2017 Range Rover — Off-Road Capability Swathed in Pure Luxury

2017 Land Rover Range RoverModel Tested: Range Rover HSE Td6

Engine: 3-liter turbocharged V6 diesel

Horsepower: 254

Torque: 443 pound-feet

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

EPA Ratings: 22/city, 29/highway, 25/combined

Base Price: $93,950

As Tested: $107,311

Overview: Everyone knows there’s arguably no more capable off-road vehicle on the planet than the classically styled, opulently appointed Range Rover. I once attended the Land Rover Driving School in West Virginia — going places where you’d need an Environmental Impact Statement in the Pacific Northwest — bathing in luxury as water lapped at our door handles. But I digress…

This venerable SUV will conquer the most difficult terrain imaginable thanks to the new all-terrain progress-control system, which I’ve seen described as “low-speed cruise control for off-roading.”

The current Range Rover enters its fourth year of production with only a handful of upgrades keeping it fresh — including the 254-horse, V6 turbodiesel powering our test vehicle.

Walkaround: Styling is evolutionary, with minor changes. The Range Rover features five trim levels: Base, HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography and SV Autobiography. The HSE, Supercharged and Autobiography are offered in both standard and long-wheelbase (LWB) variations. The base model only comes with the standard wheelbase, and the SV Autobiography is LWB-only. The base trim includes 19-inch wheels (20s are optional), and there’s adjustable air suspension with automatic lowering for ingress/egress.

Interior: The interior is simple elegance. All materials are first-class, with artfully stitched Oxford leather and exquisite wood trim.

The driver sits up high, viewing digital instrumentation, while the center stack’s 8-inch touchscreen controls all infotainment and other vehicle functions. The standard InControl Apps suite connects Apple or Android smartphones so certain apps appear the same on the touchscreen as on the device. Meridian audio is standard. Rear-seat headroom and legroom are generous in standard-wheelbase Range Rovers, while the cargo area is a modest 32.1 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks in place, and 71.7 with them down.

Behind the Wheel: The new turbodiesel powerplant moves all this massive luxury effortlessly with its monstrous low-end torque. However, the Range Rover isn’t exactly athletic on winding roads — but what SUV is?

Whines: Ride quality can be somewhat stiff over rough pavement. Steering is light and precise around town, but somewhat heavy at highway speeds.

Bottom Line: Quite simply, the Range Rover is extraordinarily capable on any terrain, while delivering a level of pure luxury that exceeds most other SUVs on the planet.