The Range Rover plug-in hybrid brings silent electric motoring to this iconic luxury car
At just under two litres, the fourcylinder petrol engine in the PHEV is the smallest ever fitted to a Range Rover. Don’t let that deceive you, though, because it’s paired with a powerful electric motor to give a total of 404PS.
This being a Range Rover, the power is fed to all four wheels, while the ground clearance and wading depth are identical to the petrol and diesel versions, which means that it’s still every bit as good off-road.
In electric only mode, the PHEV glides around in the sort of hushed refinement that not even the standard Range Rover can match. The electric motor’s plentiful torque also means that the performance feels quite brisk.
Put your foot down in the other modes and the combined shove from the petrol engine and the electric motor feels every bit as strong as the figures would suggest. By any normal standards it’s an impressively refined package too, although the four-cylinder engine can’t match the creaminess of its V6 and V8 counterparts.
As with any plug-in hybrid, the real-world fuel economy figures will depend heavily on how much time you can drive on electricity alone. Around town, it’s possible that you could get 80+mpg. Driven enthusiastically on country roads, however, our mpg was down to the low 20s. Another factor to bear in mind is that the extra weight of the PHEV has led to a slightly firmer suspension set up. It’s still a fantastically relaxed way to travel, but the ride is not quite as silky as that on the standard models.
Price: from £89,385 (standard wheelbase)
Engine: 1,997cc, 404PS, four-cylinder petrol plug-in hybrid with 8-speed automatic transmission
Performance: 0 to 62mph in 6.4 seconds; top speed 137mph
Electric range: 25 miles (claimed)
Fuel economy: up to 83.2 mpg (WLTP rating)
CO2 emissions: 77g/km
The PHEV is just like any other Range Rover inside, with the same sublime mixture of cutting edge technology and traditional craftsmanship. There’s acres of room in the standard model, but for the ultimate in limousine-like comfort you can even specify a long wheelbase version (starting at £115,960).
The next generation Range Rover is expected to come with a fullyelectric option when it arrives in 2022. For now, though, this is as close as you can get. Around town, the PHEV is perhaps the best Range Rover of all. Likewise, its low CO2 rating will be a significant benefit to company car drivers. Elsewhere, the standard petrol and diesel models are arguably even better.
CANDIA MCKORMACK joined Cotswold Life 17 years ago as designer and is now deputy editor. She lives with husband Tony, two children, a bearded dragon, and Bagheera the cat.
Once New York correspondent for The Times, ADAM EDWARDS is now based in the Cotswolds and writes for the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times.