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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

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Land Rover has also done away with traditional instrument dials in the latest Range Rover and has been replaced by a super-size graphic screen (similar to that in the Jaguar XJ).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

VOGUE SDV8 : LG : 4.4L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 8 SP AUTOMATIC - DIESEL - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
RANGE ROVER
Model
RANGE ROVER
Variant
VOGUE SDV8
Series
LG
Year
2013
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$128,260 - $145,750
Dealer Retail
$123,950 - $147,400
Dealer Trade
$98,500 - $116,600
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
4.4L
Max. Torque
700Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
250kW @  3500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
110.1W/kg
Bore & Stroke
84x98.5mm
Compression Ratio
16
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
ALL WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
105Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.7L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
2271
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1836mm
Length
4999mm
Width
1983mm
Ground Clearance
222mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:3500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
12.3
Front Rim Size
8.5x20
Rear Rim Size
8.5x20
Front Tyres
255/55 R20
Rear Tyres
255/55 R20
Wheel Base
2922
Front Track
1690
Rear Track
1683
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Front Suspension
Air Springs, Self levelling
Rear Suspension
Air Springs, Self levelling
Standard Features
Control & Handling
Automatic/Self levelling Suspension, Traction Control System
Driver
Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation
Entertainment
Television
Exterior
Xenon Headlights
Safety
Side Airbags
Optional Features
Comfort
Air Con + Climate Control Multi Zone, Comfort Seats Front, Power Sunroof, Rear seat enhancement pack
Driver
Cruise Control Intelligent/Active
Engine & Transmission
Diff Locks
Entertainment
Premium Sound System
Exterior
Metallic Paint Special
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  20,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Inner Guard
Country of Origin
United Kingdom