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Land Rover Range Rover 2008 Review

The Range Rover is the 911 of the 4WD set.

And yes, there’s acknowledgement of the global necessity for smaller, greener vehicles. But despite all that, Land Rover’s top of the line Range Rover Vogue Autobiography is still a very, very desirable vehicle.

Powertrain

The Autobiography we drove is powered by a supercharged 4.2 litre V8 that outputs 291kW at 5750rpm and a whopping 550Nm of torque that gives it the ability to tow 3500kg. A six-speed automatic transmission with Commandshift gets power to the wheels.

Each Range Rover model is fitted with a new electronic centre ‘e’ differential to ensure every bit is used to full potential. There is also a terrain response system that adjusts traction settings for optimum performance over varying surfaces.

Exterior

You don’t have to look twice to know it’s a Range Rover. The three-bar platinum mesh grille, huge 20 inch wheels and clamshell bonnet give this ample 4WD an unrivalled presence on the street. Even Hummers are envious.

Side power vents, a climate controlled windscreen, bi-xenon headlights and a split tailgate add to the luxury that sets the Rangie apart.

Interior

Land Rover have put a lot of work into getting the interior and riving position as comfortable and practical as possible.

The quality of the workmanship is obvious from the quality leather seats to the wood trim and heated steering wheel, but just as important are the aspects that don’t initially spring to mind like the low relative waistline, slim pillars and excellent visibility.

The heated and cooled seats have an electronic memory and the laminated windscreen and improved bonnet steering promise a quieter ride.

A 710-watt Harmon Kardon sound system, Bluetooth wireless communication and a touch screen control make life a little simpler on longer journeys.

Safety

On top of a substantial airbag package the supercharged Autobiography comes with ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Control, Active headrests, double locked doors and a monocoque body with integrated chassis construction that improves ride and steering feel.

Pricing

The Range Rover starts at $153,400 for the TDV8 and tops out with the supercharged Autobiography(as tested) at $212,700


Driving

The Range Rover is the 911 of the 4WD set. Both have been around for decades and have been refined to the point they are standards setters.

Over the years they have not lost their design ethos or driver experience and they share the same desirability factors of performance, prestige and quality. In many cases they also share the same owners, although brand loyalty in some cases now dictates that 911 owners buy Cayennes. Not a smart decision in this reviewer’s opinion.

There is no doubt the Range Rover has presence. It's imposing in the way a Rolls is in that it visually demands your attention. It also demands your attention when parking it in a city car park. You need to get used to watching sprinkler valves and height warning chains flash past the glass sun roof within a centimeter of needing a touch up paint. You will also need to get used to proximity warning buzzers going off - a Range Rover is a tall, wide and long vehicle.

Even with these aural and visual anxiety factors, driving a Range Rover is a joy to behold. The ergonomic design, quality and visual appeal of the interior makes it a place you want to be. The near infinite adjustment of the seats and steering wheel allow for an ideal driving position.

Performance can't be faulted. The supercharged V8 would leave quite a number of performance cars in its wake, and the same can be said for handling. It also makes low speed city traffic driving tolerable - as long as your parking space is not less than standard width or height.

Overall this is an impressive vehicle in every sense. Would I buy one? No way. I hate 4WD’s even when they are this good. It is a bit tempting though.

Verdict: 8.5/10

 

Pricing Guides

$36,685
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$23,650
Highest Price
$49,720

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
VOGUE LUXURY TdV8 3.6L, Diesel, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $28,490 – 34,320 2008 Land Rover Range Rover 2008 VOGUE LUXURY TdV8 Pricing and Specs
VOGUE TdV8 3.6L, Diesel, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $25,740 – 31,790 2008 Land Rover Range Rover 2008 VOGUE TdV8 Pricing and Specs
VOGUE V8 S/C 4.2L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $39,600 – 46,640 2008 Land Rover Range Rover 2008 VOGUE V8 S/C Pricing and Specs