If you’re at the Land Rover stand during public days for the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, try and steal a minute in the redesigned 2022 Range Rover with the doors shut. It’s nearly silent in there. Rob Filipovic, director of product for Jaguar Land Rover North America, told me it’s the quietest Land Rover model ever. I don’t dispute the claim, though we’ll have to drive one to get the full picture.
You’d expect that sort of noise insulation from an SUV that will start at a cool $105,350 (including destination). You’d also expect decadent cabin materials, and the Range Rover doesn’t disappoint: Laser-etched wood and stitched, soft-touch panels envelop both rows — and the top-notch stuff extends to the available third row, if you get it. That’s an area automakers pinch pennies in even with their luxury SUVs. Not in the Range Rover, which shows no obvious stretches of vinyl or hard plastics in the wayback.
Less impressive is third-row space, at least stacked up against that of a Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator. Filipovic said the third row “was designed so it can fit full-size humans,” and it’s “the largest third row we have.” That may be so, but headroom was snug for my 6-foot frame, and the low seating position left my knees a bit elevated. That’s unavoidable in most third rows, which are for the most part slammed to the floor, though the Navigator’s raised position stands out in that regard. If you plan to ferry adults back there with any regularity, Lincoln and Cadillac might have better offerings.
Back up front, I’m glad to see Land Rover swap out the dual 10-inch touchscreens for climate and multimedia controls; a larger display (13.1 inches) above a more intuitive panel of climate controls seems a better approach. Still, there’s no shortage of touch-sensitive keys, from various climate shortcuts to many of the steering-wheel controls. Our objections (and those of consumers) against automakers going whole-hog on capacitive-touch controls seem to be falling on deaf ears these days. Sigh.
I’ll end with some thoughts on styling. The Range Rover stays true to its recent heritage: upright and minimalist, with a blocky profile but few hard edges. Onlookers will have a tough time telling the front apart from the outgoing generation — the giveaway is the lower bumper opening, a rectangular shape in place of the old Range Rover’s upward-curving edges — but the rear’s new rectangular theme is a clear differentiator. It’s the first Land Rover to try that out, Filipovic confirmed. Darkened horizontal bars frame the taillights, which can go completely black when the SUV is off. The effect is for a broad, rectangular frame within the rear, or a completely black look if you opt for black paint and available dark-effect ornamentation. Either way, I dig it.