Land Rover Range Rover Vogue 2010 Review
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Two words have defined the luxury SUV class for just over 40 years. Those words, Range Rover, have just been applied to the 2011 update of the iconic British off-roader with the usual promise of ultimate luxury.
The 2011 changes are focussed a new turbodiesel V8 engine and a new level of refinement and luxury. Paul Walker, chief program engineer at Range Rover, says the twenty-eleven model is the latest in a long line to deliver exactly what Range Rover customers want in an SUV.
"The 2011 model will deliver unparalleled luxury and comfort that our customers have told us they want. Not only is the Range Rover a luxurious SUV, it has to be the most capable SUV available as well," Walker says.
The price line will not be set until later in the year, but the flagship Range Rover Vogue should be up near the $200,000 mark when the first cars land in November. The 2011, a development of the third-generation Range Rover we first saw in 2002, has always been extremely well equipped and the new model will be no different.
While fans know all about the interior appointments available at this end of the spectrum, the big news surrounds the barnstorming new twin-turbo diesel V8 engine and its eight-speed automatic transmission.
Displacing 4.4-litres, the new V8 cranks out 230kW of power and 700Nm of torque which is then funnelled through the liquid-smooth eight-speeder to get the nearly 2800kg SUV moving like nothing of this weight and heft has any right to. The fuel figure is perhaps even more impressive than the outright power numbers with usage claimed to be a scant 10L/100km. That’s an 18 percent improvement over the outgoing 3.6-litre engine.
This biggest factor in the improvement in fuel consumption is the auto. Its shifting characteristic is incredibly smooth, fast and precise. It always seems to select the right gear for any given speed, reacts well both on road and off, and is scarcely even noticeable when shifting either at cruising speed or flat stick on the freeway. It’s been designed with low slip levels for better takeoff and power transfer, improved gearing across a variety of speeds, and its rotary-shift technology delivers an enhanced connection between driver and gearbox.
Walker says the new engine is a symbol of everything Range Rover. “There has been no compromise, no shortcuts which is exactly what our customers expect," he says.
FIT-OUT AND EQUIPMENT
Inside, the latest Vogue is everything you expect with an array of interior colours and options to ensure you feel as good as you should for the money you’ll be outlaying. The traditional automatic shifter has been replaced with a rotary dial that emerges from the console when you power the vehicle up. It's the same as the one employed on the latest Jaguars and works well once it becomes second nature.
Terrain response settings are now adjusted by rocker switches, as opposed to the dial previously used in the Vogue. Rear seat legroom has been enhanced, with passengers able to move the passenger front seat forward from the back to create as much legroom as they need. Rear seats are also fitted with airconditioning. It's almost more pleasant to be in the back seat than behind the wheel... almost.
The old engine never felt slow, but it does once you’ve driven the new 4.4-litre. The extra seamless urge delivered by the new engine is evident from the minute you depress the accelerator. Plant your right foot and the nose lifts slightly and the Range Rover rockets forward to the tune of a muscular engine note. The 100km/h mark is dispatched easily in only 7.8-seconds, and the Vogue will continue working its way to an indicated 220 without raising a sweat.
From the driver’s seat, the Vogue is incredibly quiet regardless of speed or road surface. It’s cosseted and comfortable inside and long freeway trips are completed with ridiculous ease. Take sweeping corners at speed and the Range Rover is never unsettled or shaken off its line no matter how nasty the mid-corner road surface.
There are no squeaks, rattles, or annoying noises from anywhere within the cabin as you’d expect for a vehicle of this calibre. In fact, continent crossing in this SUV might almost be too easy. And you can take the whole family with you in comfort as well.
What is most impressive is how efficient the Range Rover is at dealing with even the nastiest off-road terrain, particularly given how competent and composed it is on-road. Select the correct Terrain Response setting, engage low range, and simply point the Vogue where you want to go. It will clamber over rocky escarpments, channel through deep water, and climb the most powdery steep hills you would ever think to point its nose toward. All while the driver sits in climate controlled luxury. Hill-start assist and gradient descent control make off-road driving just about foolproof.
Put simply, no SUV is as luxurious and capable as the Range Rover Vogue. And that’s exactly how the honchos at Range Rover HQ want it to be. The Vogue will go anywhere you need it to take you. You’ll emerge unscathed and unruffled at the other end as well. Which is just as important as getting there when you’ve spent nearly 200 grand.
RANGE ROVER VOGUE
On sale: December 2010
Price: estimated from $170,000
Engines: 4.4-litre turbo diesel V8
Power: 230kW/3250-4000 revs
Torque: 700Nm/1500-3000 revs
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Range and Specs
|VOGUE 5.0 V8||5.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO||$37,950 – 44,660||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||$56,320 – 64,790||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||$51,260 – 58,960||2010 Land Rover Range Rover 2010 VOGUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY TDV8 Pricing and Specs|
|VOGUE LUXURY TdV8||3.6L, Diesel, 6 SP SEQ AUTO||$39,888 – 55,990||2010 Land Rover Range Rover 2010 VOGUE LUXURY TdV8 Pricing and Specs|