V8) is priced from $202,100, although the range kicks off at $160,500. That means the Vogue undercuts the likes of Jaguar’s XFR ($210,500) which carries the same engine, and the Mercedes-Benz CLS500 ($210,800). Yes, luxury cars— the Vogue is likely to be crossshopped with them.
The Vogue comes with heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated leather steering wheel, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, climate control, dual-view 12.3-inch LCD touchscreen/instrument panel (this is very cool as the driver can see the satnav while the passenger is watching a movie), a rear screen entertainment pack, full leather interior, and more. Much, much more.
That ruddy great V8 thumps out 375kW and 625Nm from 2500-5500rpm, and drinks down 14.9L/100km. That’s not exactly frugal, but not bad given how much oomph this thing has and the fact it weighs nearly three tonnes. All of the grunt is channelled through a super-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission so good you wonder what’s the point of dual-clutch autos.
You also get adaptive dynamics and air suspension, which constantly adjusts the ride to suit the surface, and the lauded Terrain Response— featuring general, grass/gravel/ snow, mud/ruts, sand, and rock crawl settings— which combines with a low-range transfer case to let the average driver to take the Range Rover just about anywhere.
The Vogue has a look that almost no other vehicle, and only stately homes and castles, can match.
For 2012, there are a few subtle but significant tweaks to the exterior ahead of an allnew Range Rover next year. The backing plates for the lights, front and rear, are finished in gloss black to stand out more, the door handles and side vents are body coloured and the new-for-2012 20-inch V-spoke alloys are sensational.
Inside, the Range Rover is more like a leather-swathed gentlemen’s club (the cigars and port variety). There’s loads of room front and rear and the driving position gives you the best all-around view of any vehicle on the road.
It gets only a four-star ANCAP crash safety rating despite the pile of active and passive safety systems. Standard are seven airbags— the side curtain airbags stay inflated for a little longer than usual for improved side-impact protection— along with full-time four-wheel drive, Terrain Response, allterrain ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction and stability controls, cornering brake control, electronic differential control, and trailer stability assist.
The first thing you notice is the commanding view of the road, thanks to big, deep windows; the second is the way the supercharged Vogue sounds and accumulates speed.
Bury your foot into the deep shag pile, and the Rangie unleashes 625Nm to get to the legal limit in 6.2 seconds. Thanks to air suspension and adaptive dynamics, the Vogue is as comfortable on a billiardtable smooth highway as it is on a rutted, rocky bush track.
Not a single other luxury rough-roader can match it for comfort on- or off-road.
That said, the steering is quite light but the action is consistent; there’s quite a bit of bodyroll on initial turn-in but this is a typical Range Rover trait. Once you let it lean and settle, it holds the chosen line, bound for the apex as if it’s on rails.
There really is nothing like a Range Rover.
It’s more comfortable than your loungeroom, more capable than a mountain goat and more luxurious than a rack of Armani suits.