Done the Sport it was only a matter of time I’d get a go in a Vogue. Miles better. Not just in the way it make you feel, but the interior, ride and luxury.
I had more “nice car man” comments and thumbs up in this than any other car I’ve ever driven in my life - CLS63 AMG included. I’ve never felt more important in my life.
This particular Vogue had the supercharged 5.0 V8 in it. Yes, 500 bhp in a 2.5 tonne car. You’d expect the performance to be mediocre but my god, it pushed my head back! I was not expecting it to be so responsive and quick. It’s mental! I think I may have even had wheelspin at a set of lights. Fuel economy…….
Moving on swiftly. Interior. Yes, I’ve never felt leather quite as nice as the leather in the Range Rover. Grasping the steering wheel was like holding the handle of a fine Italian handbag. No wonder women love Range Rovers so much.
Since I’m not the tallest person in the world I found there to be quite a lot of room inside. The spilt tailgate was especially nice as I need to carry a number plate. Not exactly the best test for a boot but I rarely get to open a Range Rover so any excuse will do.
I got more time in this to fiddle with the infotainment system as well (one of the few positives for the recent increase in traffic jams in post-earthquake Christchurch). It’s actually all very intuitive and looks nice. Oh sure the touchscreen isn’t iPhone quick but it does the job. I find the touchscreen system is also a lot less fiddly than the controller-based systems favoured by the Germans.
The Harman-Kardon sound system is amazing. Even at full volume music coming out of the speakers were still crystal clear. It annoyed the old couple next to me, that’s for sure.
But in the Supercharged V8 guise it’s hard to escape from that acceleration. It’s just incredible. I’d love to see what that engine is like in an F-Type, which is about a tonne lighter. Weirdly, it hardly makes any noise at all. Well from where I was sitting at least. Maybe it’s like that CLS AMG; quiet on the inside and shorty on the outside.
Christchurch is probably the best place in New Zealand to try out a car’s ride because of all the manners of road surfaces scattered around the city. The Range, undoubtedly, glided over the broken river of road without any issues whatsoever. I had the air suspension on the lowest setting for most of it and it felt like I was ironing out all the roads. It really is that comfortable.
I can see the appeal of the Range Rover, I really can. In fact I want one more than ever. But I just can’t see the reasoning in the supercharged V8 version. The TDV8, albeit the previous generation one, in the Sport was just as refine, just as quick and sounded nicer but was more economical. If you want a fast SUV get an ML63. If you want a fast SUV that handles well get a Cayenne Turbo but if you want the best SUV in the world there’s only one - the Range Rover.