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Want a luxury SUV? Want the best? Then you want one of these. June Neary checks out the latest Range Rover
Added 14th September, 2012
, updated 27th July, 2020
Can the Range Rover make sense with Plug-in hybrid petrol/electric power? Does it make the most sense in this form? Jonathan Crouch decides.
Back in 2014, once again, Land Rover looked at a market that many thought was packed to bursting point and spotted a significant gap, into which it parked the Discovery Sport. What other car of this kind can seat seven, set off in the Serengeti and slot right in as easily in Sloane Square as it will in the tightest multi-storey carpark space? No other premium compact SUV from this era can do all this. You'll need to buy carefully though: the build quality and reliability of this car wasn't always what it should have been.
Find a good one though and you'll get a great family car. Discovery Sport buyers can get all the style and class of premium 5-seat mid-sized SUVs sold by Audi, BMW, Volvo and Lexus, with the additional versatility of a third seating row, a feature that'll also attract the attention of people who'd previously have had to settle for something Korean like a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Kia Sorento. You get extra off road prowess with a Discovery Sport too, though it's not quite a match for its German rivals if you want to throw your car around on-tarmac. Fortunately, most SUV buyers don't, prioritising instead the kind of supple highway ride and fast fluid responses this car is actually very good at delivering.
It all means that for once, the advertising tagline for this model works for the product it's supposed to promote. 'Above and beyond' was the objective in developing this car. In considering the end result, you'd have to say that mission's been accomplished.
Would you really want a three cylinder engine in a Land Rover Discovery Sport? In the case of this PHEV version, Jonathan Crouch rather thinks you might...
In chopping the top off this Evoque, Land Rover opened its best seller up not only to the sky but also to a widely divergent range of public opinions. Some were confused why anyone would want an SUV with a soft top, or a soft top based on a 4x4. Others simply loved the idea and found this car deeply desirable.
In summary, this is one of those cars you'll buy simply because you want it. Trendier folk who can't resist this Evoque will sign up for one because it's unique, different and will bring a whole new dimension to the off road adventures they'll almost certainly never take. It'll be a must-have fashionable accessory that'll perfect their lifestyle from Surbiton to the ski slopes. As for the rest of us, well, we might never have thought that Land Rover would ever produce a car like this. Secretly though, we think that most of you will be rather pleased that they did..
From princes to politicians, from rock gods to rock climbers, from footballers to farmers, the Range Rover has always appealed to a more diverse group of customers than any other car. As you'd expect it would. This is, after all, far more than just the world's finest luxury SUV, instead unchallenged as four vehicles within one - an everyday luxury saloon, a weekend leisure vehicle, a high-performance long distance private jet and a working cross-country conveyance.
Such perfection doesn't come without a price, in origin or in ownership. Or without compromise - in poorer handling for example against, say, a super saloon. And in tighter rear cabin space against, say, a luxury limousine. Perhaps that's why you've never considered one of these. And if so, consider this. Thanks to its revolutionary aluminium underpinnings, this fourth generation version is sharper to drive, ravishing in the rear and vastly more efficient and affordable to run. It is, in short, a very different proposition.
Drive it through a river, drive it to the opera: it's as happy either way, beautifully built, gorgeously finished and astonishingly quick. True, this car is never quite going to be all things to all people but it has perhaps moved as close to fulfilling that remit as any modern car is ever likely to get. Makes you proud to be British doesn't it.
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