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2019 Land Rover Range Rover Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.6

The 2019 Land Rover Range Rover offers an array of engines that includes V6 and V8 options, a diesel, and even a plug-in hybrid. All are powerful, and most get better fuel economy than class rivals. With a Land Rover, you probably expect world-class off-road performance, and the Range Rover delivers just that, but it provides a serene ride and good on-road handling as well.

  • "Perched up in its driver's seat, you feel like there's nothing the 2018 Range Rover can't handle, nothing it can't get you through, from a zombie apocalypse to preschoolers, blizzards and that holiday trip to grandma's. Oh, grandma lives in the jungles of Borneo? No problem. The Range Rover feels solid, like a tank, and it weighs two and half tons, but our Supercharged model was refined, light on its feet, easy to maneuver and fun to hustle through traffic." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The Range Rover HSE delivers exactly what you'd expect – a quiet and mostly soft ride in a handsome but conservative package that offers ample passenger and cargo space. We tested the torquey and smooth diesel engine, but the supercharged V8 is great, too." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Nobody needs this Rover, but I applaud Land Rover for building it. Effortlessly traveling any kind of road – or off-road, come to think of it – is a requirement for some, and this car does it better than most." -- Autoweek (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The Range Rover comes standard with a 340-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Though many rivals come with V8s, this V6 moves the Range Rover easily and never feels weak in any driving situation.

A 380-horsepower version of the base engine is available, as is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that produces 254 horsepower. Both engines feel strong, and even the diesel provides decent acceleration, thanks to its 443 pound-feet of torque.

You can also opt for one of two high-performance engines: supercharged 5.0-liter V8s that put out 518 and 557 horsepower, depending on trim. These engines have enough juice to make the Range Rover feel fast, and they deliver the best acceleration of any engine in the lineup.

2019 also sees a new powertrain option join the Range Rover lineup: a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The P400e powertrain is Land Rover's first plug-in hybrid offering, and it comprises a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 398 horsepower. It moves the Range Rover quickly, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds, according to Land Rover. It also seamlessly transitions from electric to gasoline power.

Land Rover projects that the PHEV Range Rover will offer 31 miles of all-electric range. You can activate a Save mode that will conserve electric motor usage for congested city driving. There's also a setting (dubbed Predictive Energy Optimization) that will work with the navigation system to analyze traffic patterns and time recharging for optimum efficiency. In a normal home outlet, the P400e can get a full charge in 14 hours, but a 220V outlet can drop that time to just two hours and 45 minutes (per Land Rover estimates).

According to Land Rover, the Range Rover gets 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway with its base engine. Those are some of the highest ratings in the class, but the Range Rover has a slight advantage because not every competitor offers a V6 engine; most have V8s. With a V8, this Land Rover still gets above-average ratings, earning 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

The diesel currently gets the best ratings in the lineup, earning an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway. Fuel economy estimates for the PHEV are not currently available.

  • "Although it's a hybrid, it still has a Sport mode, which engages the electric motor all the time to help deliver maximum performance and allows full manual control of the eight-speed automatic via paddles mounted on the steering wheel. No matter which way you drive it, however, the P400e feels quicker, more responsive, and more refined on the road than the V-6-powered gas or diesel Range Rovers." -- Motor Trend
  • "Some may scoff at the thought of a mere six cylinders in a big SUV like the Range Rover, but no one on our crew complained about a lack of go. This engine is a peach, aided by the weight loss from the car's all-aluminum diet. The gas V6 just pulls and pulls." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Power is never a problem and there's always more in reserve. The big burly V8 sounds like it was plucked from a muscle car, the automatic transmission is smooth and responsive, and the standard all-wheel-drive system provides incredible grip on all surfaces. The Range Rover's long-travel air suspension is softly sprung and compliant, and it's extremely quiet and comfortable out on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

In some large SUVs, you feel like you're driving a tank, but not with this Land Rover. It delivers an incredibly supple ride even over rough roads, and it's easy to maneuver in tight spaces. While it's no sports car, the Range Rover also feels pretty agile on winding roads. Throw in the sturdy brakes, and you've got yourself a big SUV that's easy to drive.

  • "The Range Rover delivers exactly what you'd expect – a quiet and mostly soft ride in a handsome but conservative package that offers ample passenger and cargo space. A tight turning radius makes it easy to park. It doesn't like to be hustled quickly through turns, though." -- Edmunds
  • "Whether you're making time in the fast lane or gliding across sand dunes in the desert, the Range Rover remains calm, cool and collected. The standard air suspension keeps the ride smooth on just about any surface, while a variety of electronic aids keep you on course in corners." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "It's agile, and its light steering and tight turning circle make it easy to park." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Off-Roading

Though it looks and feels like a luxury vehicle, the Range Rover still has the outstanding off-road capability that Land Rover built its name on. This big SUV can handle anything you can throw at it, and most rivals can't touch its off-road ability.

All models feature a height-adjustable air suspension, a full-time four-wheel-drive system, a two-speed transfer case that provides high- and low-range gearing, and Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which allows drivers to choose a driving mode for different types of terrain, including mud and ruts, snow, and sand. A locking rear differential and Terrain Response 2 – which automatically selects the driving mode – are available.

  • "Offering power, performance and luxury in a vehicle more off-road capable than anything else in its class, the Range Rover can take you places a Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator or Audi Q7 wouldn't dare tread." -- Autotrader
  • "The Range Rover has always been a champ off-road. Even though the current one emphasizes comfort and refinement, it melds off-road ability quite well. With the electronic Terrain Response system you can dial any of several programs, ranging from gravel to boulder climbing. The system suggests engaging low range when appropriate and determines which differentials to lock. The suspension can raise the body several inches to better clear tough terrain. The Range climbed out rock hill with ease and all the while remained comfortable." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "No matter what else there is about the Range Rover, do not doubt its extraordinary capabilities; it's the deserved legend upon which the brand stands. The air suspension rises and settles appropriate to conditions, it clambers over rocks and wades through creeks, its capabilities make champions of us all." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
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