Land Rover has updated the engine range for its flagship Range Rover SUV with mild hybrid technology, alongside a range of special editions to bolster the ageing model’s appeal against a raft of new rivals.
The new 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engines incorporate 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, helping to make them more efficient than the V8 diesel engine they replace. A 3.0-litre D300 diesel unit kicks off the range, which produces 300hp and claims a combined cycle fuel economy result of up to 33mpg while emitting 225g/km of CO2.
A more powerful 350hp version is also available (unsurprisingly called the D350), which should achieve up to 30mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 241g/km of CO2. Both represent considerably lower running costs over the previous turbocharged V8 diesel, while emissions are reduced by 13%.
Two special editions – Westminster and SVAutobiography Dynamic Black – join the Range Rover line-up as it heads towards imminent replacement, with an all-new model due to be unveiled in 2021.
The Westminster, based on the existing entry-level Vogue specification, receives privacy glass and 21-inch diamond-turned alloy wheels. Inside, there’s black veneer trim with a sliding panoramic sunroof and ‘soft close’ doors. There’s also a Westminster Black edition, which replaces all your exterior chrome trim with gloss black and offers some different wheels.
The SVAutobiography Dynamic Black is based on the existing SVAutobiography Dynamic specification, and as the name suggests, it basically involves blacking out pretty much everything. Presumably this will save drug dealers the hassle of having to use aftermarket suppliers to pimp their ride, so they can hit the local alleyways as soon as they leave the dealership.
It gets metallic black paintwork with gloss black exterior accents instead of chrome, as well as 22-inch gloss black wheels and blacked-out privacy glass. The brake calipers are also painted gloss black and the interior is only available in pink with purple polka dots. No, just kidding – it’s all black leather in there as well.
The entire Range Rover line-up also gains the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration systems, bolstering the level of smartphone connectivity available on the £80K SUV to finally match that provided on a £10K Kia.
Spate of value-added models signal run-out time
Thre limited-edition models in the last month means it’s end-of-line time for the current Range Rover, which has been on sale since 2012. An all-new model is due to be released next year, which can’t come too soon for Land Rover as rivals line up to compete with its flagship.
The Range Rover has always received strong reviews from the UK motoring media, and even after eight years on sale it still holds an Expert Rating of 82% on The Car Expert’s unique Expert Rating scale based on 19 different UK reviews.
If reviews were only judged on driving dynamics and comfort, that score would probably be even higher. But the Range Rover (along with most Land Rover models) is dogged by an abysmal reliability record that drags its score down. At least, when it inevitably breaks down, you can relax in comfort on the side of the road while waiting for the AA to show up.
Additional reporting by Jack Evans