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  • Luxurious interior; high levels of refinement, exceptional comfort, superb V8 diesel with huge torque; seamless eight-speed auto, much improved handling, quick enough, unrivaled breadth of ability
  • Dynamically not as good as X5; plastic paddleshifters, rear seat backs don\'t fold flat; more expensive than previous model

9 / 10

2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review

A night in a Royal Penthouse Suite at Geneva’s Hotel President Wilson costs a staggering $65,000, which makes the $195,100 Range Rover Vogue SDV8 seem like positively good value. Each is as palatial – and large – as the other, really, the first all-new Rangie in ten years arguably even more so.

Acres of supple, twin-stitched leather cover virtually every surface of the fourth-generation Vogue, from the seats and console to the doors and headlining. Everywhere else is either polished alloy or lacquered wood veneer.

The seats themselves are sumptuous, with front and rear appointed in soft – you guessed it – leather and properly bolstered for each morning pursuit to the Double Bay or Toorak school drop off point.

The switchgear on the steering wheel is housed in two beautifully designed metal turrets, and the centre console is superbly crafted and completely uncluttered. The switchgear count has been halved in the new Range Rover, thanks to the intuitive (but not particularly high-resolution) eight-inch touchscreen system that manages all of vehicles infotainment functions.

Land Rover has also done away with traditional instrument dials in the latest Range Rover and has been replaced by a super-size graphic screen (similar to that in the Jaguar XJ).

Interior ambience is just about perfect, but for the out-of-place plastic paddle shifters, which seem to have no business appearing in these luxury surrounds.

2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review

The standard fit 380-Watt Meridian audio system, though, is exceptional, producing a superb high-fidelity sound that’s bound to satisfy the most demanding audiophiles. But if you want more, there’s an optional 825-Watt system with a staggering array of 29 speakers.

It’s the kind of bespoke-style opulence you’d expect to find in a Rolls Royce Ghost or Bentley Continental Flying Spur (Land Rover benchmarked them both) rather than lining one of the world’s most accomplished off-roaders.

What’s more, the SDV8 Vogue tested here is one of the lower-spec models in the new Range Rover line-up. The top-shelf Autobiography versions take the luxury thing to another level altogether.

It might be the world’s first all-aluminium SUV and the most focused engineered project Land Rover has undertaken, but the new car is clearly a Range Rover, though lower, wider and more aerodynamic than it’s predecessor.

All the traditional styling cues are there, such as the ‘floating’ roof, clamshell bonnet and familiar upright grille. The upswept rear-end is there too, in keeping with the Range Rover’s proper off-road departure angle.

And it wouldn’t be a Range Rover with the trademark ‘command’ driving position, which feels more throne-like than ever before.

It’s just as comfy in the back seats, with room to stretch now that the legroom has been increased – and that’s before the long-wheelbase version arrives.

2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review

While there’s a tonne of space in the boot area and a huge aperture for easy loading, there is one rather annoying glitch – the rear seatbacks don’t fold completely flat.

Range Rover’s keyless entry is faultless – just touch the door handle and climb aboard, before hitting the slightly hidden start button to the left of the steering wheel. The key fob itself, though, is frustratingly fiddly, should you need to pry it open and access the ‘key only’ feature.

Fire up the 4.4-litre SDV8’s super-diesel and a subdued clatter masks the sheer potential of 250kW of power, and more importantly, a truck-like 700Nm of torque – higher than the V8 Supercharged, which makes 625Nm.

Forward progress is effortless. Simply brush the throttle and this 2360kg stately behemoth moves off the line with noticeably more urgency that the previous model.

Reducing weight was a key engineering goal for the new Range Rover, which has resulted in the new SDV8 shedding a whopping 350kg off the weight of the previous model.

The results are spectacular. Punch the throttle from almost anywhere in the rev range and the Range Rover accelerates with commitment.

Even from a standing start the big Rangie doesn’t exactly hang around. Sheer grunt allows the SDV8 to reach 100km/h in 6.9 seconds (a second quicker than the previous model), but there’s no commotion as it’s all so refined. That’s about as brisk as a manual Golf GTI.

2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review

As expected, stopping power is huge and brake pedal feel is progressive and rock solid.

The eight-speed transmission is so smooth and quick in its operation as to be imperceptible, regardless of throttle loads. Even in Sport mode and hard on the throttle you’ll be hard pressed noticing the shifts, let alone picking what gear you’re in.

There’s a non-diesel sounding V8 growl in the background, too, but that’s about all you’ll hear in this cockpit, bar the sound system if you’ve got that dialled up.

In fact, noise insulation in the Vogue is simply astounding thanks in part to the double glazed windows. Listening to music inside the all-new Range rover is more akin sitting at home in your favourite lounge chair with a pair of high-end noise-cancelling headphones on – you can see the cars and trucks all around, but you can’t hear them – just the music. It’s almost surreal.

Fuel-economy is even more impressive. Over several days of mostly city driving our average consumption was 11.8L/100km – just over the official urban figure of 11.5L/100km.

The handling, too, is vastly improved.

The pitch and yaw the old model suffered on turn in has all but vanished, thanks to the successful weight loss program, adaptive damping and the Dynamic Response active lean control system (standard on the SDV8) that successfully reins in body roll.

2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review

It doesn’t seem to matter how aggressively the Range Rover tackles a corner, the big off-roader rolls, but remains utterly composed and balanced.

The steering is typically light in weight and mostly devoid of feel, but response to input is quick, allowing for more pace to be carried through corners.

Tackling jumbo-size speed bumps in the latest Range Rover presents no more of an obstacle than brushing over an expansion joint on the freeway; such is the vehicle’s ability to absorb the largest impediments.

Overall ride quality as supple, even on the SDV8’s standard 20-inch rims. Only occasionally did we experience any unsettling of the chassis through the cabin – over the sharp ridges of poorly maintained roads.

The all-new Range Rover has effectively outdone its own high standards, taking an already class-leading SUV and revamping it with better performance, more luxury and significantly improved fuel-economy.

What we have now is something quite astounding – an SUV that sets the bar so high that absolutely nothing in the same segment can match it for quality and breadth of ability.

To read our off-road launch review of the new Range Rover in Morocco, please click here. CarAdvice will be conducting a local off-road review soon.

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2013 Range Rover SDV8 Review
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  • Igomi Watabi

    My God, I love this car!

    • Zaccy16

      Me too!! its a masterpiece of engineering! amazingly saw a sdv8 autobiography on Sunday morning at my local woolworths supermarket  stuck up woman parked across to parks in front of me in my mazda 6!

  • John Walker

    20 inch rims….. looks like the goods for the school run, but those tyres are are going to be a big limiting factor in the outback.

    • Igomi Watabi

      So change ’em. No self-respecting off-roader going properly “outback” would take anything out there on standard wheels and tyres.

      • John Walker

         You can’t, there are no off road 20 inch tyres with the required/decent sidewall depth.And, 20 inch is the smallest rim size able to be fitted.

        • Igomi Watabi

          yeah, i do understand that RR parts and accessories are not as available as those for other brands, but your 20 inch limit is presumably because of the dinnerplate brakes. Given the extensive and expensive modifications most vehicles undergo to become properly ourback-ready, I wouldn’t write off the ability to do the same with an RR.

          Of course, in reality I was just having a go at yet another boring “err, those low profile tyres” post, which comes up in every single article.

          • John Walker

            Well, this is Australia, surrely they (Landrover)sell enough to give us some reasonable sized discs.

          • Igomi Watabi

            Well, exactly. Just that you’ll have to fork out for them, like you do when making any production 4WD outback-ready.

  • Mikka

    My ‘lottery win’ car for certain, beautifully executed update of a true classic.

  • SuperChar

    Interior looks alright.  That shot of the R/H rear quarter does not do much for the appearance of the car.  Front of the car looks pretty good though.

  • K20A

    Thank goodness for this article. Was reading the Jeep Cherokee piece and my ham sandwich was on its way up the esophagus.

    A beautiful car, this..

  • Monk

    Typos galore in there – Come on Anthony, this isn’t Facebook

  • Jeremy

    Simply the only car you could ever want/need.


    • Zaccy16

      yep exactly, why would anyone by anything else for $200,000! worth every cent! i would choose this engine over the supercharged v8 i think

  • Joe

    …….”not as good dynamically as the X5″….. really…..let’s see the X5 climb Mt Blue Rag in the Vic high country……I don’t think so.

    The X5 is hard riding, rock hard seats, arm pump steering, and unreliable. It really is NO comparison. Why do journalist think that a 4wd has to handle like a sportscar? That just makes it bloody uncomfortable(yes I have driven many X5’s).

    No one will ever drive one like that so what’s the point

    • Guest

      X5 unreliable? There must be a reason why Land Rover consistently sits at the bottom of all quality/reliability surveys I’ve read in the last 5 years.

  • Zee

    Wow… This really is the only luxury option you would consider on Sydney’s goat track roads. I lost my Mini down a pothole recently, has not resurfaced.

  • Guest12

    Getting ripped off by the Poms again are we?
    How much is this in the USA…or the UK ?
    Why is there only complaints about the Germans profiteering?
    It’s a bit racist isn’t it?

    • Browneye69

      We pay $50000 more than the Poms pay for a similar spec, they are just as competent as ze Germans at der ripoff. Anyway, it’s just a Tata in a frock. Nice frock though.

  • GenYExec

    Of course it will be more expensive than previous model… Its Aluminium. An impressive feat. Worth every cent for the Engineering R&D that has gone into this thing.

    • John Walker

       Yes love the weight saving, and no tin worm attack, but I wonder how it will go being constantly driven over corrugated roads with a 3 ton van in tow, aluminium has a bad rap on corrugated surfaces re stress fractures.

  • Guestovovic

    All aluminium and still a whopping 2360 kg.

  • CLS500

    That’s a big yes from me. Just what I have been waiting for to drive to the chalet for this winter’s skiing.

  • Theo

    Reviews on the Range Rover seem to draw nicer comments than other cars. This car seems to be everyone’s friend that they wished they had.

  • ADL

    The comparison to an X5 really isn’t apples with apples. The X5 looks ridiculous in this company. Can’t afford a Rangie? Get an X5…that doesn’t mean they are comparable vehicles…!

  • RR_FAN

    I bet after driving it for a week it would of been desperately hard to give such an beautiful vehicle back to the dealer haha.

  • Mourad

    I have a white smoke coming out from my sdv8 range roger after 900 km . Do you have an idea what could be the problem

  • Rover v8 parts

    this was such a wonderful car.It’s just a comfy ride because the sets are so soft and fuel economy is even more impressive.The knowledge and expertise of the artist was so good.

  • Nowak

    I love that car as much (maybe even more) than you guys, but have you heard anything about its failure rate? I mean I know that it often breaks 😉 (statistics)

Range Rover Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$132,000 - $150,000
Dealer Retail
$127,560 - $151,690
Dealer Trade
$101,400 - $120,000
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
700Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
250kW @  3500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.7L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:3500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
255/55 R20
Rear Tyres
255/55 R20
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
Air Springs, Self levelling
Rear Suspension
Air Springs, Self levelling
Standard Features
Control & Handling
Automatic/Self levelling Suspension, Traction Control System
Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation
Xenon Headlights
Side Airbags
Optional Features
Air Con + Climate Control Multi Zone, Comfort Seats Front, Power Sunroof, Rear seat enhancement pack
Cruise Control Intelligent/Active
Engine & Transmission
Diff Locks
Premium Sound System
Metallic Paint Special
Service Interval
12 months /  20,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Inner Guard
Country of Origin
United Kingdom