The armchair-style front seats, top-mounted window controls and imperious driving position – which are Range Rover trademarks – are all present and correct. And while the plastics in one or two areas (the wiper stalks and gearshift paddles, for example) feel a touch on the cheap side, the mixture of wood, leather and high-grade soft-touch materials on display result in a sense of opulence so complete that it eclipses minor quibbles like these.
The touch-screen infotainment system isn’t the most intuitive system of its type and the graphics and responses can be a little clunky, but it is at least reasonably easy to find your way around, while the rest of the various switches and dials are simple to work out. What’s more, your visibility in all directions is wonderfully clear, making it slightly easier to handle the car’s gargantuan proportions when tip-toeing through car parks.
The fact that some chauffeur companies run Range Rovers as limousines tells you all you need to know about how roomy the car is. Four tall adults will travel in supreme comfort, and a fifth will also squeeze in when needed. Rear legroom isn’t quite as generous as you find in a Mercedes S-Class
, but if your budget will stretch to it, that can be remedied by going for the stretched, or ‘long-wheelbase’, Range Rover, which is only available in the top two trim levels.
The boot is as massive as the car’s dimensions suggest, so it’ll easily cope with golf bags, flat-pack furniture or the luggage of a wealthy owner and their entourage. All models come with a split tailgate that has gesture-controlled power opening. The bottom section can sometimes help and sometimes hinder depending on the size and weight of the thing you’re loading, but it also doubles as a picnic bench for when you’re out in the wilderness.
The Range Rover has always been famed for its ability to provide a cosseting, limousine-like ride one minute, and then scale a mountain pass the next. Things are no different with the latest version. The standard air suspension effectively mops up pretty much any rut or pothole the road can throw at it, wafting you along in serenity and luxury.
The handling is sharper than you might expect, too. You can’t fling it around corners aggressively (frankly, why would you?), but it feels lighter than it is and the body roll you experience isn’t unsettling. With permanent four-wheel drive and all sorts of electronic traction aids, you’re never short on grip.
Even the basic Vogue-trimmed Range Rover has the company’s famed Terrain Response off-roading system, but Vogue SE cars and above have a more sophisticated system that also has an automatic mode. It makes the car capable of some pretty incredible feats in the sticky stuff. In short, if you get stuck in a Rangie, you must’ve been attempting to do something exceedingly ambitious.