First drive review: New Range Rover

First drive: New Range Rover
Forty two years on from the launch of the first Range Rover, there's an all-new version. AOL Cars UK headed to the desert to try it out.

What is it?

Oh come on, we don't need to tell you, do we? The Range Rover is arguably something of an icon, and this is the brand new fourth generation version. Now with an all-aluminium body - and redesigned 'terrain response' four-wheel-drive system - Land Rover say this is the most luxurious mountain-climber yet.
What's under the bonnet?

Along with the old Range Rover's 4.4-litre V8 diesel and 5.0-litre supercharged petrol, Land Rover has slotted in the 3.0-litre V6 diesel from the Jaguar XF. Thanks to the car's 420kg diet and various aerodynamic improvements, the 3.0-litre is perfectly capable of pulling the car along with ease – 0-60mph is dealt with in 7.4 seconds, and it'll smoothly accelerate all the way to 130mph. What's more, a figure of 37.7mpg combined is certainly nothing to be sniffed at for a car of this size!

New Range Rover

What's the kit like?

Sumptuous. All the usual Range Rover accoutrements are there – sat nav, electric seats and cameras at each corner of the car – along with a brand new 29-speaker, 1700w Meridian stereo system that's really rather good. Also new is a Maybach-like rear seating option called 'Executive Class' – bringing fully reclining, massaging chairs to VIPs in the back. The interior trim itself is beautiful, too – almost every surface is clad in either supple leather or surprisingly modern-looking wood veneer, and really does feel bang up to date.

Any rivals?

Not if you listen to Land Rover – they say the Range Rover is in a class of its own, merely having 'close rivals' from other sectors. As such, you'll be looking at anything from the Porsche Cayenne to even the Bentley Flying Spur – but no other car can really match the Range Rover's luxury-come-off-road-ability.

Range Rover
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First drive review: New Range Rover

Why it's here: it's probably the best car in the world
Price: from £71,295

The best just keeps getting better. 2012 may well have seen the glitziest Range Rover ever made, but it's definitely the poshest and the one which drives the most impressively. The new, lighter Range Rover is now a rival to the Bentley Mulsanne and can be tailored to just about any level. The majority of Range Rovers which will be sold in 2013 will be in excess of £110k!

Is it any good?

We drove it in Morocco – not a country renowned for its silky road surfaces – and the Range Rover was fantastic. It wafted us across even the most demanding road surfaces without complaint, and even took us a few thousand feet up into the Atlas mountains along a treacherous, rock-covered track. We did get a chance for a motorway cruise too, where it felt and sounded as refined as a limousine.

The AOL Cars verdict

The old Range Rover was a fantastic car, and its replacement somehow manages to be even better. The interior is beautiful, its road manners are superb, and with a staggering 900mm wading depth it's now even more capable off-road too. A worthy continuation of the legendary badge: We can't recommend it enough.

The knowledge
Model: Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography
Price: £93,145 (as tested)
Engine: 3.0-litre, V6 diesel
Power: 254bhp, 600Nm
Max speed: 130mph
0-60: 7.3s
MPG (comb'd): 37.7
Emissions: 196g/km
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