Move Over, The Aristocratic 2015 Range Rover is Here: Review

Seeing as Chicago was in the dead of winter, and snow and ice fell upon us as if it were one of the plagues of Egypt, my last few press vehicles had all been rugged 4x4’s. Obviously, the constant barrage of ice, and snow didn't exactly make for the greatest conditions for any Hellcats or McLarens. Add to that the constant salting of the road, and you can see why the few Jeeps, the Chevy Colorado, and the luxurious Ford F-150 King Ranch were around. I figured the wonderful luxury that is the King Ranch would be the highpoint of my winter press fleet. That nothing could compare to overall comfort and off-road ability that the King Ranch was able to accomplish. That said, the new Range Rover threw everything I thought I knew onto its head. There’s a reason why Range Rovers are used to trek across continents, not F-150s. RELATED: See more photos of the new Range Rover here The new Range Rover is one of those vehicles that you get into and immediately feel like somebody of provenance. Very much like the Bentley Flying Spur we tested a few weeks ago. You feel famous, or even royal, while driving it. When you’re stuck in traffic, you just want to shout, “Move peasants, the aristocracy is coming through!” And then there's the interior. Starting with the seats— and boy were they wonderful. Road trips would fly by sitting in these spacious and lovely captain chairs. Each seat has functions like seat warmers, butt coolers, air adjustable lumbar support that will eventually break, and a recliner that goes all the way back to "thug" position. Although, I highly recommend you don’t do that while the vehicle is in motion. The back seats are equally as good. It comes with loads of legroom, and seats that are just as comfortable as the front. Unfortunately, they only have a few different functions, although that’s 10 times more functionality than almost every other car on the planet so I think we’re good. Staying in the interior— I want to talk about the Meridian sound system. If you’re not an audiophile, skip ahead a few paragraphs because this is going to get nerdy. In the land of Range Rovers, there are two separate Meridian audio systems. There is a standard Meridian system that has 380 watts and 13 speakers. Then there's the premium Meridian system that has 825 watts and 19 speakers. According to my colleague Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire, the 19-speaker system is beyond ridiculous, giving him one of the best experiences in sound he’s ever had. But I cannot fathom how it could get any more insane than the standard 13-speaker version my Range Rover was specked out with. Here’s the thing— I didn’t have the window sticker until the Range Rover got picked up the next week. Meaning, I didn’t know which sound system I actually had. All I knew was that it was the best stereo I’ve ever heard inside any car. It really blows any other speaker system out of the water— hell, it probably sounds better than those crappy speakers they have in IMAX films. Frankly, it’s ridiculous that they fit this into a car. RELATED: See pictures of the Range Rover SVR Listening from my iPhone, I picked up instruments I’ve never heard in songs I’ve listened to for years. I hesitate to use the term 'stereo' to describe it because it’s so much more than that. It should be called the Meridian Experience, or the Meridian Eargasm. And that quality and capability is still very much associated in the abilities of this Range Rover. Now usually, I’d take a SUV or truck or anything with AWD to my local cornfield and play around with it immediately and do a rather thorough test of its abilities. However, I really just wanted to drive around in it like a boss and make the ride height go up and down at stoplights like a complete tool. But of course, when I picked up a few friends, they immediately asked if it could conquer a rather tricky piece of off-road fun near my house. I wasn’t sure if it could do it, especially considering the fact that it had normal road tires on it. I figured, though, we should at least try it. When we got to the run, the start of it was covered with three foot drifts, both wet and dry snow due to the fact that it had warmed up the day before, then immediately started snowing again. It wasn't ideal conditions, per se, for what is essentially a $100,000 luxury family hauler. I put it in off-road ride height, low range gearbox, locked the diffs, and went for it at a slow speed. And I almost immediately got stuck. Thankfully though, the Range Rover handled it like a champ. It raised itself a few more inches and I was able to back it out of the snow bank. RELATED: See what Range Rover is Bringing to the new Bond Film But I wasn’t going to end my journey there. This is the best off-roader on the planet for christsake! It took Sir Ranulph Fiennes to the Antarctic, and people across continents. It should be able to conquer a bit of snow. Then I remembered something from when I visited Team O’Neil Rally School. A shirt Tim gave me, which said, “Blah, Blah, Blah…Accelerate!” Therefore, I took it out of low range, left the ride height where it was, backed up a few extra feet— and gunned it. There’s just something about a Range Rover hopping around at 45 mph over snow as your hands do their best Walter Rohl impersonation. It’s an great experience that I won't soon forget, especially since we were all laughing like idiots. You could take each individual piece out of this SUV, and it would be awesome by itself somewhere in your house. For instance, after listening to the dope stereo system, I looked up how much just an in-home unit was, that’s how impressed I was. But it’s the sum total of this Range Rover that makes it one of the best on the planet. It offers all the comfort of a Mercedes S-Class, but all the capability of a Dakar race truck. It’s completely impressive, and now I understand why everyone has one. Specs: Engine: 3.0L Supercharged V6 Horsepower: 340 horsepower Torque: 332lb-ft Price (as tested): $96,386 Pros: Capable of nearly anything, and that includes drifting in snowy parking lots Amazingly comfortable on long hauls 360 degree cameras Cons: When something breaks, and it will, it’s going to cost you Supercharged V6 doesn’t really have any character to speak of Tire choice isn’t optimal for off-roading ____________________________________ Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

Be part of something big