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Land Rover Range Rover 2010 Review

Despite the arrival of new prestige rivals, the Rangie is still the ultimate off-roader.

MY first encounter with a Range Rover is seared into my memory.  Years ago in the wilds of North East Victoria, we took several brand new Range Rovers through inhospitable snow country, made worse by a late spring dump.  The scenic terrain became serious winch country in axle-deep mud and snow.

Wing mirrors were ripped off, our car's fine alloy panels were scratched and some dented and our patience with the conditions wore thin.  But the fully loaded Rangie I was driving just soldiered-on, including doing a tricky a hand-brake start on a treacherously steep and slippery slope to avoid disappearing sideways into a deep gully.

It was a struggle keeping the car upright and crawling through conditions even our hosts admitted were challenging.  The trek was far removed from the off-roader's usual day-to-day school run pounding the tarmac in Toorak or Double Bay.  That experience forged a deep respect that endures even today.

Despite the arrival of the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Rangie is still the ultimate off-roader.  The newcomers may have better utilised interior space but the Rangie has the looks and undisputed reputation. A proper full-size spare is reassuring.

Like a trusty Saint Bernard, you know it will get you through the worst blizzard and deepest snow. Inside the comfy cabin, heated leather seats and yes - a heated steering wheel - will cocoon you from the worst and deliver you to the ski resort in style.  If the luxury doesn't win you over, the electronic off-road gizmos will. Land Rover's high-tech "terrain response" system is one of them.

Flick a switch and you can select the conditions you're about to tackle, from mud and rock through to snow and ice. It also has a "sand launch control" to make it easier to get going in sand.

Next up are the five outside digital cameras that allow you to see if the car is about to come to grief on a rock or tree stump. It's useful in tight situations.
The car rides and handles beautifully. It's perhaps not as crisp as a Cayenne or X5 but it certainly is plush.

Considering its bulk, there is no wallowing in corners, thanks to the adaptive electronic air suspension, which can be raised to provide ground clearance of 283mm.  The latest supercharged 375kW/625Nm 5.0-litre V8 - shared with Jaguar - reinforces my admiration for the car's impeccable credentials, even if the Vogue Autobiography costs a stratospheric $229,500 and fuel economy isn't a strong point.  Just think of it as the automotive equivalent of Louis Vuitton hiking boots.

Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

VOGUE 5.0 V8 5.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $37,400 – 44,000 2010 Land Rover Range Rover 2010 VOGUE 5.0 V8 Pricing and Specs
VOGUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY SC 5.0 V8 5.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $55,550 – 63,910 2010 Land Rover Range Rover 2010 VOGUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY SC 5.0 V8 Pricing and Specs
VOGUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY TDV8 3.6L, Diesel, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $50,600 – 58,190 2010 Land Rover Range Rover 2010 VOGUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY TDV8 Pricing and Specs
VOGUE LUXURY TdV8 3.6L, Diesel, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $37,990 – 49,950 2010 Land Rover Range Rover 2010 VOGUE LUXURY TdV8 Pricing and Specs