Beauty and the Beast all wrapped into one
The new Range Rover sets a new benchmark as the pinnacle of luxury sport utilities
In a year where all the focus is on the new Sport Supercharged, the regular Range Rover makes a fantastic statement that size does matter. The 2014 Range Rover Supercharged combines the ultimate in utility, speed, size and luxury.
Powered by the same aluminum block 5.0L V8 Supercharged as in the 2013 model, it still puts out 510 horsepower, 461 lb-ft of torque, and 0-60 mph is achieved in only 5.1 seconds. It’s a stunning number considering this SUV weighs in at over 5,000 lbs. When seeing the Range Rover in motion, it’s akin to a sumo wrestler winning a 100-metre dash. It’s that memorable as it jaunts it’s way to 250 kph when paired with the 22-inch optional wheels.
Despite the beast of the engine under the hood and the aggressive styling, the Range Rover is just pure beauty on the inside. Lush carpets, high-end interior appointments and attention to detail are quite evident within seconds of getting into the driver’s seat. The steering wheel matches the wood trim. My tester featured the Grand Black Lacquer, a fitting touch for the ebony black interior.
When opening the doors at night, the Range Rover mixes the bright LED-based lighting with a clean and tasteful mood backlight on the centre console. The default green just happens to match the green in the Land Rover corporate logo but it isn’t in your face like the ambient lighting in the Ford Mustang. Like the Mustang though, it is configurable.
The headlights are quite stylish, taking a design cue from Tron itself. They provide ample road coverage and have auto-sensing high beams that will cover over two stories of height and approximately 9 car lengths on the road clearly.
The seats in the Range Rover are appropriately comfortable with every seat enjoying heated and ventilated options; a first I’ve come across. The front two captain chairs are also set to enjoy a massage option with adjustable force and an icebox in the center console to keep beverages cool. The headrests are quilted and winged so they can be pulled to form a 180-degree basket around your head. It’s so comfortable it’s like being wrapped in awesomeness.
When combined with the prestige of the drive, one can’t help but feel right at home. The torque band is smooth, assisted by the 8-speed automatic transmission, paired with both the dial for a gearshift as well as the option of using paddle shifters. The transmission performs superbly with the selection of the right gears to maintain the Range Rover’s powerband. The Sport setting on the transmission dial doesn’t seem to help firm up the suspension but rather just focuses on more aggressive gear selection, maintaining a higher RPM standing. The Range Rover’s adjustable air suspension works through the use of the main engine and not a separate air compressor.
Unlike many SUVs of this size, the Range Rover doesn’t try to cram seven passengers in the cabin area, instead allowing for a generous amount of cargo space that allows a full-size spare tire to be present in the trunk.
An aluminum unibody has been implemented for the Range Rover as of 2013, which allowed Land Rover to trim over 700 lbs from the previous generation. When combined with the new Eco engine start/stop function in this model, this lightened Range Rover managed 11.8L/100KM, which is over 3L/100km better than last year’s (much smaller) Sport Supercharged. A vast improvement and surprisingly economical.
It’s easy, however, to not hear the throaty engine when the Meridian audio system is in full force. The 825-watt system has eighteen speakers, plus a dual channel subwoofer. The front two passengers will be amazed but the focus is lost in the rear seats, with an ever-so-slight degradation in quality despite possessing four distinct audio modes. Stereo, Meridian, Dolby Pro Logic and DTS are all optional with the best musical acoustics coming from the Meridian processing.
Technology isn’t just limited to the stereo, despite the 8-inch full touch screen with touch-sensitive shortcut keys on either side of the screen. The gauge cluster itself is a 12.3-inch screen that adjusts to display all critical information of the vehicle and is user selectable as well. The rear LCD screens will also update the passengers in the back with an estimated time to destination when is one is set in the navigation system, eliminating the dreaded question: “Are we there yet?”
When coming to a full stop and parking this Range Rover, all the driver now needs to do is select “Park” and remove his or her seatbelt for the vehicle to shut off, taking convenience to a whole new level. At $128,845 as-tested, the 2014 Range Rover Supercharged isn’t cheap by any means but there is not a single aspect of this sports utility vehicle that Land Rover cheaped out on. It’s that good and right now is the pinnacle of sports utility.
2014 Range Rover Supercharged Gallery