’s basic form remains unchanged, it gently tapers towards the back, aiding aerodynamics and lending it an exquisite form. You’ll notice the shoulder is more prominent, lending it a stronger styling presence, while the chrome side strake has been redesigned into a strong vertical element that emphasizes its height.
Twenty-one-inch wheels are standard; massive 23-inch wheels are available.
The inside continues the modernist reductivism design seen on the exterior. And its ambience is impeccable. Just try and find a cheap, offensive material and you’ll come away disappointed. There aren’t any. And while you can get your Range Rover slathered in an enticing mix of wood and leather, the automaker offers an alternative premium textile using an Ultrafabrics and Kvadrat wool-blend.
When you order the epic Meridian sound system, the new vehicles come with noise-cancelling headrests, which make a remarkable difference in the perceived refinement and solitude of the vehicle’s interior. It’s silent with them, and noticeably noisier without, particularly if you opt for the inline six, which has a somewhat gruffer note than the V-8.
The long wheelbase SV proved to be positively indulgent, with a reclining rear seat, entertainment system, pop-up tray table and a small refrigerator with fitted crystal glasses. Obviously intended for the Chinese market, it may not sell as well in the U.S. as the seven-seat model. How sad.
Initially, the new Range Rover comes with a choice of two engines. The entry-level model, the short-wheelbase five-seat P400 SE comes with Land Rover’s turbocharged 3.0-liter Ingenium inline-6 with a 48-volt hybrid system. It produces 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Optional on the SE and standard on other models is the BMW-built twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine that generates 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.
An 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, a terrain response system and an adaptive air suspension are standard.
A Plug-In Hybrid version of the 3.0-liter inline 6 driveline will be available in 2023, and provide 434 hp and up to 62 miles of pure electric driving at speeds up to 87 mph. A battery-electric model arrives in 2024.
The new model is built using Land Rover’s new flexible Modular Longitudinal Architecture, which is made of steel and aluminum, not purely aluminum as has been the case in other Land Rover models.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the new Range Rover. However, standard driver assistance safety systems include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, and parking assist.
When it comes to tech, you’ll find wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa come standard, as does navigation, wireless smartphone charging, SiriusXM satellite radio, a 13.1-inch infotainment display using Land Rover’s Pivi Pro user interface and a 13.7-inch digital instrument cluster. Dual rear seat 11.4-inch displays are optional, as is a 35-speaker Meridian sound system.
The Range Rover proved to be an opulent indulgent fit for royalty, with impeccable build quality and an astonishing attention to detail. Remarkably quiet, thanks to the previously mentioned noise-cancelling headrests, it seemed quite the road going and off-road going sanctuary, with little of the clamor you’d expected from a big box plowing through an air stream. And when comes time to tackle the twisties, you’ll find the Range Rover pulls a shrinking act, as its rear-wheel steering makes for a rather nimble conveyance while increasing stability.
Venturing off-road into a mucky trail of wet goo, the Range Rover tackled this travesty of a trail with the ease you’d expect. But the Range Rover makes you a better driver than you truly are, thanks to cameras that provide views in front and beside the vehicle, a suspension that raises an additional couple inches to clear tall objects, the ability to ford three feet of water, and an off-road cruise control system that allows the driver to concentrate on steering.
The all-wheel-drive system includes a mechanical low range, but now disconnects the front wheels from the driveline to reduce fuel consumption.
The V-8 felt far more refined than inline 6, but both powerplants delivered the expected power. Did we like the V-8 more? Of course, thanks to its abundant torque and silky smooth delivery.
2022 Land Rover Range Rover SWB specifications
|Dimension||L: 199 inches/W: 81 inches/H: 74 inches/Wheelbase: 118 inches|
|Powertrain||Twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||$164,000; As tested: not available, plus $1,350 destination charge.|
Being true royalty among SUVs, the Land Rover Range Rover doesn’t come cheap. But some things in life are worth paying for. Prices start at $104,500 for the short-wheelbase five-seat SE, and at $110,500 for the long wheelbase seven-seat SE. Opting for the V-8 requires ponying up $122,800 for a five-seat model, $128,800 with seven. But beware, Land Rover is still selling the previous Range Rover that arrived in 2013 as a 2022 model. Why the new fifth-generation Range Rover isn’t dubbed a 2023 is a mystery.
Nevertheless, it’s a masterfully luxurious understatement, one that’s now every bit as good as luxury SUVs costing far more.
Pro: Modernist style, prodigious off-road capability, lavish comfort — especially SV models
Con: Higher prices for 2022, hybrid engine’s gruff gas engine sound
2022 Land Rover Range Rover – Frequently Asked Questions
How much will the Range Rover 2022 cost?
Prices start at $104,500 for the short-wheelbase five-seat SE, and top out at $218,300 for the long wheelbase SV, plus a $1,350 destination charge.
Is the 2022 Range Rover out?
The redesigned 2022 Range Rover is beginning to reach showrooms. The old design, which debuted in 2013, is also called a 2022 and is still available.
What does SV stand for in Range Rover?
Special Vehicle Operations, which adds both more luxury and performance to existing Range Rover vehicles.