The established British brand launched its first car 53 years ago and since then has updated and reworked the Range Rover only five times – a clear testament to the longevity of each iteration. Once the undisputed king of the English countryside, the Range Rover now has an international outlook and appeal.
This new Range Rover — the fifth generation — is arguably the most important yet. It sits firmly at the petrol-electric crossroads where the automotive industry currently finds itself. Traditionalists will enjoy the option to choose between a petrol or diesel engine, and those looking for maximum performance will have their desires met by the top-of-the-line 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8.
Range Rover also shows its hand for the future with all other engines being either MHEV (Mild Hybrids) or PHEV (Plug-in hybrids) and the promise of a fully electric model by 2024.
The Range Rover finds itself at home cruising around the Napa and Sonoma valleys / ©Jaguar Land Rover
No Place like Napa Valley
North America is now the largest market in the world for the Range Rover and driving around picture-perfect Northern California, it’s easy to see why. The Range Rover finds itself at home cruising around Napa and Sonoma — similar to rural England albeit with a touch more sunlight.
The brilliance of the Range Rover is its versatility, the crux of the brand that has made it so popular for over half a century.
Driving up a twisting tree-lined road on the way to a premium winery, the luxurious SUV stands shoulder to shoulder with any other vehicle you may come across. Take it off the beaten path and the Range Rover’s off-road heritage comes surging forward aided by more recent technological innovations.
The vehicle constantly scans the road ahead, feeding information to the fully independent electronic air suspension. Whether it’s lessening the impact of potholes or traversing the bumps and rocks of a dirt trail, it’s a smooth ride on even the most rugged terrain. All this occurs behind the scenes, without the driver having to lift a finger. It’s easy, extravagant, and effective — exactly as a Range Rover should be.
It’s this delicate balance between luxury and functionality in which the Range Rover shines and the new fifth generation is no exception. There is no other vehicle better suited to fording rivers (to a maximum depth of 900mm) on the way to a black-tie event. When crossing deep water the 3D Surround Camera utilizes sensors in the door mirrors to check the water depth, with all this information clearly shown on the bright 13-inch display.
The superb SV model pushes interior comfort and amenities to new limits / ©Jaguar Land Rover
Sit back and relax
While the Range Rover provides an exquisite experience from the driver’s seat, it’s equally as luxurious for anyone lucky enough to be a passenger. This is especially true for the superb SV model, which pushes interior comfort and amenities to new limits.
Once inside, the outside world practically melts away partly thanks to the noise-canceling headrest speakers. These help to cancel out wind, tire and engine noise, allowing you to enjoy the journey in peace and quiet. Executive class rear seats mean you can almost fully recline. The eight-inch rear-seat touchscreen controller allows passengers to totally control their space. Lighting to air-conditioning and even the fridge door, which mechanically slides open to reveal a space big enough for a bottle of champagne and two glasses.
The SV comes with numerous interior options, a particular highlight being the SV Intrepid theme, which comes in a sportier stealthy look with satin black ceramic controls and a black contrast roof. The exquisite and sustainable UltrafabricsTM leather-free seats also come as part of the Intrepid styling.
The future of the luxury SUV market is electric / ©Jaguar Land Rover
A bright future ahead
As countries begin to legislate future bans on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, the automotive industry continues to lean into electric. The UK, home to the Range Rover, will ban the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels by 2030. California — where we tested the new Range Rover — intends to do the same by 2035.
In response, you can buy each version of Range Rover from the smaller, more affordable Evoque to the commanding new Range Rover with either a MHEV or PHEV engine.
[See more: The Data That Proves the Electric Car Market is Exploding into Life]
MHEVs require no charging and use a small electric engine that is powered by reusing energy collected through regenerative braking and deceleration. This electric engine then works in tandem with the combustion engine to improve efficiency. PHEVs take it a step further and can be plugged in to fully charge the battery. This allows for pure electric commuting that generates zero emissions for short journeys or a mix of petrol and electric for significantly reduced emissions on longer journeys.
It’s clear that Range Rover is serious about its commitment to sustainability. The new Range Rover will also be the first all-electric Land Rover and is set to open the floodgates for the heritage brand’s electric transformation. This version is set to be released in 2024.
The new Range Rover 2022 has achieved what so many others have failed to do so: modernizing without losing its identity.
Prices for the Range Rover fifth generation 2022 start from $104,500 and can be pushed north of $190,000 for a personalized SV model.