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DriveWrite in Vogue

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Range Rover

DriveWrite in Vogue

Geoff Maxted
September 22, 2013

Land Rover Range Rover Land Rover Range Rover
They say that in every life a little rain must fall. That’s acceptable only if it is tempered by a sunny day. Recently your correspondent experienced such a day. In fact, it wasn’t a very nice day but it was brightened by A Very Kind Lady from the Jaguar Land Rover Group who handed over the keys to a Range Rover (what were they thinking of?) and told me to enjoy myself. Well, Drivewrite doesn’t need telling twice.

The car in question was a Corris Grey Vogue SE. Vogue specification features metallic paint, 20-inch wheels and Oxford leather trim as standard along with 12-way electrically adjustable seats, xenon headlamps and laminated front side windows. Plenty of power comes from a 255bhp twin-turbo V6 diesel, and it's the first time this engine has been offered in a Range Rover. It is equipped with a standard ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox and stop/start.

Also incorporated is Land Rover’s excellent and new Terrain Response 2, which automatically selects programmes; standard on this car, the cheaper base Vogue trim has the early manually selected Terrain Response. Also standard is a touch-screen sat-nav, DAB radio, digital TV and the more powerful 825W Meridian audio system which worked very well indeed. Rarely have Cream sounded so good in a car.

DriveWrite at first found that he was sliding around on the otherwise supremely comfortable seat. Finally, a couple of buttons revealed themselves which bolstered the side bolsters - like blowing up a balloon. Problem solved. This car was smooth, refined, powerful and much more agile than the outgoing Range Rover. The new Range Rover has a double-skin bulkhead and the engineers have clearly done significant work to subdue the diesel noise. It works. Land Rover says the TDV6 offers the equivalent performance to the outgoing TDV8 thanks to the new alloy-shelled Range Rover's lighter kerb weight, and that seems right as power was available by the bucket load.

Acceleration is strong, helped by the excellent ZF gearbox, which slips up and down the gears smoothly. There is some body roll, which is more pronounced in the TDV6 since it doesn’t have the active roll control of the SDV8 and V8 Supercharged models. This is a shame because, through twisting lanes, this roll was a bit irritating. The steering, now electric, has a light weighting and allows easy placement on the road, but for me it was short on feel and feedback, even at higher speeds when you‘d think it would weight-up more. Still, it isn’t a sports car and for the most part the drive was super-relaxing with the sensation that driving all day wouldn’t be an issue. As a driving tool it is conceivable that a RR Sport might be preferable: probably a matter of personal priorities.

The TDV6 is 200kg lighter than the SDV8. Most of the saving is over the front axle, which might go some way to explaining the entry-level TDV6’s agility. On our fractured roads the air-suspended ride really breathes over bumps and dips. The final verdict: Superb. The best Range Rover yet. All that was missing was a bit of mud-plugging but you can’t have everything. The Range Rover Vogue SE TDV6 is an automotive tour-de-force. Note to self - take the supercharged V8 next time.

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