Fourth generation Land Rover Range Rover – Still the SUV sovereign

Fourth generation Range Rover

Classic Range Rover design cues are visible on the fourth gen. SUV. These are the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof, and the graphic of the side fender vents.

Pedigree means everything at the top end of the sport-utility market, and no luxury SUV has more of that than the Land Rover Range Rover. The Land Rover nameplate dates to 1948, when the Rover Group began developing bare-boned 4×4 with extraordinary off-road capability. The Range Rover emerged from this off-road tradition in 1970. It is regarded as the first Land Rover civil enough to be driven by a person in a business suit. The first Range Rover, in particular, was a two-door stylish, yet quite primitive SUV by today’s standards. However, it was immediately became popular among wealthy individuals and consumers with a taste for the safari aesthetic.

The current fourth generation Range Rover, which was launched in 2013, is now regarded as the most refined, and capable SUV. The fourth generation Range Rover is developed from ground up to provide the world with the ultimate luxury SUV. Its internal DNA still carries the innovative spirit of the original design from over 40 years ago. The fourth gen Range Rover is the world’s first SUV to feature an advanced all-aluminium body structure. At just under 5m long, the new model has a very similar footprint to the model it replaced. However, it has a smoother and aerodynamic shape.

Contemporary looks

Classic Range Rover design cues are visible on the fourth gen. SUV. These are the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof, and the graphic of the side fender vents.  With its deep, imposing grille and distinctive headlamp graphics, the front-end has the powerful Range Rover character. However, the rearward sloping grille, the more sculpted corners, along with the A-pillar angle, give the Range Rover a streamline look. The side fender vent is located on the surface of the front doors.

Lower down the door structure, distinctive accent graphics sweep around the body and flow into the rear of the SUV. The bold look of the floating roof is combined with a premium gloss black finish to the pillars. The front lamps, with LED light blade technology, give the Range Rover its trademark interlocking circles. The main beam units have technical graphics that resemble a high performance camera lens. At the rear, the lamps have a strikingly design that features LED technology. The main tail and stop lamps have a bold square pattern. The direction indicators use an interpretation of the ‘triple line,’ visible on the outgoing model.

Fourth generation Range Rover
Fourth generation Range Rover center console

Responsive performance

The fourth gen. Range Rover is available with an ultra-efficient 254 hp (190 kW) 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel delivers effortless performance combined with unprecedented fuel economy. With 600 Nm of torque, both variants deliver outstanding performance along with exceptional efficiency. The SDV6 model hits 0-100kph in just 7.4 seconds. A stop/start feature further improves its efficiency. The TDV6 needs 7.2-litres/100 km. The magnificent SDV8 diesel power plant, engineered exclusively for the Range Rover, is now available as well. The 4.4-litre V8 power unit develops 250 kW (335 hp) and a staggering 700 Nm of torque. The SDV8 delivers completely effortless performance, surging from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds, a full 1.0-second faster than the outgoing model. The powerful 380 kW (510 hp) 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine retains its place at the performance pinnacle of the Range Rover line-up. The engine has been excessively tuned to accelerate the SUV from 0 to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds. For the first time ever the engine is fitted with a stop start system. All engines are paired with the advanced electronically controlled ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic gearbox. The automatic transmission is excessively tuned to offer smooth shifting and rapid response.

Dynamic ride

The fourth gen. Range Rover rides on a state-of-the-art lightweight suspension architecture. The lightweight suspension delivers class-leading wheel travel, providing exceptional wheel articulation and composure to deal with the toughest conditions. Outstanding traction and dynamic stability is provided by the proven Range Rover full-time intelligent 4WD system, with a two-speed transfer box, working in parallel with the sophisticated electronic traction control systems. Wading depth is an impressive 900mm. The sophisticated Terrain Response 2 system is fitted in the Range Rover as standard.

Fourth generation Range Rover
The interior of the fourth generation Range Rover

            The Terrain Response 2 features an Auto setting, which uses sophisticated ‘intelligent’ systems to analyse the current driving conditions, and automatically select the most suitable terrain program. The system is able to switch completely automatically between the five settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl.  The modes ensure that the vehicle is always driving using the optimum mode.  To complement the Terrain Response system, the fourth gen. Range Rover can also call upon a unique suite of all-terrain technologies to help maximise performance and safety, including Hill Descent Control (HDC), Gradient Release Control (GRC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), and Roll Stability Control (RSC).

Optimized safety

            Comprehensive safety features such as air bags and restraint systems further improve occupant safety. There are driver and passenger airbags, side curtain and thorax airbags (including the largest curtain airbag in current production), and active front seat belts which are linked to the vehicle’s emergency braking functions. The Bosch 6-piston brake modulator delivers faster responses and smoother operation.

Refined interior

            The fourth gen. Range Rover offers an appealing and luxurious interior for all occupants to enjoy. The SUV legroom gives occupants over one meter of stretching room, while knee room now matches best in class. The slightly lower rear seating position, along with a larger door aperture, significantly improved the ease of entry and exit. Rear comfort is enhanced by the availability of rear seats with either manual or power recline. Mounted high on the centre console is a large 8-inch touchscreen display with the signature Range Rover control interface. This provides the primary control and display system for a wide range of infotainment features.

Fourth generation Range Rover
Fourth generation Range Rover center console

‘Secret until lit’ hard keys on either side of the display provide short-cuts to the most commonly used screens, such as Home, Audio/Video, Nav and Phone. The 12.3-inch display for the main instrument panel is able to adapt their content according to the driving situation.

Fourth generation Range Rover
The interior of the fourth generation Range Rover

            Together with the improved second row climate control system with up to eight vents providing airflow to occupants, setting behind the driver’s seat has never been so comfortable. Top of the line Range Rover has 14-way power adjustable front seats with adjustable bolsters and winged headrests. Rear seats have adjustable recline and climate control. The seats can split either 60/40 or 40/20/40. The fourth gen. Range Rover comes with a spacious 909-litre boot. Fold the rear seats in the normal version and the boot size increases to a massive 2,360-litre. The luggage compartment is accessed via the power operated twin split tailgate. The lower part of the tailgate is powered as well. It allows for easier loading of goods and acts as a perch during social events. A full-size sliding panoramic glass roof creates a sensation of space and light for all occupants. Three levels of branded Meridian sound system are available. The most powerful system on offer is the stunning 1700W Signature Reference system. This adorns the interior with 23 speakers, including a subwoofer, to offer the ultimate surround sound experience. Hands free, Bluetooth streaming, USB connectivity and rear screen entertainment are available as well.

Verdict

            The fourth gen.  Land Rover Range Rover still carries considerable prestige visible on its predecessors. From an off-road perspective, it is one of the most capable SUVs available at any price. From a luxury perspective, it is probably the most elegant and distinctive utility vehicle on the market. Its traditional high pricing keeps all but the very rich from buying a fourth gen. Range Rover, a fact that only adds to the appeal of this elite 4×4. Land Rover is already working on a updated version of the Range Rover for 2018. Inchcape Kenya is the place to visit for all maters Land Rover. The firm’s showroom is located along Delta Towers in Westlands, Nairobi Kenya.  

Ratings 

Value: 4         

Presence: 5     

Interior: 5

Styling: 5       

Equipment: 4

Overall: 5

Quote: With its deep, imposing grille and distinctive headlamp graphics, the front-end retains the powerful Range Rover character.

What we like    

  • Striking design
  • Spacious interior
  • Off-road prowess

What we dislike

  • Some options are expensive
  • Thirsty engines
  • Expensive to service

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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