TOP OF THE LIST LUXURY OFF ROAD SUV
My connection with all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles go back a long way and there was a time I would have never considered one as my main vehicle. But today’s technology has made the AWD or SUV a vehicle worth considering as your principle driver. One of the best of the group on the luxury end is the Range Rover. My test vehicle was the LR4 HSE Luxury, and as far as I am concerned, one of the nicest driving of the group.
The reason I enjoy driving the LR4 is the way it handles in on or off road situations. For most of us, driving off road is a rare, so getting about around town and control on the highway are our biggest concerns. The LR4 is not a small vehicle but it seems like one, so zipping in and round traffic is a lot of fun, like a sports car on steroids. The steering was light and agile and even when turning quickly, the body barely leaned, which is something you’d expect from a vehicle of this stature. Making all this good handling is a 4-wheel independent suspension with front and rear sway bars to keep the vehicle level.
Powering the LR4 is a 3L. super charged double overhead cam V6 engine producing a powerful but smooth 340hp. and good bottom end grunt with 332lbs. ft. torque which really aids the LR4 pulling itself up steep roads. To keep fuel consumption low and providing good power at the right time to the wheels is an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is a smooth shifting unit unlike some bigger vehicles. One interesting feature for those dealing with a hilly environment is the hill-holder feature. This is very useful on manual vehicles but it works well on an automatic as well especially if you are towing. Speaking of towing, the LR4 will tow up to 3500lbs. (1700kg).
Our test vehicle had the optional 20in. wheels in black and with the Fuji White (bright white) body colour. At first I didn’t think I would like it, but I have to say it did grow on me. Even with those bigger wheels equipped with snow tires, getting around in bad weather was easy. To be honest it was fun tripping about in the heavy snow conditions I had during the test period.
Upon first glance seating doesn’t look that comfortable, but once sitting inside, you will find the seats are excellent. Everyone who sat in the test vehicle commented on the comfort. Our vehicle had the seven seat feature (standard on this model). Besides the two front seats, one can seat three abreast in the second row and two in the back row. For more comfort, I would just put two in the second row and children in the third row or adults for short rides only. As this is a taller vehicle, keep in mind getting in and out for those who are mobility challenged might be an issue.
Once inside, the driver will find all the controls easy to find and use. The centre console houses all the environmental controls as well as the sound system and GPS. All the controls are well marked and easy to use. One other feature of the LR4 is the good view you have when sitting in the front seat, this proves to be good in traffic and off road if you are adventurous.
As much as I liked the LR4, I had one little gripe, which was the heating. In severe cold like minus 12 to 15 degree Celsius I encountered, it took longer than usual to warm up the interior. The excellent seat heaters really compensated for the time it took for the cabin to get comfortable.
If you don’t experience the extremes in temperature, this should not stop you from considering a LR4 HSE Luxury for your primary vehicle. The time I spent in this SUV was a lot of fun and if I were in the market for this type of vehicle it would be on the top of my list.
Price: $72,990 as tested $86,665
Engine: 3L double overhead Cam V6
Power: 340Hp. @ 6500rpm
Torque: 332lbs.ft. @ 3500rpm
Fuel Consumption: 16.2L/100K. city & 12.1L/100K highway