The 2016 Range Rover is Way Better Than the Kardashians Make It Look: Review
Range Rover has a problem: celebrities. Since the Range Rover was introduced in 2005, it's been turned into a show-offy play thing of the rich and famous, most famously of late the Kim Kardashians and Kendall Jenners of the world. If you don't believe me, the site CoolSpotters.com has a four-page long list of celebrities that either own, or have been spotted riding around in a Range Rover. Here's some highlights from that list:
...and the list goes on, and on, and on. Everyone from pro athletes to Playmates have been donned a luxurious Range Rover in some way, shape, or form. You might be thinking, "How is that a problem?", considering Ranger Rover is getting plenty of free publicity from it, and not to mention selling a bunch of them. But here's why it's a problem: the Range Rover lineup is so much better than any those dumb celebrities are making it look.
Sure, it looks nice in a parking spot on Rodeo Drive. It can conquer the twisty roads of Calabasas. But unless it's off-road, or even on a track (in SVR trim), none of these celebrities are doing the damn thing justice. The Range Rover Sport is a magnificent piece of engineering, and shouldn't be a centerpiece of celebrity indulgence.
RELATED: The Range Rover Sport SVR is One Mean SUV
So why am I bothering with telling you all this? Because Range Rover gave me the new Sport Autobiography edition for a week. Having never driven one before, I went into this review shrouded in doubt, assuming it would be nothing more than an expensive thing to show off. Living in Miami, the only time I ever see them is either at brunch, or somewhere in a luxury shopping mall's parking lot. Never being used to their full potential.
Though, you can sort of understand the over-indulgance when you step in the cabin. The interior oozes upper class; there are small TV screens on the seat backs, leather and wood cover every inch, and the rear seats could probably pass off for a luxury flat in Upper Manhattan. It really is at the top of the luxury pack as far as SUVs go. For $114,000 (as tested), it better be.
RELATED: See Photos of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible
But back to what really matters; this car was built—nay, bred to be the most capable off-road SUV on the planet. And it doesn't disappoint. A center dial on the dash tells you exactly what setting needs to be used in what condition. Snow? No problem. Dirt? Gotcha. Mud? Forget about it. The SUV simply reacts as told, and does so magnificently without a hitch.
The tires and suspension sense every inch of the terrain—rock, mud, snow—contorting to anything that might come in its path. Sensors and cameras help with the tough stuff, while the suspension soaks up any imperfections. We doubt Kylie and Kendall are doing anything relatively sporty in such a sporty SUV.
RELATED: Range Rover Has Created a Remote Control SUV
Even on the road, it feels something similar to a lifted F-Type. It handles like a sports car, and in such a big SUV, that's a hard thing to do. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in the Autobiography version I was testing decidedly eats pavement for breakfast with 510 horsepower and 625 lb-ft torque.
All told, it's just a really fantastic SUV from top to bottom, and I hate to see it lumped in with celebrities like Kim Kardashian. It's just...disrespectful. Throw your predispositions out the window, ignore the celebrity hype, and take this thing on a trail. You'll thank me later.
Engine: 5.0L Supercharged V8
0-60: 4.5 Seconds (est.)
Price: $114,000 (as tested)
Sports Car-Like Handling
Uber Luxurious Interior
Lousy Infotainment System
- Jessica Simpson
- David Beckham
- Paris Hilton
- Kate Moss
- John Mayer
- Ryan Seacrest
- Tony Romo
- Miley Cyrus
- Pete Wentz
- Ryan Reynolds
- Lauren Conrad
- Pamela Anderson
- Britney Spears
- Kim Kardashian
- Kendra Wilkinson
- Bow Wow