2013 Land Rover Range Rover Review – Video

Changing with the times, yet true to its rugged roots

2013 Land Rover Range Rover Review – Video
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More likely to be seen at the Starbucks drivethrough nearest a gated community, amid the Southwest’s other worldly backdrops of brown, orange and even red rock, it’s obvious that despite its pristine white paint job this is the Range Rover’s natural environment. 

FAST FACTS

1. Optional Terrain Response 2 includes a new Auto setting as well as five manual settings: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl.

2. A 5.0L V8 makes 375 hp, while the supercharged 5.0L will deliver 510 hp and a 0-60 time of just 5.1 seconds.

3. On average each model has shed 700 lbs of weight.

4. All models can tow up to 7,716 lbs.

5. At $83,545 to start, Supercharged models begin at $99,995 with Autobiography models at $130,995.

Over the course of several days spent traversing everything from sandy inclines to snowy declines somewhere on the border between Arizona and Utah, the 2013 Range Rover was almost too good, taking much of the adventure out of a what in almost any other vehicle would be impossible and impassible.

Driving through the desert and wondering at the region’s towering stone monuments in the morning; then traversing foot-deep snow in the afternoon, it doesn’t seem at all odd to stop and drink hot chocolate from the back of a Land Rover support vehicle in the wilderness as the flakes fall. Like all past generations of the Range Rover, this all-new fourth generation model combines ultimate capability with exceptional refinement.

ICONIC DESIGN INTACT

 

Notably restyled for 2013, the Range Rover has softer edges with a more swept back design. While the change in style can be a bit much at first, hallmark qualities like the grille and headlights (though with a new LED style) remain. It doesn’t take long before the new look is as familiar as the old.

Inside the updates are all about making the cabin clean and simple. In fact, there are now 50 percent fewer buttons and switches, thanks in part to a new 8-inch display screen with touch controls on the side that look like something off a smart phone and which disappear when off to leave a clean black panel. Perhaps most surprising is that Land Rover’s adoption of hi-tech features has come with no potholes; the system being incredibly intuitive.

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INTERIOR: SIMPLE YET HI-TECH

2013 Range Rover interior

The rest of interior is an oasis of luxury, and while wood veneers are available for traditionalists, a piano black trim adds to the modern touch, which is completed by a fully digital gauge display measuring 12.3-inches. Definitely cool, it can even showcase a special off-road display screen, though frustratingly, there’s no way to show a digital speed display.

As a popular machine for families or chauffeuring around celebrities, rear seat room was made a priority on the new truck. With a longer wheelbase, rear seat legroom is up 4.7-inches with an extra 2-inches of knee room. The door opening is now also larger, and to enable easy entry, a special Access mode will lower the SUV a total of two inches from its standard ride height.

2013 Range Rover rear seatsThose particularly interested in the rear-seat experience can opt for an Individual seating option with two chairs that offer not just heating and cooling functions, but power recline and massage. Heck, even the headrests fold in on the sides to keep you in place in case their soft-as-a-pillow padding puts you to sleep.

Customization is something Land Rover prides itself on and something its customers demand. There are a total of 37 exterior colors, 17 interior “themes” and eight different wheel sizes from 19 to 22-inches.  Those looking for options will find them in bulk, including a massive panoramic glass roof and a 29-speaker , 1700-watt audio system.

The safety conscious will appreciate blind spot monitoring, a reverse traffic detection system that can tell if a car is coming from the side. There’s also adaptive cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic and even an Intelligent Emergency Braking function that can apply the brakes automatically if a collision is deemed imminent, helping scrub off speed and lessen the accident.

LIGHTER, FASTER, MORE AGILE

2013 Range Rover silver rear

Driving the new Range Rover on-road is perhaps where its updates are most obvious. Yes it has new bodywork, but it’s also all-new underneath. The first SUV with a fully-aluminum structure, by switching to the lighter metal over steel, models have shed a dramatic 700 lbs.

2013 Range Rover profileIt’s now more nimble, more efficient and faster. Power continues to come from a choice of two engine options with the entry-level 5.0-liter V8 making 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a new 8-speed transmission fuel economy rises to 14/20 mpg, while the 0-60 time drops seven tenths of a second to 6.5 seconds.

As for the powerful Supercharged models, they get a blower mated to the same V8 to deliver 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy suffers slightly to 13/19 mpg, while 60 mph is nearly a second faster at just 5.1 seconds. Deceptively fast, we found out the hard way and made a generous donation to the Utah state coffers.

The drive itself is quiet, though wind noise isn’t entirely absent from the still-boxy shape. It’s also smooth thanks to a new air suspension system, while an optional Adaptive Dynamics feature uses hydraulically actuated detachable sway bars to reduce body roll during cornering.

HEIGHTENED CAPABILITY

2013 Range Rover white grille

Fully engaged on the road, the sway bars separate when you want to hit the trails for added wheel movement; though that is just the start of an incredible list of off-road features.

With 12-inches of ground clearance, not to mention improved approach and departure angles, hit the little “up” button on the center console and the air suspension will lift an extra three-inches. Press it again for 1.4-inches more, and in case the truck thinks it’s high-sided, it will automatically add another 1.4-inches. If it looked somewhat sleek before, when fully extended this luxury ute strikes an imposing pose.

Jacked-up, it’s time to engage the low-range gearing by popping the transmission dial into neutral and pressing the little mountain button. Drop it back into drive and it’s now time to make a decision, or… to leave the stressful stuff to the Land Rover engineers. That’s because of an optional Terrain Response 2 feature. From the company that pioneered the off-road dial with custom settings to tackle everything from driving in snow to sand to rock-crawling, this latest version now includes an “auto” setting, which takes the guesswork (and some would say the fun) out of the experience, meaning anyone can tackle the trails with confidence.

2013 Range Rover terrain response

My journalistic duty and general inquisitiveness led me to manually dial through each setting and despite being an off-roading newb I could easily distinguish the features of each, from added torque and limited traction control in the Sand setting, to higher revs in Snow and an incredibly jerky Rock Crawling mode designed for slow going and a very light touch.

All but the Sand mode will automatically engage hill descent control (slowing the big SUV without using the brakes) and you can even set your ideal rpm to increase or decrease the set speed, depending on how treacherous the terrain.

In all cases, we’re amazed at the grip, especially considering the rubber under-foot is the high-performance summer stuff, better suited to LA freeways than the unused Bureau of Land Management trails we’re on.

As though all this wasn’t enough, for 2013 there’s a new air intake system that can pull oxygen from near the hood, improving wading depth by eight-inches, meaning it can drive through three feet of water. Plus, a two speed off-road setting will allow higher speeds with an intermediate mode that offers 1.6-inches of extra clearance at speeds of up to 50 mph. Ideal for covering uneven ground at greater speed, it’s also a failsafe feature, ensuring that wheelspin moments don’t trigger the truck’s computer into thinking you’re on the highway, lowering the suspension and potentially grounding the SUV.

THE VERDICT

2013-Range-Rover-outdoors.jpg

After an early morning video shoot, with the moon still high in the sky and the sun rising in the east, starting to illuminate the brilliant red cliffs in the distance, we slide back into the supple cream leather seats and rejoin the sand, dirt and rock trail towards our obscenely opulent lodgings at the nearby Amangiri resort. Meshing the rugged with the regal, it’s a journey perfectly suited to the Range Rover, a vehicle that perhaps more than any other, has adapted to changing times while staying true to its rugged roots.

LOVE IT
  • Better on-road manners, performance
  • More off-road capable
  • High-level of personalization
  • Status symbol for a reason
LEAVE IT
  • Still don’t love new look as much as the old
  • Nav screen can be washed out in the sun
  • Digital dash doesn’t display digital speed

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  • Bootyluv

    But where do you keep the blow?

  • Jj

    Range Rovers always had tons of personality, but the new trend seem to progressively wipe it away… Newer RR’s fade more and more in the “aerodynamic” crowd. Sad. Will keep my current model for the moment (and maybe get another one with lower mileage)

  • Surfermsc123@yahoo.com

    What an absolute joke.

    “Changing with the times, yet true to its rugged roots”

    No it’s not. It’s turning into just another luxury SUV. If Land Rover was remaining true to its British African Safari roots (while changing with the times) you would see an evolution of the rugged exterior with a luxurious interior equaling or rivaling a Lexus or H2,

    For upwards of $100,000.00 MSRP the new Land Rovers don’t even come close. The futuristic windswept design has nothing to do with ruggedness. The marketing pitch proclaims: “Interior: Simple Yet High Tech”

    Simple? Sure. Is this was I get for upwards of $100,000.00? And what exactly do they mean by High Tech? The controls and options are the same as almost any other low priced car or SUV (for example, even a KIA) loaded with options.

    Yes. The large sunroof is a good touch. However here they want even more money for this? Considering the design failings why isn’t this just standard?

    I own a Discovery II. And in terms of a real Land Rover appeal I actually consider my DII superior to these new Land Rovers. Adding in the traditional high repair costs associated with Land Rover’s there is no way I would be interested in purchasing this. Not even for 1/2 price.  

    I will continue to hold onto my Land Rover until Land Rover starts to actually design and produce Land Rovers again…

  • JP0

    I’ll just have to keep on trucking in my 97 Defender 90 SW, 240,000 miles and still the best off road vehicle around.

  • Hvacgotoguy

    I don’t get it.  $100k?  Fire the designers and go back to practical, well engineered vehicles.

  • P38…

    Yep This is definitely for Kim Kardashian cos’ it’s not longer a 4×4.  Too many gizmos.  Where’s the gearshift ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    “What an absolute joke.
    “Changing with the times, yet true to its rugged roots”
    No it’s not. It’s turning into just another luxury SUV. If Land Rover was remaining true to its British African Safari roots (while changing with the times) you would see an evolution of the rugged exterior with a luxurious interior equaling or rivaling a Lexus or H2,”

    and you are a stupid bullshit joke! I’m biased with Land Rover since 2005

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    “Range Rovers always had tons of personality, but the new trend seem to progressively wipe it away… Newer RR’s fade more and more in the “aerodynamic” crowd. Sad. Will keep my current model for the moment (and maybe get another one with lower mileage)”

    AND YOU ARE A BULLSHIT!!!

  • PSH

    “NOT BRILLIANT” Very sad to see such a change.  700 pounds lighter will have a negative impact.  You don’t buy a RR for good gas milage.  If I wanted all the gizmos, I could have bought a less expensive SUV.  Glad I bought a 2011 because it probably is my last.  Change is good – boy, have I heard that before!!!

  • Jj

     what in my comment makes you think so?

  • Scooter Jones

    Kim K isn’t powerful. She’s the herpes commander. 

  • Fnord42

    So disappointed, not at all what I was looking for. I recently had to buy another low mileage Disco . What makes Rover think that Kim Kardashian should promote anything other than Afrocentric-venereal disease maintenance medications. Makes me question if those fancy captains chairs come with a case of Afro-centric Chlamydia what a Total turn off !

    To the Range: fluff for a spoiled twat and her pet (Kanyee, or some other toy mutt). Sadly disappointed again with Rover.

  • Mikedanisa

    I think this is the best LandRover ever created. The World is changing, LandRover has an all whole new set of followers as the X generation gets older. Comparing this SUV to the likes of the New GL and ML from Mercedes and molten lava shapes from Lexus and the and the likes, I think this shape stays in true form to conservative and classy. Performance is excellent and parked close to the outgoing model, the older model does look outdated,boxy and over weight….Out with the Old. This is my own personal opinion though…However I noticed a lot of people talking about the old and very Old Discos here,those vehicles are not in the same range or class,the LR4 is more like that and this car is a step above the LR4 and Range Rover Sport and I think most prospective buyers will have little time to read all these posts or would have ever owned an old Disco

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    “700 pounds lighter will have a negative impact.” and you are a bullshit