Land Rover Range Rover — A luxurious driving experience

By Jim Meachen Editor

(May 21, 2023) For those who can clear the $100,000 hurdle, the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover is a great choice for their family vehicle. It comes with three strong engine choices, exhibits a refined and dynamic driving quality, rides like it's on a puffy white cloud, features a delightfully styled and spacious interior, is dressed in attractive yet conservative styling that will draw admiring glances, and comes loaded with safety technology. Oh yeah, it can also go off road with the best of them — if you really want to take your north-of-100-grand vehicle to the mud and rocks.

On the electrification front, it can be purchased as a plug-in hybrid such as our test vehicle with a 48-mile all-electric range, according to Land Rover. We managed about 45 miles, still plenty of miles for gas-free weekday chores or traveling to and from work. It's a vast improvement over the previous hybrid that had a range of only 19 miles, and makes the new version worth serious consideration.

The 2023 Range Rover is part of the fifth generation introduced in 2022. It has come a long way since it was introduced in 1969 as a two-door with basic, utilitarian interiors that included vinyl seats and plastic dashboards designed to be washed down with a hose. Convenience features such as power steering, carpeted floors, air conditioning, cloth/leather seats, and wood interior trim were offered in future generations.

And indeed the Range Rover started moving upscale with the second generation in 1994. It reached luxury market status by the third generation introduced in 2001. The fourth generation Range Rover entered the marketplace in 2012,  manufactured with an all-aluminum monocoque unitary body structure — making it the first production 4x4 SUV to do so, resulting in a reduction of 926 pounds compared to its predecessor.  

The 4th gen was built through 2021 leading to the current vehicle with its ultra-modern persona — starting with its engine lineup. There are three engine variations to choose from: a turbocharged 3.0-liter six cylinder making 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque (P400), a 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 generating 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque (P530), and a turbocharged 3.0-liter mated to a plug-in hybrid system totaling 434 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque (P440e). All three variants get an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.  

The Range Rover comes in thee trim levels — SE, Autobiography and SV. And it comes in standard wheelbase and long wheelbase versions. The plug-in hybrid comes only in SE trim.

We recommend the hybrid even in SE trim because of its useful electric driving range. To say the SE is a "base" trim should not imply that this Range Rover is not loaded with good stuff — all three trims are well outfitted. The thing here is that many desirable features can be added as optional equipment. For instance, our test truck stickered for $111,975 including destination charge, but options kicked the price up to $128,475.

One option that we recommend is the outstanding sounding 35-speaker Meridian premium audio system. It's as good as we've heard in recent times. Well worth the price. What we would knock off the options list as found in our vehicle are the ventilated front seats with massage costing $4,200.

If towing is one of your primary concerns you may want of invest is the 523-horsepower V-8, which has a maximum rating of 8,200 pounds. The thing is you can still drive the plug-in hybrid and tow up to 5,511 pounds, which is probably enough for pulling most weekend toys.

We tested our vehicle on rough rural roads, city streets, and high-speed highways — and it proved to be silky-smooth with more-than-adequate performance supplied in a manner you would expect from a luxury SUV. For comparison purposes, our relatively unloaded hybrid (three adults onboard) moved from 0-to-60 in about 5.5 seconds. With a full charge, the hybrid is EPA rated at 51 MPGe and in normal hybrid mode with electric driving depleted, 21 mpg combined.

The Range Rover's ride is suitably plush and, with its incredible adjustable air suspension set to Comfort mode, it virtually floats down the road. Turning the dial to Dynamic mode firms things up some, but the big Rover still maintains a comfort-first mission. While the Range Rover has a lot going for it, it is not a cornering beast — be cautious when navigating a winding mountain road above the speed limit.  

A major transformation has taken place inside from the last generation where, despite the same basic layout, things look considerably different.  The dash is much smoother, and the infotainment screen has moved from being integrated into the dash to floating in front of it. That means the control panel below is more streamlined; as is the case with the wide console. 

The rotary shifter has been replaced with a more traditional looking gear selector that works well.  Wood trim looks exceptional, as does the leather seating surfaces. Seating is vey comfortable up front, with a decent amount of leg room in the second row.

Prices start at $102,475 for the non-hybrid SE and balloons up to an eye-popping $212,675 for the long-wheelbase SV. If you want all the luxury available, but can manage with the standard wheelbase the price falls to $188,325.

Ted Biederman contributed to this review

2023 Land Rover Range Rover


Base price: $102,475; as driven, $128,475
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6, electric motor
Horsepower: combined 434 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 369 pound-feet @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
Seating: 2/3
Wheelbase: 118 inches
Length: 198.9 inches
Curb weight: 5,240 pounds
Turning circle: 35.9 feet
Luggage capacity: 40.7 cubic feet
Cargo capacity: 83.5 cubic feet
Towing capacity: 5,511 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.9 gallons (premium recommended)
EPA rating: 51 MPGe, 21 combined (gas only)
Also consider: BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

The Good
• Outstanding ride quality
• Comfortable front seats
• Excellent gas mileage with plug-in hybrid
• Elegant exterior styling

The Bad
• Plug-in hybrid available only on base trim

The Ugly
• Six-figure starting price