Homeon the Rangie

It’s a lux­ury suite on wheels but it’s got the econ­omy of a hatch­back

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

ride com­fort and spa­cious­ness put it above ex­ec­u­tive sedans and its per­for­mance smoth­ers many so-called sports cars.

Show it the dirt and it’ll plunge through where no nor­mal SUV would dare. It is, in fact, that rare thing— a car that is ev­ery­thing to all buy­ers.

VALUE

My wife wants a Ther­momix be­cause it’s one kitchen ap­pli­ance that does ev­ery­thing so we don’t have to buy five de­vices. The Range Rover falls in the same cat­e­gory.

Of course, like the Ther­momix, the price is five times the price of a sin­glepur­pose ap­pli­ance. So at $178,900 (plus $13,420 of op­tions), the 3.0-litre TDV6 Vogue isn’t cheap. The war­ranty is or­di­nary, the ser­vice costs are high-ish but fuel costs are low.

Hot features in­clude heated seats that mas­sage oc­cu­pants, huge sun­roof ($3080, a musthave op­tion), dual-view touch screen ($1300) and su­perb au­dio. Your neigh­bours will hate you.

DE­SIGN

This 2013 model softly re­flects the orig­i­nal Range Rover sil­hou­ette but does so with a big­ger, more ac­com­mo­dat­ing body. The styling is more sub­tle — note the neater grille, head­lights and tail-lights— while 21-inch al­loys ($3240) give power to the de­sign.

Cabin de­sign is beau­ti­ful. Lots of leather and wood, ex­cel­lent graph­ics and switchgear, su­perb seats and a wide field of driver vi­sion.

It’s also big in­side with gi­ant-size leg and head­room in the rear and an ex­panded cargo area that fits a moun­tain bike with­out re­mov­ing the wheels. The elec­tric tail­gate, elec­tric fold­ing rear seats and rear-seat con­trol panel add ic­ing to the cake.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The big news is the al­la­lu­minium body that shaves up to 400kg from the old model. The 190kW/600Nm turbo diesel may pale against the op­tional V8 diesel and Porsche’s tune­ful new 4.2-litre oiler but it’s the right choice for own­ers who don’t tow heavy gear. It’s mated to an eight­speed auto that goes through a con­stant all-wheel drive sys­tem. Un­like most ri­vals, it has a lowrange gear­box. The sus­pen­sion is air ad­justable, the steer­ing is elec­tric-as­sist, the Ter­rain Re­sponse elec­tron­i­cally di­als in set­tings for dif­fer­ent off-road con­di­tions and there’s even stop-start to save a bit of fuel. It is rated to tow 3500kg so it may suit a lot of hol­i­day haulers. Bril­liant.

SAFETY

It’s (only) a four-star crash-

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