By Cars.com EditorsApril 23, 2013
About the video
The Land Rover Range Rover is a commanding SUV that's been significantly reworked for 2013. Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley says the styling is still distinctly Land Rover, but the bigger changes are what you can't see.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com, and this is the all new Range Rover Luxury SUV.
It's been redesigned for the 2013 model year and features a new all aluminum platform to save fuel, but it still features a kind of quiet refinement and luxury we've come to expect from Land Rover's flagship model. It might be all new but it feels like the Range Rover we already know. (upbeat music) One of the things that's immediately familiar about the new Range Rover is its styling, because it retains the classic proportions of the outgoing model. Now, there are some changes that have been made and they've been made to improve their aerodynamics, and you can see it upfront with this raked grill. There's also new headlight design and new taillight design in the back, but overall the styling is still really distinctly Land Rover, and you don't have to see the badge on this vehicle to know what it is. (upbeat music) The bigger changes with the Range Rover are those that you can't see because it has an all new aluminum unibody structure that has considerable weight savings. Land Rover says this model weighs about 700 pounds less than the outgoing version, and in an era when engineers are really content to save 10 pounds here, 20 pounds there, this is really a huge drop in weight for this model. (upbeat music) Despite the big drop in weight, the Range Rover isn't what you'd call a light vehicle. This supercharged version still weighs about two and a half tons, but with a 510 horsepower V8 engine under the hood, Land Rover says it can go from zero to 60 in just 5.1 seconds, which is incredibly quick for an SUV this size. You'd think that with the considerable weight savings fuel economy would have a considerable bump too, but it's not really the case here. It's only up one to two miles per gallon, depending on the trim level with the most efficient version rated at 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway. Now, there are more fuel economy gains expected for the next model year, 2014, with the launch of a supercharged V6 and auto stop/start technology. (upbeat music) As expected of an SUV that starts at more than $80,000, the cabin is very luxurious and it's trimmed in authentic materials like aluminum, wood and leather. There's also a greater focus on technology in this all new Range Rover, because in addition to the center mounted touchscreen there's also a 12.3 inch screen that serves as your instrument panel, replacing conventional analog gauges. (upbeat music) One thing I think a lot of people are going to like in this car is the commanding forward views, there's really great forward visibility. There's also these signature Land Rover armrests that offer nice adjustability, you don't see them in all types of vehicles. One thing that's a little annoying though, is the heated windshield in this car. There's actually metal filaments built into the windshield, and when you're driving at night approaching a traffic signal, the light source kind of starbursts. It makes you think something is wrong with your eyes. (upbeat music) Like the front bucket seats the backseats have comfortable but firm cushioning, and there's actually pretty good here for adult passengers. Leg room is adequate even if you're taller, I'm about six feet tall and the back rest is adjustable to, you have a couple angles you can put it at. The Range Rover is one of the few SUV's on the market that uses a split tailgate design with a upper section and this foldout lower section, there's 32.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and when you fold the second row it more than doubles to 71.7. There's actually a decent sized area underneath the cargo floor, but it's taken up by a full sized spare tire, which is a good thing to have if you're going to be off-roading, which this vehicle is capable of. The Range Rover's all aluminum construction is a big deal and it's something we can see competitors try and emulate in the coming years. It's not that luxury customers are necessarily demanding lighter vehicles, but it's that government regulations are forcing automakers to get the weight out. Regardless, the Range Rover remains a very comfortable, very capable luxury SUV. (car engine rumbling) (screeching tires) (car engine rumbling)