The Truth About Cars » Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 23 May 2015 15:11:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/land-rover/ Motorcars, Manhattan and Money http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/motorcars-manhattan-money/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/motorcars-manhattan-money/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 15:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1054641   It’s impossible to visit Manhattan without noticing wealth and privilege. Though I’m loathe to use the P word as it’s been corrupted by politics, how else can you describe someone driving a S Class Mercedes-Benz with “MD” New York license plates other than as affluent and expecting special treatment from parking enforcement that won’t be extended to […]

The post Motorcars, Manhattan and Money appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

IMG_0125_r

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, $2.4 million

It’s impossible to visit Manhattan without noticing wealth and privilege. Though I’m loathe to use the P word as it’s been corrupted by politics, how else can you describe someone driving a S Class Mercedes-Benz with “MD” New York license plates other than as affluent and expecting special treatment from parking enforcement that won’t be extended to some zhlub from Jersey in a Camry?

New York City generates so much wealth that the people there can afford the opportunity and real costs involved with insane traffic, general congenstion and expensive infrastructure. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that the New York International Auto Show is where car companies go to show off their goods from the top shelf.

 

Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston Martin Vulcan

Detroit may not be the center of the universe that NYC is, but the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is a huge event with the participation of a number of the largest corporations on the planet. Some of the displays cost millions of dollars to build. The Chicago Auto Show is, by some measures, even larger than the Detroit show. And while the Detroit show is more about new product and concept reveals, the Chicago show is about selling cars. While they sell a few cars in America’s second city, car enthusiasts living outside the NYC metropolitan area have a tendency to regard that region as hostile to automobiles, but the fact is the metro region is one of the biggest car markets in the world. Combine that fact with the area’s wealth and you end up with a car show that has, literally, tons of high end cars.

 

Koenigsegg Agera HH

Koenigsegg Agera HH

There was a time, before the auto industry’s existential crisis of 2007-2009, that just about every car manufacturer of note in the world had a presence at the Detroit show, including the ultra-luxury and exotic automakers. Ferrari used the Detroit show to introduce the 612 Scaglietti, Rolls Royce had press conferences at the Detroit show, and VW’s Lamborghini brand and Aston Martin, then owned by Ford, also had displays. Those brands haven’t had official stands at the NAIAS in years, nor have they had corporate presence at the Chicago show. Since Fiat was given Chrysler in the government bailout in 2009, you might have occasionally seen a Ferrari on the FCA stand, but lately Sergio’s outfit has been promoting Alfa Romeo and Maserati, so both of those brands had some cars at the big midwest shows this year, but nary a prancing horse could be seen at Cobo Hall or McCormick Place.

 

Maserati's stand at the New York Auto Show

Maserati’s stand at the New York Auto Show

However, the Maserati displays at the Detroit and Chicago shows this year were just small sections of the larger FCA stand. At the New York show, they had their complete North American lineup. The Maserati display was larger than those of BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, and about the same square footage as FCA’s Dodge and Chrysler brands had. Maserati does sell cars in New York – I saw one on the West Side Highway near Canal Street and the Holland Tunnel, though I’d say the most common luxury car that I saw in Manhattan was the S Class Merc.

 

Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador, just $400K

Aston Martin not only had their full line out for inspection, they had their limited edition Vulcan track car front and center in their display; not quite the ideal car for Manhattan. Rolls-Royce, which hasn’t had an official display at the Detroit or Chicago show in years, had their full lineup in New York, as did their former stablemate Bentley.

 

Lamborghini Huracan

Lamborghini Huracan

It wasn’t just high end automakers, either. While in the long run the introduction of the new Chevy Malibu – hundreds of pounds lighter than the outgoing model while being larger and with more interior space – may prove to be the most significant new product reveal at the NYIAS, it was the introduction of two American luxury flagships, the production Cadillac CT6 and the concept version of the next Lincoln Continental, that seemed to have gotten the bulk of the attention. Besides the big Mercedes sedans, I also noticed more than a few slightly older, big Cadillacs, like 10-15 year old Devilles and STSes. They were privately owned, not livery cars, so maybe there’s a market for the CT6 in Manhattan.

 

McLaren 650S Spider

McLaren 650S Spider

Another mainstream luxury car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, used the New York show to introduce the Range Rover SVAutobiography, which has $120,000 worth of luxury and “bespoke” kit added to the $80,000 base Range Rover. Jaguar executive board member and director of design, Gerry McGovern, alluded to the maximum Range Rover as being at home in New York’s affluent Hamptons, and closed his description of the SVAutobiography with, “And, it’s very expensive.”

 

Range Rover VeryExpensive SVAutobiography

Range Rover VeryExpensive SVAutobiography

As Jaguar Land Rover and America’s two luxury brands introduced models at the top of their lineup, McLaren used the New York show to bring their carbon fiber based supercars down to a new price point, going after the Porsche 911 market with the McLaren 570S. Like Aston Martin and Maserati, the McLaren display featured examples of all of their current models, the new 570S, the 650S Spider, a 675LT, and the GTR dedicated track version of the top of the line hybrid hypercar McLaren P1. I don’t know a single car enthusiast that doesn’t regard the McLaren enterprise with respect, so all of those remarkable sports cars would have drawn me in, but for the occasion McLaren brought out a truly legendary automobile, a Gordon Murray designed F1. Not just any F1, but one of the three F1 GT “longtail” cars built by the factory to homologate bodywork used in the 1997 FIA GT Championship.

 

The new McLaren 570S

The new McLaren 570S, note the kiwi shaped cove in the door. McLaren’s logo is a stylized kiwi. Bruce McLaren was from New Zealand.

Jalopnik’s Raphael Orlove was photographing the F1 longtail while I was at the McLaren display and he concurred when I said that I could spend the whole day at their stand.

 

The 570S from the rear

The 570S from the rear

If you go to as many corporate auto shows and enthusiast car shows as I do, you can get a little jaded. I generally don’t take photographs of 1957 Chevy’s, ’69 Camaros or perfectly restored Isetta microcars. It was hard to feel jaded near the McLaren display, and not just because of their own cars. Right next to the McLaren stand was a display from Brian Miller’s Manhattan Motorcars, which has franchises for Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, and Lotus. Porsche, R-R, and Bentley, as mentioned, had their own displays, so Miller brought out some exotics.

 

McLaren 575LT

McLaren 575LT

Maybe it was because their fellow Italians at Ferrari skipped the NYC show, but Lamborghini didn’t have an official display, so Manhattan Motorcars had a red Aventador and a metallic orange Huracan. The two Lambos are not common cars, but they were flanking an even rarer car, a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. The 1,200 HP Bugatti is the fastest production roadster ever made.

 

McLaren's dedicated track P1, the P1 GTR

McLaren’s $3.1 million dedicated track P1, the P1 GTR

Even rarer than modern day Bugattis, though, are cars from Koenigsegg. Christian Koenigsegg, the mad genius from Sweden, has built just over 100 cars since he started building hypercars about a dozen years ago. The Koenigsegg Agera HH on display at the NY show is as rare as they come, a one-off Agera R customized by the factory for David Heinemeir Hanson, a Danish computer programmer who was responsible for Ruby on Rails, a web application development framework that has made him a very wealthy man. The car is painted in his favorite color scheme of blue and black, to match his one off Pagani Zonda HH.

 

FActory owned McLaren F1 XP GT "longtail" homologation prototype.

FActory owned McLaren F1 XP GT “longtail” homologation prototype.

I’ve been to lots of auto shows including one of the top three concours in the U.S. and I don’t think I’ve ever seen as concentrated automotive wealth as sat on the McLaren and Manhattan Motorcars stands (with the possible exception of the classic luxury car section of the Henry Ford Museum with its Bugatti Royale and Duesenberg J). I was only able to get retail prices on nine of the ten cars at those two displays. Not counting the McLaren F1 Longtail, there was about $9 million in cars. If you include the F1 you could at least double that figure. In 2012, one of the 10 competition F1 Longtails that were built for racing sold for over $13 million. No doubt the factory owned prototype would fetch similar or even more money, perhaps even enough to buy a nice Manhattan condominium.

Photography by Ronnie Schreiber. For more photos of the vehicles in this post, please go to Cars In Depth.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

The post Motorcars, Manhattan and Money appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/motorcars-manhattan-money/feed/ 86
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-land-rover-discovery-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-land-rover-discovery-sport/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1051793 With CUV sales surpassing those of their sedan counterparts, it should be no surprise every manufacturer is trying to get in on the high ride height action. Land Rover, virtually absent from the hot CUV segment, has finally released the all-new Discovery Sport to replace the dated LR2. The new Disco Sport is first vehicle in what […]

The post 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 land rover discovery sport front right

With CUV sales surpassing those of their sedan counterparts, it should be no surprise every manufacturer is trying to get in on the high ride height action. Land Rover, virtually absent from the hot CUV segment, has finally released the all-new Discovery Sport to replace the dated LR2. The new Disco Sport is first vehicle in what will become a family of Discovery SUVs, all styled similarly with cues to the big Range Rover, but differing in size.

2015 land rover discovery sport grill

Aimed straight at the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, the new Disco is based on a modified Range Rover Evoque platform, giving it a longer wheelbase to increase rear seat volume. Most importantly, with some clever packaging, Land Rover has managed to squeeze an optional third row seat into the Discovery Sport. They call it a “5+2 seating configuration” and make no secrets the third row is best suited for taking kids across town.

Those without kids may ask: Why do so many parents want CUVs with a third row seat? The answer: kids have friends and those friends, along with one’s own kids, need to be chauffeured around. CUVs this size are popular because, due to their small footprint, they’re easy to drive. Yet very few – none in the premium segment – offer a third row seat besides the new Land Rover. Seating flexibility alone could be reason enough for buyers to choose the Discovery Sport over its direct competitors. (Please note the vehicle pictured was not equipped with the optional third row seat.)

2015 land rover discovery sport dash

The original Discovery, known as the LR4 in its current generation, is known for its commanding seating position. Unfortunately, due to the Disco Sport’s size, that same seating arrangement could not be replicated. However, it does offer windows bigger than most other CUVs. In concert with a huge glass roof, the Disco Sport evokes a sense of spaciousness. Likewise, rearward visibility is also improved over most CUVs, with parking sensors and a backup camera further aiding reversing, parking, and tight maneuvering.

The Sport has JLR’s new Autonomous Emergency Braking providing visual and audible warnings when it senses an impending collision. The system is capable of stopping the vehicle or, at the very least, slowing it down to reduce the severity of a crash. Other active safety features, such as Lane Departure Warning, trailer stability assist and hitch assist, are also included. (The Disco Sport can tow up to 4,409 lbs, although probably slowly.) An additional traffic sign recognition system displays the current speed limit on the gauge cluster, though it often sees yellow highway truck ramp signs and interprets them as normal highway speed limits. Thankfully, all of those features can be disabled for the driving heroes among us.

2015 land rover discovery sport interior details

The Discovery Sport has an all-new (or at least all-new-ish) infotainment system which will eventually make its way across the model lineup. It is similar in look and feel to the old system (hence, the -ish) but improved in every way, especially in terms of speed and ease of use. The system’s eight-inch screen has a somewhat low resolution at 800×480 pixels, but offers a WiFi hotspot and does a great job of streaming music from the various apps on your phone. You can connect up to two Bluetooth devices, with one of them being for phone and music and the other for music only. Four high-wattage USB ports make sure everything stays charged on the move.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a direct transplant from the Range Rover Evoque, but in the Disco Sport is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission, good for 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The engine makes 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, enough to move the little Rover around but not enough to win many stoplight drag races. The Haldex all-wheel-drive system is controlled by Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, allowing the driver to choose the type of driving surface so the Landie can automatically adjust throttle response, gearbox, braking, and stability systems for maximum traction. Few will take their Disco beyond the dirt in the little league field parking lot, but this system works surprisingly well in the bigger Range Rovers.

2015 land rover discovery sport details

It is difficult to describe how any new CUV drives, because they all drive fine. They’re all comfortable. They can all take an on-ramp much faster than they should. They all stop better than sports cars from a time not too long ago. Some manufacturers claim their CUVs are “sportier” than others, but how can you quantify that? Sure, compared to large SUVs such as the Lexus GX 460 or Land Rover’s own LR4, anyone can consider this to be sporty, but no one is going to autocross it, either. In the end, this Discovery Sport is a family-friendly, kid-hauling grocery-getter. And you know what? It drives just fine.

The Discovery Sport starts at $37,070 for the SE model. The HSE starts at $41,570 and adds power seats, HID headlamps, glass roof, power tailgate, 19-inch wheels, and various styling bits. The HSE LUX is $45,570 and it adds upgraded leather, better audio system, and a various items that are optional on lower models as standard. Third row seats are a $1,750 option on all models.

Land Rover finally brought a gun to the CUV gun fight. While it is not technically extraordinary, the Discovery Sport is a good looking vehicle, has all the features desired by its intended buyers including the cachet of being a Land Rover, and is competitively priced in its class. The Defender lovers of the world may hate it and all the other CUVs like it, but as our former Managing Ed. said, “millions of Americans couldn’t care less and have very rational reasons for buying them, nor are they in the grip of some false consciousness and in need of a vanguard to liberate their minds from the shackles of automotive marketing.” I imagine this vehicle will be the volume sales leader for Land Rover.

2015 land rover discovery sport rear left

Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. He once spent six weeks driving a Defender 110 around southern Africa and currently owns a green Bruder Defender 90.

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC provided the vehicle for the purpose of this review. 

The post 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-land-rover-discovery-sport/feed/ 61
Lexus Takes Gold In 2015 JD Power Dependability Study http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lexus-takes-gold-2015-jd-power-dependability-study/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lexus-takes-gold-2015-jd-power-dependability-study/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008050 For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus is tops among the brands ranked in JD Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study. The research group says owners of the premium brand’s offerings reported 89 problems per 100 vehicles. However, its parent company was bumped down to third place on the podium this year by Buick, the latter making […]

The post Lexus Takes Gold In 2015 JD Power Dependability Study appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Lexus RCF cliff, side

For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus is tops among the brands ranked in JD Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study.

The research group says owners of the premium brand’s offerings reported 89 problems per 100 vehicles. However, its parent company was bumped down to third place on the podium this year by Buick, the latter making a huge leap from fifth place in 2014 to take silver with 110 problems per 100 vehicles reported. Toyota had one more problem compared to Buick.

Among the rest, Cadillac took home fourth, while Honda and Porsche tied for fifth. Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Scion and Chevrolet round out the top 10 for 2015, while Land Rover and Fiat landed at the bottom of the list with 258 and 273 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively.

As for the problems themselves, most took issue with their vehicle’s Bluetooth and voice-recognition systems, followed by problems with the vehicle’s engine or transmission, the latter mostly focused on “automatic transmission hesitation and rough shifting.”

This year’s study surveyed over 34,000 original owners of 2012 models after three years of ownership, with the survey taking place between November and December of 2014.

2015 VDS Slide1_0

2015 VDS Slide2_0

2015 VDS Slide3_0

The post Lexus Takes Gold In 2015 JD Power Dependability Study appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lexus-takes-gold-2015-jd-power-dependability-study/feed/ 54
Jaguar Land Rover Considering Turkey, Austria For New Factory http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jaguar-land-rover-considering-turkey-austria-new-factory/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jaguar-land-rover-considering-turkey-austria-new-factory/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006298 Amid a pay dispute between itself and the U.K. trade unions, Jaguar Land Rover is considering Turkey and Austria over North America for a new factory. The Birmingham Post reports plans to locate a factory in North America, and particularly in the United States, were switched to the aforementioned countries due to the negotiations between […]

The post Jaguar Land Rover Considering Turkey, Austria For New Factory appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Land Rover Discovery Sport

Amid a pay dispute between itself and the U.K. trade unions, Jaguar Land Rover is considering Turkey and Austria over North America for a new factory.

The Birmingham Post reports plans to locate a factory in North America, and particularly in the United States, were switched to the aforementioned countries due to the negotiations between the automaker and JLR Unite over the autumn of 2014. The talks led to a two-year pay deal, but not before workers threatened industrial action amid accusations by the union of JLR planning to cut £240 million ($370 million USD) from pensions to pay for the deal.

Per a inside source, the automaker is looking at locales where costs are much lower than in the United Kingdom, “and where there is not the same union influence” on the factory floor compared to that in its British factories. The insider adds that Continental Europe is more likely at this point in time, but that nothing was in place thus far.

The post Jaguar Land Rover Considering Turkey, Austria For New Factory appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jaguar-land-rover-considering-turkey-austria-new-factory/feed/ 16
Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991122 Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany. According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly […]

The post Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Land Rover Hoegh Osaka

Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany.

According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly after departing for Germany through the English Channel. Around 1,400 premium vehicles were onboard, including Land Rover Defenders, Jaguar XFs, MINIs, a Rolls-Royce Wraith, and a Porsche Boxster.

Presently, each of the 1,400 vehicles aboard are being inspected for any damage, especially the type that would mean a final ride to the crusher. The final total won’t come until early next week at the latest, though a decision to follow in Mazda’s footsteps — the automaker scrapped 4,700 units aboard the Cougar Ace in 2006 — would prove costly; the total value of Höegh Osaka’s cargo stands at £30 million ($45 million USD).

The post Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/feed/ 11
NAIAS 2015: Jaguar Land Rover Bringing Diesel Power To US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 00:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=976193 Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear. Land Rover is bringing over its Td6 3-liter turbodiesel V6 from Europe into the U.S. market this year, delivering 254 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and a combined 25 mpg […]

The post NAIAS 2015: Jaguar Land Rover Bringing Diesel Power To US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
land-rover-diesel-01-1

Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear.

Land Rover is bringing over its Td6 3-liter turbodiesel V6 from Europe into the U.S. market this year, delivering 254 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and a combined 25 mpg to those who desire to burn oil in their Land Rover or Land Rover Sport. Diesel-powered versions of the SUVs will be on display at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show during press days.

Meanwhile, AutoGuide says JLR will install diesels in all future Land Rover and Jaguar models save one: The F-Type. The first Jaguar diesel will be the XE, whose mill a 2-liter four-pot the automaker is confident will deliver 40 mpg on the highway.

The post NAIAS 2015: Jaguar Land Rover Bringing Diesel Power To US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/feed/ 45
Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934122 The United Auto Workers may soon need to add another transplant to convert as part of its Southern strategy: Jaguar Land Rover is considering setting up shop in the Southeastern United States as part of its global expansion plans. Autoblog reports the automaker is looking over potential real estate for a new North American factory, […]

The post Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
land-rover-discovery-sport-production-09-1

The United Auto Workers may soon need to add another transplant to convert as part of its Southern strategy: Jaguar Land Rover is considering setting up shop in the Southeastern United States as part of its global expansion plans.

Autoblog reports the automaker is looking over potential real estate for a new North American factory, honing in upon right-to-work states in the South such as South Carolina, where BMW already has a presence in Spartanburg assembling the X Series. The future plant would have a total capacity of 200,000 units produced per year.

Elsewhere, JLR welcomed all to its new factory in Changsu, China, where the real Evoque — as opposed to the “If you like Mrs. Beckham’s crossover, you’ll love ours” Landwind E32 — will roll off the line, with the new Discovery Sport to follow. Brazil will join the party with its own factory in 2016.

The post Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/feed/ 22
McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927682 Mrs. Beckham’s contribution to the automotive world, the Land Rover Evoque, may gain diesel power in the United States sometime soon. AutoGuide reports the plan to place a diesel engine under the bonnet of the crossover is “being considered,” according to Jaguar Land Rover North America marketing vice president Kim McCullough. At present, only the […]

The post McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
victoria_beckham_range_rover_evoque_f655

Mrs. Beckham’s contribution to the automotive world, the Land Rover Evoque, may gain diesel power in the United States sometime soon.

AutoGuide reports the plan to place a diesel engine under the bonnet of the crossover is “being considered,” according to Jaguar Land Rover North America marketing vice president Kim McCullough. At present, only the 2-liter EcoBoost powers the U.S. market model, as the 2.2-liter diesel sold elsewhere cannot meet emissions here.

JLR’s £500 million ($804 million USD) engine production plant will begin production early in 2015 of a 2-liter Ingenium diesel, which will first find a home in the U.S. under the bonnet of the new Jaguar XE. The Ingenium turbo-four gasoline engine will also likely replace the EcoBoost sometime in the future, though McCullough declined to confirm anything more.

As for the diesel Evoque, she believes greater acceptance of diesels overall in the U.S. market could help Land Rover navigate its way through increasing fuel-efficiency targets, with Ingenium diesels landing in U.S. market Jaguar and Land Rover models as the product cycle moves forward.

The post McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/feed/ 8
Paris 2014: Land Rover Discovery Sport Arrives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-land-rover-discovery-sport-arrives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-land-rover-discovery-sport-arrives/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 20:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924713 Soon to replace the LR2, the Land Rover Discovery Sport arrived today at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. The new premium SUV offers 5+2 seating within its length of 180.7 inches, bringing it in line with the current Toyota RAV4. Under the hood is a 2-liter turbo-four delivering 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque […]

The post Paris 2014: Land Rover Discovery Sport Arrives appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-01_001

Soon to replace the LR2, the Land Rover Discovery Sport arrived today at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

The new premium SUV offers 5+2 seating within its length of 180.7 inches, bringing it in line with the current Toyota RAV4.

Under the hood is a 2-liter turbo-four delivering 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque to all four corners via a standard nine-speed automatic.

Inside, the driver has access to both an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 5-inch color display, with higher trim models offering space for an iPad and leather-wrapped interiors.

Should you want to paint it black, Land Rover offers the optional Black Pack package, which brings the absence of light to the grill, side mirrors, front fender vents, badges and either 19- or 20-inch wheels.

Finally, the price of admission starts at $38,920.

Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-12_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-13_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-07_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-04_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-11_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-01_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-08_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-10_001 Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-11 land-rovery-discovery-sport-04 land-rovery-discovery-sport-01 land-rovery-discovery-sport-03 land-rovery-discovery-sport-07

The post Paris 2014: Land Rover Discovery Sport Arrives appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-land-rover-discovery-sport-arrives/feed/ 13
Review: 2014 Range Rover Supercharged LWB http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/review-2014-range-rover-supercharged-lwb/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/review-2014-range-rover-supercharged-lwb/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:19:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906881 In the early 1990s Land Rover realized that their Range Rovers were often used to chauffeur people of wealth and taste. Designed to be capable off-road, the 100-inch wheelbase unfortunately meant limited rear seat leg room. For 1992 Range Rover Country LWB became available, with a wheelbase stretched additional eight inches, all of it going […]

The post Review: 2014 Range Rover Supercharged LWB appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base rear 34

In the early 1990s Land Rover realized that their Range Rovers were often used to chauffeur people of wealth and taste. Designed to be capable off-road, the 100-inch wheelbase unfortunately meant limited rear seat leg room. For 1992 Range Rover Country LWB became available, with a wheelbase stretched additional eight inches, all of it going directly into the rear seat legroom. For 2014, Land Rover is bringing the LWB back.

2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base side

The LWB adds 7.3-inches to wheelbase of a conventional Range Rover, all of which goes directly into the rear seat leg room. The current Range Rover does not suffer from lack of leg room but this extra space transforms it into something resembling a Learjet, especially when equipped with the “Executive Seating Package”. This test model retains a conventional three passenger bench that is power reclining and folding and has heated and ventilated outboard seats. Features bundled into the LWB model include an extended center console, which oddly takes leg room away from the middle passenger, power window shades, and a panoramic sunroof.

The front seats remain the same as on the SWB model, which is to say really nice; wrapped in soft leather, supportive, with pillow-like headrests, and ergonomically perfect. These may just be the best seats on the market right now, and they were heated, ventilated, and massaging, too. The massage feature is nice, especially on longer drives, but it is not as intense as the chairs at Brookstone. The current Range Rover retains the signature high seating position and large windows all around yield airy cabin feel and outstanding visibility, all rather trivial traits that are rarely seen in modern vehicles.

2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base rear door seat

The gauge cluster is actually a 12.3-inch display screen that is cleanly laid out and easy to manipulate via a steering wheel stalk. The same cannot be said for the 8-inch infotainment touch-screen which is slow to respond and simply outdated. In the touch-screen’s defense, it does perform a lot of functions, and there are hard buttons for the most frequently used ones. The rest of the dash is a showcase of simple contemporary design wrapped high quality materials. The upgraded Meridian Premium Audio 825W system will make even Justin Bieber’s music sound good.

For 2014 Land Rover dropped its naturally aspirated V8 in favor of a supercharged V6. The LWB is available only with the more powerful supercharged V8 engine. 510hp and a very flat torque curve that peaks at 461lb-ft offers instantaneous power at anytime, making the 5320-pound Rover move like a sports sedan, and allowing it to accelerate from zero to 60mph in under 5.5 seconds. Having reviewed the V6-powered Range Rover Sport in the past, I think the V8 is worth every penny of its $10,000 premium on the SWB and Sport, Range Rovers. ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is the only choice. It has normal, sport and manual modes, but with this much power, I found myself just keeping the shift knob in D.

2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base dash

We, as the car buying and driving public, are jaded by the driving characteristics of modern cars. For instance, never before would some wanker blogger be able to take a 707hp car on a race track and not die within a minute. The same true holds for this Range Rover – the chassis dynamics and overall handling are downright amazing for a vehicle this size, and simply superior any previous Land Rover product. This was something I realized on an enjoyable drive down the Merritt Parkway, a road where more than a decade ago I came close to rolling a Discovery on.

Much of the handling can be attributed to the air suspension, and associated cleverly named subcomponents, which magically manage to filter out just about all road imperfections while keeping the big Rover composed, and dare I say sporty. While air suspension systems have a lot of critics (disclaimer: I’ve owned two vehicles with air suspension and didn’t have any issues), it may be the least compromised way of retaining comfortable ride, great handling, and big load capacity. The ability to raise and lover this vehicle by as much as five inches is an added benefit. Turning radius is now also large sedan-like, as opposed to tractor-like on older Landies.

2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base interior details

It is well known that most Range Rovers never leave pavement, but despite that Land Rover does offer some amazing off-road technology that enables these vehicles to be truly capable (11” ground clearance, 35” water fording), as I experienced some time ago (part 1,2,3). What many people forget is that these vehicles also offer 7716-pound towing capacity with 331-pound maximum tongue weight, and 220-pound roof rack capacity. This is in addition to the 82.8 cubic feet of cargo space and 1600-pound load capacity, all just a little less than the GMC Yukon.


2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base interior exterior details

All of this goodness comes at a price. First you pay at the dealer: the base Range Rover starts at $84,225. Do yourself a favor and get the “supercharged” one, which is to say V8, for $101,025. The LWB comes with the V8 and starts at $106,225. The test vehicle was equipped with Vision Assist Pack (cameras, swiveling headlights, blind spot detection) for $1760, Lane Departure Warning for $640, Adaptive Cruise Control for $1295, Meridian audio upgrade for $1825, Four Zone Climate Control Package $4150, parking sensors for $1200, rear seat entertainment is $2400, soft closing doors are $600, and towing package which includes a full-size spare and locking rear diff is $1300. This brings the total MSRP to $121, 390. Then you have to pay at the pump to feed an SUV that sips premium gas to the tune of 14/19 mpg city/highway.

While this is not a perfect vehicle, it is the best Range Rover ever. The LWB adds space that most buyers won’t opt for, not because of the cost but because the elongated body visually throws off the proportions. There are dozens of so-called premium luxury SUVs on the market, many of which cost half as much, but none of them, as we will soon find out, are as refined to the level of the Range Rover.

2014 land rover range rover lwb long wheel base front

Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. 

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC provided the vehicle for this review.

The post Review: 2014 Range Rover Supercharged LWB appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/review-2014-range-rover-supercharged-lwb/feed/ 29
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Debuts In Die-Cast Form Before Official Unveiling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/2015-land-rover-discovery-sport-debuts-die-cast-form-official-unveiling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/2015-land-rover-discovery-sport-debuts-die-cast-form-official-unveiling/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=901505 When shopping for your child (inner or otherwise) in the toy aisle to add a new vehicle to their collection, you might just stumble upon the new Land Rover Discovery Sport in 1:43 scale only a few days before its official global debut. Jalopnik subsidiary Truck Yeah sourced the above image of the die-cast models […]

The post 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Debuts In Die-Cast Form Before Official Unveiling appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Land Rover Discovery Diecast Cars

When shopping for your child (inner or otherwise) in the toy aisle to add a new vehicle to their collection, you might just stumble upon the new Land Rover Discovery Sport in 1:43 scale only a few days before its official global debut.

Jalopnik subsidiary Truck Yeah sourced the above image of the die-cast models from World Car Fans via fellow subsidiary Live and Let Diecast.

Though thought to have been discovered online at a Land Rover collectibles shop in the United Kingdom, patient zero for the image is likely from a catalog of wares sold by Swiss die-cast shop Car-issmo. The models themselves are by Chinese die-cast and resin model manufacturer Premium X Collectables, though they have yet to appear on the manufacturer’s site or in its own shop as of this writing.

Similar instances of a new vehicle debuting in die-cast form prior to the official unveiling have occured before, including the 2013 Dodge Viper and the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette.

The Discovery Sport is the replacement for the outgoing LR2, and is set to arrive in early 2015 with a base price of $50,000. Its official unveiling will take place September 2.

The post 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Debuts In Die-Cast Form Before Official Unveiling appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/2015-land-rover-discovery-sport-debuts-die-cast-form-official-unveiling/feed/ 12
Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=871890 Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs. Drive.com.au reports the parent company is using the technical and design know-how JLR to begin growing its passenger vehicle line in Australia and beyond, though Darren Bowler, […]

The post Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Tata-Xenon-11

Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs.

Drive.com.au reports the parent company is using the technical and design know-how JLR to begin growing its passenger vehicle line in Australia and beyond, though Darren Bowler, managing director of importer Fusion Automotive, assures that no badge engineering would occur between the two brands.

What would be shared, according to Bowler, would be platforms and engines, such as the global platform underpinning the upcoming Nexon SUV that could “be used as an Evoque… a Tata, [or] a Jaguar,” as well as the Ingenium family of four-cylinder engines that will soon turn up under the bonnet of many a JLR product.

In the meantime, Tata Australia plans to tackle the medium- and heavy-duty markets with the Ultra and Prima, both joining the light-duty Xenon.

The post Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/feed/ 13
Forty Land Rovers Seized By Homeland Security In Ongoing Investigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/forty-land-rovers-seized-by-homeland-security-in-ongoing-investigation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/forty-land-rovers-seized-by-homeland-security-in-ongoing-investigation/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=869330 Hide your kids, hide your wives and hide your Land Rovers, because the federal government is rounding up a handful due to questionable importation paperwork. Jalopnik reports 40 Land Rover 90s, 110s and Defenders were rounded-up by the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday as evidence in a federal investigation over illegal importation of the iconic […]

The post Forty Land Rovers Seized By Homeland Security In Ongoing Investigation appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Defender90

Hide your kids, hide your wives and hide your Land Rovers, because the federal government is rounding up a handful due to questionable importation paperwork.

Jalopnik reports 40 Land Rover 90s, 110s and Defenders were rounded-up by the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday as evidence in a federal investigation over illegal importation of the iconic SUVs into the United States. Owners of the 40 dispute the agency’s claims, one owner stating his 110 was a 1983 model — citing the vehicle’s VIN — despite police claiming it to be 2000 model.

The seizures may be a part of an ongoing investigation into an importer in North Carolina who brought in Defenders younger than 25 years into the U.S., though none of the parties involved can comment. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative Vince Picard says the 40 owners “will have an opportunity to seek restitution for their losses.”

The post Forty Land Rovers Seized By Homeland Security In Ongoing Investigation appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/forty-land-rovers-seized-by-homeland-security-in-ongoing-investigation/feed/ 117
Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=863225 Jaguar Land Rover is bringing a duo of augmented-reality HUDs to its respective brands, each with a different take on the technology. Autoblog reports the Land Rover’s setup will have what they dub a Smart Assistant handling nearly every function and task so as to allow the driver to focus on driving to their destinations. […]

The post Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jaguar HUD

Jaguar Land Rover is bringing a duo of augmented-reality HUDs to its respective brands, each with a different take on the technology.

Autoblog reports the Land Rover’s setup will have what they dub a Smart Assistant handling nearly every function and task so as to allow the driver to focus on driving to their destinations. The assistant connects with a driver’s smartphone to do everything from reminding you to drop off the children at school, to playing those morning jams Jalopnik likes to recommend. Meanwhile, the technology is also at work on-board, noting how many passengers are with the driver, knowing how the driver drives, even adjusting the air suspension to make exiting the vehicle easier.

Jaguar, on the other hand, is taking the video game approach with the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen, turning a day at the track into a scene from Forza or Gran Turismo. The race-oriented HUD offers lap times, virtual racing lines and ghost competitors among other data selections. There will also be gesture controls and configuration options, as well.

The post Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/feed/ 6
Capsule Review: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-2014-land-rover-range-rover-evoque/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-2014-land-rover-range-rover-evoque/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=843970 This has never happened to me before. Four different women complimented me on this vehicle. I’m guessing they were somewhere between 25 and 45 years old – it’s really difficult to tell these days. They were all fit, attractive (-ish), wore fancy sunglasses, and carried equally fancy bags which complemented their outfits. They all loved this […]

The post Capsule Review: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Land Rover range rover evoque front 34

This has never happened to me before. Four different women complimented me on this vehicle. I’m guessing they were somewhere between 25 and 45 years old – it’s really difficult to tell these days. They were all fit, attractive (-ish), wore fancy sunglasses, and carried equally fancy bags which complemented their outfits. They all loved this baby Range Rover. To them, it represented an essential accessory that would complete them. That, my friends, is a marketing success.

2014 Land Rover range rover evoque rear

The Evoque does not sit well with a Land Rover enthusiast such as myself. My earliest television memories are of Camel Trophy races. In college, I spent six weeks driving around southern Africa in a Defender 110. In 2002, I attempted to enter the G4 Challenge. If I could, I would put NATO steel wheels and mud-terrain tires on every big Range Rover in existence. And yet, here I am driving this car that has R A N G E R O V E R written across this hood failing to justify its existence. Clearly, the hotties know something I don’t.

The problem with enthusiasts is that we forget that car companies’ first goal is to be profitable. Rest assured that Jaguar-Land Rover won’t quickly forget their corporate experiences of the past two decades. The good thing is that at the rate they are going they won’t have to worry about it. There are waiting lists for new Range Rovers and the Jaguar F-type is just drop dead gorgeous. With attractive lease rates, the Evoques have been appearing at newly constructed loft style condominiums everywhere.

2014 Land Rover range rover evoque dash interior

No matter what your opinion on Evoque’s styling, it has clearly become part of the Land Rover design language, as seen in the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. While the bigger vehicles have more masculine styling, this baby Rover looks striking and athletic, and therefore more appealing to the above mentioned ladies, who are clearly its target customers. Unlike Rovers of the past, this is form-over-function design. The slick sporty exterior lines have opposing effect on interior space, overall utility, and rear visibility, all of which have been Range Rover trademarks for due to their two-box design and large windows.

Front seats are comfortable but legroom and headroom are lacking for back seat passengers. Overall interior materials are nice, but not to the level of the big Range Rovers. The huge panoramic roof gives the cabin a very airy feel, but oddly enough it does not open. The infotainment system is the typical slow and outdated model seen on all JLR vehicles; it Bluetooths, in streams, it navs, it syncs, and it even offers some interesting options which I’d gladly trade for increased ease of use.

2014 Land Rover range rover evoque trunk

Some will find the round pop-up shifter irritating, but now that almost all automakers have switched to electronic shifters, I found it more acceptable. Below it is the AWD Terrain Response system and hill ascent control, which I have not had an opportunity to evaluate – and chances are that neither will most buyers. The rest of center console consists of are two cup-holders, two 12v receptacles, a cubby for your cell phone, and a storage bin capable of storing the fanciest of purses.

The direct-injected 2.0 liter turbo four-cylinder produces 240hp and 250lb-ft. The vehicle feels peppy above 2500rpm, but with the transmission is in D, it likes to up-shift early. This sometimes puts a delay in acceleration, as the transmission will hunt the proper gear out of the nine it has available. Turning the shifter knob to S makes things smoother, but it’s still best to avoid lower engine speeds. There are also paddle shifters but I can’t imagine anyone actually using them.

2014 Land Rover range rover evoque interior details

The 2014 Evoque is rated at 21mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway, a slight increase from the past model years due to the new nine-speed transmission. Also new is the engine start/stop system, which is one of the most annoying things on any new car, but easily disabled with a press of dash mounted button. My real world numbers achieved on short, traffic infested city runs and enthusiastic highway runs in sport mode resulted in an average of about 22-24mpg.

The starting price for the Range Rover Evoque 5-door is $42,025. The pictured vehicle has the Pure Plus Package, Xenon/LED headlights, cameras everywhere, dub wheels, fancy leather, adaptive cruise control, contrasting black roof and a number of other gizmos. The price for this almost fully loaded Evoque is $59,140, which includes a destination charge.

2014 Land Rover range rover evoque side

The main goal of the Evoque was to attract new customers to the Land Rover dealership; those with smaller budgets, those who do not need a large SUV, and those who never considered a Land Rover before. It has achieved that goal with the lure of brand image, styling, and Posh Spice’s approval. Based on those facets alone, Land Rover will sell each one as fast as they can make them.

 

Kamil Kaluski is the east coast editor for Hooniverse.com. Read his ramblings on eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous car stuff there. 

Land Rover provided the vehicle for this review.

The post Capsule Review: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-2014-land-rover-range-rover-evoque/feed/ 63
New York 2014: Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Live Shots http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-land-rover-discovery-vision-concept-live-shots/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-land-rover-discovery-vision-concept-live-shots/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:58:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=802778 The future of the Land Rover Discovery family — the Discovery Vision concept — was unveiled before attendees at the 2014 New York Auto Show Wednesday. The concept SUV’s design language will be echoed throughout the entire family that will begin entering showrooms in the coming years, though that’s only the beginning for the Discovery’s […]

The post New York 2014: Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Live Shots appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-06

The future of the Land Rover Discovery family — the Discovery Vision concept — was unveiled before attendees at the 2014 New York Auto Show Wednesday.

The concept SUV’s design language will be echoed throughout the entire family that will begin entering showrooms in the coming years, though that’s only the beginning for the Discovery’s silver future.

Among the many driving enhancements on-board the concept include Remote Drive Control — allowing the driver to maneuver their Defender out of the bog without needing to be behind the wheel — Transparent Bonnet display for avoiding obstacles obscured by the height of the bonnet, Laser Terrain Scanning, and Smart Glass augmented reality system.

Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-06 Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-05 Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-02 Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-03 Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-08 Land-Rover-Discovery-Vision-Concept-01

The post New York 2014: Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Live Shots appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-york-2014-land-rover-discovery-vision-concept-live-shots/feed/ 28
Capsule Review: 2014 Range Rover Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/capsule-review-2014-range-rover-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/capsule-review-2014-range-rover-sport/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=728498 “I could have had a V8!” was the tagline for a foul tonic of liquified vegetables and spices sold by Campbell’s, but also a metaphor for the deadly automotive sin of purchasing a V6 muscle car. In my own lifetime, I remember when anyone with a Y chromosome that willingly purchased a 6-cylinder pony car […]

The post Capsule Review: 2014 Range Rover Sport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
photo (14)

“I could have had a V8!” was the tagline for a foul tonic of liquified vegetables and spices sold by Campbell’s, but also a metaphor for the deadly automotive sin of purchasing a V6 muscle car. In my own lifetime, I remember when anyone with a Y chromosome that willingly purchased a 6-cylinder pony car was derided as a skinflint at best, effete at worst. It wasn’t until the second decade of the 2000’s that things changed. The V6s on offer suddenly became legitimate options for ponycar buyers.

The V6 Mustang was no longer a secretary special, but a legitimate sports car, offering comparable straight line performance with the old Mod Motor Mustangs, and able to dispatch its import competition around a road course. The GM HFX V6 and Chrysler Pentastar V6s went a long way to raise the game of the rental-spec Camaros and LX/LY chassis cars respectively, making it hard for us to imagine that the old 2.7 Chrysler V6 and the GM 3.9L ever existed. That doesn’t mean that you should willingly opt for two less cylinders. Not in a pony car. But in a Range Rover Sport, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

photo (10)

If not for some scheduling screw-ups, I would have only driven the car you see above, a Range Rover Sport Supercharged model finished in the kind of discrete shade of grey typically favored by buyers of these cars. Since my parking spot is on the 6th floor of an underground garage, I had to have my condo’s concierge spot me as I made my way down the ramps (with the adjustable air suspension set to “Access” mode, which lowers the ride height), as I sweated bullets while trying to avoid contact with the garage’s giant air ducts, fearful that I’d have to explain the enormous scratches on the roof of the Rover.

Before I moved in, I had the big boy Range Rover Supercharged, and came off less than impressed. The prior-generation Range Rover was once the superior vehicle, with the LR4-based Range Sport a dreadful, cut-rate alternative, with awful dynamics and an unfortunate association with fans of Tapout clothing. Not so anymore. The full-size Rover, the Official State Vehicle of the Kardashian Republic of Calabasis, takes a back seat to the Sport. The new baby Range is bloody brilliant. It makes the big one redundant.

My intial impression was only confirmed by my stint in the V6, which came a few weeks after my time in the V8. After my scheduled press car was pulled, I was given a consolation prize in the form of a Range Rover Sport in HSE trim, which comes with the 3.0L Supercharged V6 found in the Jaguar XJ and the “base” trim F-Type.

In typical driving scenarios, both V6 and V8 versions are functionally identical. While the full-size Range Rover has adopted a feel that would be traditionally ascribed to a large American sedan, the Sport has a character of its own. The numb steering and floaty ride of the big Range are nowhere to be found. Instead, the Sport is composed and even a little firm, without being harsh, while the steering has a heft and level of communication on par with the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. The quality of the interior materials is superb, with supple leather liberally appointed throughout the cabin, along with the aluminum accents and piano black trim that is currently en vogue in the premium segment. There’s very little noise, aside from what’s playing on the Meridian sound system. The infotainment system is easy to operate, with a big touch screen and a fairly intuitive menu. There are even arm rests for the front bucket seats, which were a hit with my passengers riding shotgun.

The absence of two cylinders in the HSE is only apparent when you step on it. The V6’s 340 horsepower comes on after a brief pause, while the Supercharged V8’s 510 ponies present themselves in a much more apparent fashion. Both have more than enough power, though the Supercharged version’s extra grunt can generate triple digit speeds in a much quicker manner. Shifts are handled by the ubiquitous ZF 8-speed automatic, which is civilized when left in “D”, and far more responsive when shifted into “S”.

The real tie-breaker between the two is the Supercharged model’s “Dynamic Mode”. Shift the Supercharged into Sport mode and adjust the console mounted rotary dial to the far left, and the Supercharged adopts a fight-or-flight like response: the stocks stiffen, the shifts quicken and the throttle mapping becomes markedly more aggressive.

The change in demeanor is startling. In Dynamic Mode, the Supercharged version feels like a very well appointed Cherokee SRT, lunging forward with a carnivorous intensity. You wouldn’t expect something this tall and bulky to handle so well, but like the SRT, it manages to challenge your perceptions of what an SUV is capable of.  When you’re done flinging the two-and-a-half tonne aluminum bobseld along the piste, you can push the shifter back into drive, take it out of Dynamic Mode and get back on your way to the yoga studio.

Trying to achieve the same results in the HSE is far less gratifying, and not advisable. But at least the differences in capabilities are clearly demarcated. If you really want a something like a Grand Cherokee SRT or a Mercedes-Benz ML63 but suffer from an acute case of Anglophilia, spring for the $79,995 Supercharged. For everything else, including school runs, trips to Whole Foods and the yacht club, the HSE will suffice. You coulda had a V8, but you’ll save nearly $12,000 and have 98 percent of the capabilities of both the Supercharged, and a much better car than the $84,000 full-size Range Rover.

The post Capsule Review: 2014 Range Rover Sport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/capsule-review-2014-range-rover-sport/feed/ 70
New Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Brazil to Open in 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/new-jaguar-land-rover-factory-in-brazil-to-open-in-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/new-jaguar-land-rover-factory-in-brazil-to-open-in-2016/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 11:30:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=677250 If you live in Brazil and are pining away for a Jaguar or Land Rover, Tata Motors will open a factory for the luxury marques in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The new factory, slated to produce 24,000 units annually at the beginning, is set to begin construction in Itatiaia sometime next year. The […]

The post New Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Brazil to Open in 2016 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

If you live in Brazil and are pining away for a Jaguar or Land Rover, Tata Motors will open a factory for the luxury marques in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The new factory, slated to produce 24,000 units annually at the beginning, is set to begin construction in Itatiaia sometime next year. The two luxury brands already hold 53 percent of the luxury SUV market in Brazil, with a goal to sell 10,000 units in 2014; 9,549 Evoques, Freelanders, Discoverys et al have left the showroom through October 2013.

Tata will use the new factory to meet local demand before considering export markets nearby, and is considered to be a major step in their overall global manufacturing strategy.

The post New Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Brazil to Open in 2016 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/new-jaguar-land-rover-factory-in-brazil-to-open-in-2016/feed/ 4
Review: 2013 Land Rover LR4 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2013-land-rover-lr4/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2013-land-rover-lr4/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 15:41:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=498050 My friends and neighbors have gotten used to the sight of a variety of brand new and nicely equipped cars that periodically show up on my driveway. They know that many (most? all?) of them are beyond my own means to own or lease so a frequent question I’m asked is, “who would buy that […]

The post Review: 2013 Land Rover LR4 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_0141

My friends and neighbors have gotten used to the sight of a variety of brand new and nicely equipped cars that periodically show up on my driveway. They know that many (most? all?) of them are beyond my own means to own or lease so a frequent question I’m asked is, “who would buy that car?” Who would buy a 2013 Land Rover LR4? A snarky answer would be nobody, since it’s a safe bet that most of the 600 or so new LR4s that get delivered every month in North America are leased, but my guess is that the typical buyers are affluent suburban families with children and maybe a vacation home on an unpaved road. Who else would drive a 7 passenger luxury SUV?

IMG_0223

With permanent seating for five adults and two flip up seats in the back, which could be used to transport grown ups if needed but are really more suited to car pooling kids to school, the LR4 will likely be used mostly as a mommymobile. Once mom does flip up those far back seats, she’s probably going to want to leave them up unless she needs the cargo space because they’re a bit of a PITA to put up or down. Speaking of things that are awkward, the clamshell rear end, with both a short lift gate and an actual tail gate may be a bit of a Land Rover styling signature, but the tail gate, with its asymmetrical cutout that lets you get closer to the cargo hold, still makes for a long reach when getting things in and out of the back.

IMG_0156

How most LR4s will be used most of the time will be nowhere near their capabilities. The LR4 has got the equipment and features to be a very competent off-road vehicle, but the simple fact is that most LR4s will likely never leave pavement. If they do it will be down a gravel driveway or two-track to a summer home.

IMG_0136

The LR4 comes with what Land Rover calls “permanent four wheel drive with traction control”, a two-speed transfer case, a locking center differential, LR’s five position “Terrain Response System” that lets you select an appropriate mode for a variety of unpaved surfaces, hill descent control, and fully independent suspension with electronically controlled air springs that automatically levels the car in response to load conditions and has an off-road setting that increases ground clearance by about 2.5 inches from the normal 7.3″ ride height. Should you take it off-road, the undercarriage is protected by skid plates. My suspicion, though, is that if a typical LR4 driver uses any of those features, it will be about 1% of the time. In addition to the off-road and normal ride heights, there is also an “access level” setting, that drops the truck’s body a couple of inches, to make ingress and egress easier. It can also be locked in that position (low speeds only, if you go too fast with the body raised or lowered, the LR4 will automatically return to normal ride height) for dealing with parking structures that have low clearance. It seems to me that in regular use, the three position switch will rarely, if ever, go into the raised position. It also seems to me that the typical driver will appreciate the fact that the driver’s seat automatically lowers itself and the power adjusted steering wheel is lifted out of the way as you prepare to exit the vehicle.

Click here to view the embedded video.

That capable air suspension may not end up getting a workout in the boonies but it is wonderful for driving around the frost heaved and financially distressed Detroit area roads where I live. I even started looking for low curbs and potholes to run over, to marvel at how the Land Rover just soaks up road irregularities. There’s a road not far from my home where the asphalt has been beaten into an oscillating mess. The road surface discombobulates most cars at any speed. The LR4 handled the bumps with aplomb.

IMG_0155

Mom and kids will have a comfortable ride on the way to school. It also handles pretty well on pavement for a truck, and it is a truck. Land Rover calls the architecture “integrated body frame”. What that means is essentially a unibody structure welded to a traditional ladder frame. The LR4 is sturdy, but even with some aluminum body panels, it weighs more than 2 1/2 tons, 5,623 lbs to be exact. That’s about 400 pounds more than a Duesenberg Model J. Even when carpooling with little kids, a fully loaded LR4 will tip the scales at over 3 tons.

IMG_0178

Steering is precise and quick, if a bit lacking in feel. The LR4 has a remarkably tight turning radius for a vehicle of its size, 18.8 feet. By comparison, a Chrysler 300 sedan has a 19.4′ turning radius. At the steering wheel it’s just a bit over three turns lock to lock. Also, the LR4 is not as large as it seems. The LR4 is tall, wide and heavy, but it’s not that long, 191 inches, only about 2″ longer than a Toyota Camry, and since it’s designed to be able to climb over things like a Camry there’s not much overhang, particularly at the front of the truck. Add in the four wheel drive and various sophisticated drivetrain components and stability controls and the result is a fairly maneuverable SUV. It’s also not slow.  Zero to sixty times are stated as 7.5 seconds, which would have been considered quick in any other time than our horsepower addled age. The six speed automatic made by ZF worked flawlessly. You can shift it yourself if you want to, but it’s one of those bassakwards automanual gear selectors that have you push forward to go up a gear.

IMG_0217

I like the brakes. They are probably the best modulated brakes of cars I’ve driven recently. Considering the mass involved their performance was impressive, though I’d prefer a bit more initial bite. The one time I had to make an unexpected stop there was no drama.

IMG_0198

Again, this is a truck, not a crossover. You sit up high, with a commanding seating position. I could look F-150 and Silverado drivers pretty much in the eye. With a very square front end and the front wheels at the corners, you can easily see the front corners. It was very easy to place the LR4 on the road. Though the rear side windows that extend into the roof, a Land Rover styling cue, are a bit of an illusion since the view from the inside is masked, visibility to the rear is very good.

IMG_0209

I alluded to the affluence of the target audience of the LR4. The one I had, in Fuji white with a Black Design Package that replaces all chrome brightwork with very sharp looking glossy black trim, stickered out at $64,145, with about $15K worth of options. The 7 Seat LUX package is $9,225 and gets you nice power leather seats, power steering column, special black 19″ wheels, a fridge in the console, and a 17 speaker, 825 watt harman/kardon Logic 7 branded sound system. That package include both the HSE and Classic Comfort packages, which gives you multiple zone automatic climate control. The black on white color scheme looks fabulous, and people remarked about what a nice looking vehicle it is, but that glossy black trim will also set you back $3,500. If you want a rugged looking white vehicle with black trim but you don’t want to spend an additional $3,500, I believe that look is standard on the Ford E-150.

ce2bd27849e94934b563ec5873101282!20130116140838000

Not only isn’t the LR4 cheap to buy, it’s not going to be cheap to drive. I had originally hoped to take the LR4 to The Mounds, a county owned off-road driving park north of Flint, Michigan. Press cars only come with one tank of gas, the 375 HP, 375 ft lbs, Jaguar V8 under the hood runs on premium gasoline.

IMG_0241

The LR4 comes with two glove boxes and a little storage cubby.

Still, it’s only about a 120 mile round trip and I did talk to the park director thinking that it’d be nice to try out the Land Rover in it’s intended habitat and maybe even do a story about The Mounds, which is unique enough that they get off-road enthusiasts from as far away as Texas. However, after the first quarter tank of gas returned 9.5 MPG, a figure I haven’t personally seen since I could buy gas for two-bits a gallon, I changed my plans. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever driven another car that got less than 10 over that kind of distance. My late father’s 1966 Olds 88 with a 425 big block and a 4 barrel carb got 11 MPG.

IMG_0234

Suspension pieces are the definition of beefy.

So I scotched that trip and instead used the LR4 the way it is likely to be used, driving around the suburbs, with an occasional highway trip or excursion into the city. I barely got over 200 miles range on the full tank, with an overall average of 12.9 MPG – compared to a combined EPA rating of 14. I’ll have to check my Jaguar reviews, but offhand I think the mileage that I got was even a bit worse than with the two XF Supercharged models I tested, and those have 470 HP.

IMG_0237

Skid plates standard

The LR4 is slated for a mid-cycle refreshment and spy pics have already been spotted of the car with revised headlamps. The current car is perfectly comfortable, even somewhat luxurious, certainly in its features, but while the utilitarian, mostly black plastic interior trim fits with the LR4’s off-road capabilities and credentials, and while the fit and finish is appropriate for a vehicle that expensive, it seems a bit spartan for $64,000 and, according to reports, the interior on the next Discovery/LR5 will also be upgraded as well. It’s not surprising that also being replaced is the thirsty Jaguar V8 . Instead the base engine will be the supercharged V6 introduced in the new Jaguar F Type. No word from Jaguar on whether or not a diesel will be available in North America.

Will it Zayde?

IMG_0068

Unlike the new fathers in the autoblogosphere, like our own Brendan Macaleer, or Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky, this is my second time around with small children. Once a week I babysit my 14 month old grandson, Aryeh Leib. When Jason does car reviews, he includes a “Will it baby?” assessment of how well that vehicle suits the needs of parents of small children, so with his gracious permission I’d like to introduce “Will it Zayde?” The access level setting on the air suspension (must remember to activate it before shutting everything down) does make it easier to get a baby laden car seat in and out of the back seat. I wouldn’t even try putting one in the way back. Putting a car seat in the car does have one hangup. The seat belt latches for the regular rear seats are mounted on hinged arms that retract into a recess to allow the seats to lie fully flat when folded. That makes buckling a child car seat into those seats a two hand task, one for lifting up the latch and the other to insert the buckle. Since you have to reach over the car seat to do that, it’s rather awkward.

In summary, other than the poor fuel economy, I liked the LR4. It’s comfortable, handles well for a truck and it is likely to get you there no matter the road conditions. It won’t be cheap to buy or own, but then that’s not likely to be a concern for someone willing to spend $64K on a station wagon to get the kids to school and mom to her yoga classes.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

IMG_0263 IMG_0067 IMG_0068 IMG_0069 IMG_0133 IMG_0134 IMG_0135 IMG_0136 IMG_0138 IMG_0139 IMG_0140 IMG_0141 IMG_0142 IMG_0143 IMG_0144 IMG_0145 IMG_0148 IMG_0149 IMG_0150 IMG_0151 IMG_0152 IMG_0153 IMG_0154 IMG_0155 IMG_0156 IMG_0157 IMG_0158 IMG_0159 IMG_0160 IMG_0161 IMG_0162 IMG_0163 IMG_0164 IMG_0165 IMG_0166 IMG_0167 IMG_0167a IMG_0173 IMG_0174 IMG_0175 IMG_0176 IMG_0177 IMG_0178 IMG_0179 IMG_0180 IMG_0181 IMG_0183 IMG_0184 IMG_0185 IMG_0186 IMG_0187 IMG_0188 IMG_0189 IMG_0190 IMG_0191 IMG_0193 IMG_0194 IMG_0195 IMG_0196 IMG_0197 IMG_0197a IMG_0198 IMG_0199 IMG_0201 IMG_0202 IMG_0203 IMG_0205 IMG_0206 IMG_0207 IMG_0208 IMG_0209 IMG_0209a IMG_0211 IMG_0212 IMG_0213 IMG_0214 IMG_0215 IMG_0217 IMG_0218 IMG_0219 IMG_0222 IMG_0223 IMG_0224 IMG_0225 IMG_0226 IMG_0226a IMG_0229 IMG_0230 IMG_0231 IMG_0232 IMG_0233 IMG_0234 IMG_0236 IMG_0237 IMG_0238 IMG_0239 IMG_0239a IMG_0240 IMG_0241 IMG_0243 IMG_0247 IMG_0248 IMG_0250 IMG_0252 IMG_0256 IMG_0258 IMG_0259 IMG_0260

The post Review: 2013 Land Rover LR4 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2013-land-rover-lr4/feed/ 88
Capsule Review: 2013 Range Rover Supercharged http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/capsule-review-2013-range-rover-supercharged/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/capsule-review-2013-range-rover-supercharged/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=489162 How long has it been since the Range Rover was “the best 4x4xfar”? Since the original 2-door Spen King special went out of production? Since Toyota replaced Land Rover vehicles (including the Defender, Range Rover and the like) as the vehicle of choice for African off-roaders and UN peacekeepers? Since the Range Rover was catapulted […]

The post Capsule Review: 2013 Range Rover Supercharged appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
photo (43)

How long has it been since the Range Rover was “the best 4x4xfar”? Since the original 2-door Spen King special went out of production? Since Toyota replaced Land Rover vehicles (including the Defender, Range Rover and the like) as the vehicle of choice for African off-roaders and UN peacekeepers? Since the Range Rover was catapulted from Anglophile obscurity to the must have vehicular fashion accessory of the wannabe Kardashian set?

Though my last Land Rover press car, a 2012 Range Rover Sport, displayed three error codes related to the air suspension, I’ve yet to get the full Doug DeMuro experience of actually owning a Range Rover – partly because I don’t have three other vehicles to rely on when something goes wrong, and partly because every time I return these cars, I come to the same conclusion; driving a Range Rover idea is a much better idea in your mind than in reality.

Without fail, the Range Rover is the one vehicle that attracts the most attention from my friends and peers. Requests for rides are legion, attention from the opposite sex is far more abundant than when I am driving something sporty, and with this new-for-2013 version, plenty of people wanted to know what I thought of it, especially owners of the previous generation model.

Unanimous among them was a reaction of incredulity when I told them I didn’t really like it. It was as if I had announced my belief in the sanctity of the unborn life to a meeting of Andrea Dworkin admirers. I suspect it has more to do with what the Range Rover represents to them than how good the car actually is.

You see, you can buy plenty of very good large SUVs and crossovers right now. If you like German cars, there’s the Mercedes-Benz ML, the BMW X5, the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touraeg. Japanese car fans can opt for anything from the Infiniti JX to the Lexus LX570, which, ironically, is based on the Toyota Land Crusier, the car that did everything a Land Rover or Range Rover could do, without spontaneously breaking down while one is being pursued by the janjaweed in Darkest Sudan.

If you’re like me and you want a nice SUV with lots of power, solid build quality and enough discretion to keep your car from getting vandalized while you shop at the ethnic supermarket, you can go and buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee  Summit. Unlike the Range Rover, you can pick a diesel option, and you can even buy one for your spouse as well before you equal the Range Rover’s $100,000 price tag.

Of course, quality, engineering and alternative powertrains matter not to the people who park Range Rovers in front of their McMansions. That famed cost of entry doesn’t get you any of that. It gets you a pogo-stick ride, an infotainment system from the last decade and interior materials that are “good from far, but far from good”. The expanse of black plastic that seems to take up most of the center console is a particular offense to both aesthetics and value. Were this a Honda CR-V, the reviewers would be crucifying it right now. The one appreciable difference that a Range Rover has over every other SUV (save for the abominable Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen) is that it is more expensive than the competition. Owning one, therefore, telegraphs to the world that you have the means to afford one.

On the upside, it is really, really fast. The 510 horsepower V8 engine moves this thing like a two-box Shelby Mustang, and the 8-speed automatic only helps matters. The lightweight aluminum frame shared with its Jaguar corporate cousins plays a part as well. In fact, I wouldn’t mind trying out the 3.0L V6 version, which is nearly $20,000 cheaper. Based on my impressions of that motor in the Jaguar XJ (coming soon), it should be perfectly adequate for this package.

But again, I am struck with the undeniable fact that Range Rover has ceased to become a product and is now just a brand. The name is slapped on pimped-out LR4s and gussied-up Ford Mondeos that even come in a 3-door configuration. Charles Spencer King might at least have approved of  that, were he able to call the shots.

Or maybe not.

A few years before he died, Spen King publiclly lashed out at SUV drivers, telling a Scottish newspaper

 “The 4×4 was never intended as a status symbol, but later incarnations of my design seem to be intended for that purpose.  I find the people who use it as such deeply unattractive.  Sadly, the 4×4 has become an alternative to a Mercedes or BMW for the pompous, self-important driver. To use the 4×4 for the school run, or even in cities or towns at all, is completely stupid.”

Spen King’s criticism fell on deaf ears. His creation has become one of the best symbols of ostentation and vulgarity on four wheels. As a statement of frivolous wealth, the Range Rover has few genuine rivals. But as an SUV it is outclassed by all of the aforementioned vehicles – by far.

The post Capsule Review: 2013 Range Rover Supercharged appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/capsule-review-2013-range-rover-supercharged/feed/ 73
Range Rover Sport First Drive http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/range-rover-sport-first-drive/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/range-rover-sport-first-drive/#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 17:54:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=487398 The Range Rover Sport was launched in 2005 and Land Rover has sold 4,00,000 units till date. Evolved from Land Rover’s first concept vehicle, the Range Stormer (showcased in 2004), the first generation Range Rover Sport’s production has been stopped, as the second generation model is all set to go on sale in the next […]

The post Range Rover Sport First Drive appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Range-Rover-Sport-Drive

The Range Rover Sport was launched in 2005 and Land Rover has sold 4,00,000 units till date. Evolved from Land Rover’s first concept vehicle, the Range Stormer (showcased in 2004), the first generation Range Rover Sport’s production has been stopped, as the second generation model is all set to go on sale in the next couple of months. Land Rover has announced pricing for the Sport in the UK, which starts at £59,995 for the base trim and goes up to  £74,995 at the top end. The second gen Range Rover Sport is all new and shares only 25% parts with the Range Rover. It uses an all aluminium PLA platform, which results in a weight saving of 420 kgs over its predecessor (when powered by the same engine). Land Rover states the new Range Rover Sport is “the fastest, most agile, most responsive Land Rover ever”. The British company claims a 30% improvement in handling over the first gen model. The new RR Sport does a lap around the Nordschleife in 8:35 minutes, which is fast for a full sized SUV.

We had a chance to drive a Range Rover Sport prototype at Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon test track. The vehicle we drove used a gasoline unit, powered by a 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 engine, belting out 510 PS and 625 Nm. This engine is mated to a 8-speed automatic gearbox, with a stick shift instead of the rotary gear knob found on the Range Rover. The reduction in weight is immediately apparent, the Range Rover Sport feels more eager to throttle inputs. The engine sounds sporty (it has active exhaust system) and acceleration is brisk with 240 km/hr coming on the speedo without any fuss. 0 – 100 km/hr takes just 5.3 seconds, impressive. In Dynamic mode, the dials change to red color and the response from the motor is more immediate.

Range-Rover-Sport-Prototype-Drive

Land Rover has given the new Range Rover Sport Torque Vectoring and Active Roll Control, which works fabulously to ensure the vehicle stays planted around corners. The former system sends torque to the wheel with the most grip, thereby adjusting the balance of the car. You can actually feel the torque vectoring system working, preventing understeer with power being transferred from the inside wheel to the outside ones. We turned through corners at speeds in excess of 100 km/hr and the Rangie was thoroughly planted. The steering wheel weighs up well and is immediately different from the standard Range Rover, offering tremendous feedback. High speed stability is excellent too and you never feel you are doing 200 km/hr as the noise insulation is spot on.

The Range Rover Sport will stay true to Land Rover DNA and will offer off-road capabilities which the competition simply can’t match. While we didn’t take the vehicle off-road, we have no doubts how capable it is, since it gets the same off-road systems from the Range Rover. Other features include heads-up display, reverse traffic detection, traffic sign detection, wading sensors, InControl car app, 23 speaker Meridian system with 3D sound stage, etc. The feature list is quite long actually but we will reserve our judgement till we test these systems ourselves.

Range-Rover-Sport-Interior

You sit slightly lower in the Range Rover Sport and the ride quality is slightly on the stiffer side (specially in Dynamic mode). Some bumps do tend to filter into the cabin but overall the ride comfort is still excellent and there is the sense of waft-ability which is associated with its elder sibling. Due to the weight reduction, Land Rover will for the first time offer a 4-cylinder motor in the Range Rover Sport (2.0-litre gasoline mill producing 240 BHP). This would go on sale by the end of the year and will weigh 500 kgs lesser than the first gen model. The mileage has improved due to the reduced girth and the 3.0-litre TDV6 equipped model will return 37 mpg (a 7 mpg improvement).

Range-Rover-Sport-Console

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Sport an option of 7-seats, which they call Secret Seats. The last row of seats are strictly for children and there is no way an adult can squeeze in. These seats are best used on short journeys. Interior quality and finish is top notch with the dashboard taking cues from the Range Rover. The Sport is being targeted as a tourer and thus interior comfort is paramount, the company delivers well in that regard. Our first impressions are extremely positive, the new Range Rover Sport is undeniably a significant leap over its predecessor. The Brits have certainly caused the Germans a reason to worry.

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.

The post Range Rover Sport First Drive appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/range-rover-sport-first-drive/feed/ 23
Upcoming Range Rover Sport Rendered http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/upcoming-next-gen-range-rover-sport-rendered/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/upcoming-next-gen-range-rover-sport-rendered/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:47:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469043 With the introduction of the new Range Rover already underway, next on the agenda is the smaller Range Rover Sport. The Range Rover Sport was launched in 2005 and got a facelift in 2010. Next year, Land Rover will finally bring a vastly improved version, which is not only lighter, but better looking too. Codenamed […]

The post Upcoming Range Rover Sport Rendered appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

With the introduction of the new Range Rover already underway, next on the agenda is the smaller Range Rover Sport.

The Range Rover Sport was launched in 2005 and got a facelift in 2010. Next year, Land Rover will finally bring a vastly improved version, which is not only lighter, but better looking too. Codenamed L494, the second generation Range Rover Sport will adopt the new Range Rover’s D4u platform, which is made of aluminum, resulting in an overall weight loss to the tune of nearly 900 lbs.

Interior room will be increased thanks to a longer wheelbase, and a 7-seat version is also rumored. Both the exterior and interior will be influenced from the Range Rover Evoque. The company will offer the same range of diesel and gasoline engines, mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Prices are expected to go northwards with sales starting in the latter half of 2013.

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.

The post Upcoming Range Rover Sport Rendered appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/upcoming-next-gen-range-rover-sport-rendered/feed/ 16
Review: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/review-2013-land-rover-range-rover-evoque-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/review-2013-land-rover-range-rover-evoque-video/#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2012 20:31:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=465637 Land Rover and Jeep are the original go-anywhere brands and the brands most resistant to losing sight of their hard-core mission. Unfortunately this focus can’t shelter them from the need to meet evermore stringent emissions and fuel economy standards. What’s an iconic sub-brand like Range Rover to do? Dress up a small cross over in […]

The post Review: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Land Rover and Jeep are the original go-anywhere brands and the brands most resistant to losing sight of their hard-core mission. Unfortunately this focus can’t shelter them from the need to meet evermore stringent emissions and fuel economy standards. What’s an iconic sub-brand like Range Rover to do? Dress up a small cross over in high-fashion bling for the urban set. This presents today’s question: does the Evoque dilute the off-road brand or is it an extension into uncharted waters?

Click here to view the embedded video.

Exterior

Once upon a time, SUVs roamed the land with large-displacement engines and locking axles and you only bought a Range Rover if you owned a ranch or wore a crown. Now of course a trendy SUV is a fashion statement which explains why Victoria Beckham was chosen to flog the baby Rover. Of course, this makes total sense for the brand since the majority of Range Rover shoppers in America will never take their SUV off-pavement let-alone off-road. This departure from the full-size Range Rover’s Rubicon requirements meant the boffins could sharpen the Evoque’s edges, lower the stance, raise the belt line and slam the rear roofline. The result is perhaps the most aggressive vehicle Land Rover has crafted, and quite a relief to my eye since the Freelander and LR2’s proportions never looked right to me. Further extending the Evoque’s fashion credentials, Land Rover crafted both a three and five door Evoque, although the exterior dimensions are identical. Completing the Evoque’s reputation as the trendy Roverlet are puddle lamps integrated into the side view mirrors that project an Evoque silhouette on the ground when you approach the vehicle. Think of the Evoque as the “clutch purse” to the Range Rover Sport’s diaper bag.

 

Interior

Normally when you work your way down the model-line food chain you get cheaper interior bits. This is almost a universal law and is part of the reason shoppers will buy a 528i instead of a 335i. It would seem that Land Rover didn’t get the memo when designing the Evoque’s interior however as even the base Pure model we tested had a gorgeous stitched/padded pleather dash. Aside from looking good and attracting caresses from passengers, the Evoque’s touch points are notable better feeling than the more expensive Range Rover Sport. The Evoque also benefits from a fairly exclusive parts bin sharing turn signal stalks with the Range Rover line, steering wheel buttons with the Jaguar XJ and the gear selector with the Jaguar XK.

Range Rovers are known for their extensive (and expensive) options lists, but the Evoque take a different tactic bundling high levels of standard equipment into three different trim levels: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic (the two-door is available only in Pure and Dynamic). The base Pure model gets a standard aluminum roof for 2013 turning the ginormous fixed glass lid into an option (standard on Dynamic and Prestige). Also new on the option list for 2013 is a self-parking option that parallel parks your Baby Rover hands-free.

Seating in the Evoque is suitably plush with front thrones that are supportive and well bolstered for sporty driving. However, the driver’s seat doesn’t have the same range of motion as much of the competition and the foot-well is a bit crowded so if your body deviates much from my 6-foot 190-lb frame you should spend some time behind the wheel before you sign papers. The Evoque’s rear cabin is extremely well-appointed with no corner-cutting plastics of harsh seams to be found. Rear space is limited however by the Evoque’s footprint limiting the rear to two passengers with short legs, possibly three in a pinch.

Infotainment

Nestled in the middle of a sea of supple pleather is the same 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system found in the Jaguar XJ and he 2013 Range Rover. If you’ve experienced Land Rover’s old infotainment interface, forget everything you know about it, this is thankfully a totally different system. While the menu interfaces are still not as polished as BMW’s iDrive or Audi’s MMI, they are far more intuitive and responsive than anything Land Rover has done in the past. The system sports excellent USB/iDevice integration although we noticed it was not cable of charging an iPad. In keeping with the Evoque’s premium image, the base audio system is a 380-watt, 11-speaker Meridian surround system that sounded like it belonged in a much more expensive vehicle.

Options bundling helps keep dealer inventory manageable so logically Land Rover limits the gadget menu to two: the Climate Package and the Luxury Package. The $1,000 Climate Package is the only way to get heated front seats and includes the heated thrones, steering wheel, washer jets and an electrically heated windscreen. The only downside to this package is that the heated windscreen’s embedded wires may annoy some drivers, so check that out in sunlight before you buy. The $4,000 Luxury Package (standard on Dynamic and Prestige) is a must for the gadget hound as it includes navigation, digital music storage, keyless go/entry, HID headlamps, auto high beams, a surround camera system and a 17-speaker 825-watt Meridian sound system. While I would honestly rate the system below the offerings from the other Euro brands, the Evoque does score points in my book for allowing  destination entry while in motion.

Powertrain

If  you’re worried about drivetrain reliability ,peeking under the Evoque’s boxy hood will either allay your fears or give you a lesson in world geography. Nestled sideways in the engine bay is a Ford-sourced 2.0L engine shared with everything from the Ford Taurus to the Volvo S80. (Before Land Rover enthusiasts turn their noses up at a Detroit engine, remember that the old Rover V8 was really a Buick 215.) Starting with an aluminum block, Ford added twin cams with independent variable valve timing, bolted on a Borg Warner (KKK) K03 turbocharger and lathered on the direct-injection sauce to deliver 240HP at 5,500RPM and 250lb-ft of twist from 1,750-4,500RPM. The small engine idles as smoothly as BMW’s 2.0L turbo, and like the German mill it has a vaguely diesel sound to it thanks to the direct injection system. Power is sent to all four wheels via an Aisin 6-speed transmission (Aisin is Toyota/Lexus’s in-house transmission company) and a standard Haldex AWD system from Sweden. The international combination is enough to scoot the Evoque from 0-60 in 7 seconds, about the same time as a Range Rover Sport HSE. My only disappointment is that while Tata had their hands in the Ford/Volvo parts bin they didn’t swipe Volvo’s smooth 325HP inline-6 engine for the Evoque Dynamic model.

Drive

No Range Rover would be complete without a bevy of off-road features. Of course, the Evoque is the on-road off-roader so there’s no height-adjustable air suspension, the differentials don’t lock and there’s no low-speed transfer case. Instead, buyers get a simplified terrain management system with push buttons instead of a knob that tell the traction and stability control system what to expect. Our Facebook readers asked us how the Evoque “handles wet leaves,” the answer is: as well as any other crossover. Since this is essentially the same AWD system that is in the LR2 and the Volvo XC60, the Evoque is similarly capable with the going gets wet/muddy/sandy. I wouldn’t want to try my hand rock-crawling with the Evoque, but it’s not claiming to be rock-capable anyway. Sure the Evoque does offer short overhangs, 8.4-inches of clearance and nearly 20-inches of water fording capacity, but the Volvo XC60 offers more.

In reality the Evoque is designed to traverse the urban jungle and it shows with moderately stiff springs, low profile rubber and impeccable road manners. Of course there’s no denying that Evoque is a front-heavy vehicle and it won’t ever feel as nimble as a BMW X1, but it is surprisingly well-behaved when it meets a corner. The AWD system is tuned to lock the center coupling as often as possible resulting in predictable corner carving wet or dry. The Dynamic trim’s optional lower profile rubber and MagneRide active damping suspension further refine the Evoque’s corner carving skills but they do take a toll on refinement delivering a ride that borders on harsh.

When the road straightens, the reality of a 240HP engine motivating 4,000lbs comes to light. While the Evoque’s 7 second 0-60 time isn’t sloe, the 2.0L turbo equipped X1 dispatched 60 in 6.2 seconds with the 3.0L turbo X1 entering sports sedan territory. The BMW X1 is also more efficient than the Evoque dishing out 22MPG City and 33MPg Highway thanks to the 8-speed transmission and a lighter curb weight.

There aren’t too many luxury crossovers that I would willingly flog on the winding mountain back-roads in Northern California, but the Evoque is a member of this select club that includes the BMW X1 xDrive35i and the Volvo XC60 R-Design with Polestar (I still can’t believe how long these names are). There is just one problem, the Evoque’s brakes aren’t up for the kind of abuse the chassis and engine can dole out, fading noticeably during a session that wouldn’t have made the Volvo or the BMW break a sweat. Even so, the Evoque is fun to drive hard and looks good in the process.

Being stylish isn’t cheap. Just ask the folks at Prada. The cost of the Evoque’s style is an MSRP range from $41,995 to $60,095, a stating price nearly $10,000 higher than the faster and more efficient X1. Even adjusting for feature content the difference is still nearly $8,000. This kind of pricing premium is nothing new to the brand, just price a Range Rover out if you don’t believe me. In a way, this pricing premium (and the resulting exclusivity of the mode) and a dedication to world-class interiors are what make the Evoque as much a Range Rover as the go-anywhere Range Rover. Let me answer the “is it worth it?” question with a question: what kind of shopper are you? Do you shop Prada or Wal-Mart?

Land Rover provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested:

0-30: 2.6 Seconds

0-60: 7.0 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 15.4 Seconds @ 90MPH

Average Fuel Economy: 24.5 MPG over 811 miles

 

2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Wheels, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Grille, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Engine, 2.0L Direct Injection Turbo, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Engine, 2.0L Direct Injection Turbo, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Cargo Area, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, silhouette Puddle Lamps, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, silhouette Puddle Lamps, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Infotainment, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Shifter, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Driver's Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Dashboard,Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, HVAC, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, HVAC controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, rear seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, rear seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, rear seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Review: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/review-2013-land-rover-range-rover-evoque-video/feed/ 63
Review: 2012 Range Rover Evoque http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/review-2012-range-rover-evoque/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/review-2012-range-rover-evoque/#comments Mon, 12 Mar 2012 16:43:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434697 Last May, I had the chance to drive the Range Rover Supercharged, the alpha dog of the Range Rover lineup. Though I was charmed by the incredible power and opulent cabin, I felt that the Range Rover was afflicted by a curse that affects many upper echelon vehicles – all the flash and features were […]

The post Review: 2012 Range Rover Evoque appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Last May, I had the chance to drive the Range Rover Supercharged, the alpha dog of the Range Rover lineup. Though I was charmed by the incredible power and opulent cabin, I felt that the Range Rover was afflicted by a curse that affects many upper echelon vehicles – all the flash and features were spoilt by an underlying impracticality.

The Range Rover’s footprint was so large that it could have had its own branch of the Occupy movement, and its drinking problem was in league with Amy Winehouse. The Range Rover was conceived as a luxury vehicle to take you from your Scottish country estate to the theater and back again in total comfort, but lately, the Range Rover has been the mode of choice of wealthy urbanites, ignorant of the fact that the Range Rover’s original purpose was to serve double duty on one’s Scottish country estate as well as arriving in style at the theater. Living in in a dense, downtown core, the Range Rover was too large to quickly maneuver through traffic or parallel park with ease, and its truck roots made themselves known often.

The 21st century luxury SUV consumer may wear Barbour jackets (as an ironic fashion statement), but they’re far more likely to be an entrepreneur pitching their one-person marketing agency rather than living off an inheritance and setting off on fox hunts. Range Rover knows which way the wind is blowing it has adapted its formula accordingly with the Evoque. Gone is the big, boxy profile and the Jaguar derived V8 of the full-size Range Rover. The well-appointed cabin full of leather and aluminum remains, but the Evoque is compact, taut and futuristic looking, with a silhouette more like a MINI Countryman than a Defender 110. Sharing a platform with the Land Rover LR2 (which in turn is based on the Ford Mondeo), allows for the Evoque to opt for a much smaller form factor, and makes it the kind of vehicle you want for darting in and out of traffic, or parking in tight downtown spaces.

A transverse-mounted 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinder (again, based off of Ford’s Ecoboost engine) makes 240 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Ecoboost is well-matched to the Evoque, with a broad torque band and minimal turbo lag, and the 6-speed automatic allows the Evoque cruise at a comfortably low rpm on the highway. Over 380 miles of mixed highway and city driving (and doing a steady 75 to 80 mph on the highway), the Evoque returned 24 mpg, 2 mpg better than the EPA rating. The Evoque’s demographic is likely to be the same type of person who doesn’t know if their BMW 128i is front or rear-wheel drive; the absence of a rugged track platform and V6 or V8 engine won’t bother them one bit. Despite its front-driver underpinnings, the Evoque still has a rudimentary all-wheel drive system, with classic Land Rover technologies like Hill Descent Control, but we’d give up Starbucks for a year if anybody took an Evoque on rougher terrain than a gravel driveway.

Inside, it’s clear to seasoned veterans that Land Rover (which operates the Range Rover brand as its “premium” line) has been dipping into the parts bin in a big way. The switchgear is an 80/20 mix of Land Rover and Volvo bits – hardly a bad thing, but the common usages were immediately apparent. A few Jaguar parts are included for good measure, such as the rotary shift knob that rises from the center console, and the touch-screen HVAC and audio control system, which is easy to operate and fairly intuitive. My litmus test involves asking a passenger to operate the iPod interface without any directions, and most cars tend to frustrate my guinea pigs. Not so with the Evoque, as multiple riders were able to easily and quickly navigate it without any annoyances.

The Evoque’s road manners were largely solid, but the combination of big wheels and low-profile tires, an unavoidable concession to the automotive aesthetics of our era, delivered a pretty harsh ride over less-than-perfect pavement. Road noise was kept in check much better than the ride quality, as engine sounds and wind noise were isolated from the cabin. The Evoque’s seats were especially comfortable on long jaunts, and the driving position was a good balance of both the “up high” SUV feeling that crossover buyers want, without the unnatural “lording over the commoners” stance that one finds in larger SUVs.

Such a small footprint does lend itself to some compromises. Rear seat comfort for two is fine up until the front seats are moved back to accommodate a driver or passenger over 6 feet – at that point things get a little cramped. Ditto for 3 passengers in the back. Cargo room was also diminished by the Evoque’s “evocative” styling. A grocery shop for two (at the local farmer’s market, natch) was fine, but trying to stow a full set of 15” snow tires was impossible. We ended up stuffing three in the small cargo area (which took some careful arranging) and rested one on the rear seat before the automatic tailgate would shut itself. The sloping roofline and small side windows are an obvious concession to form rather than function, and it was helpful to have the optional back-up camera on hand. To get the camera, buyers have to pony up another $1,900 for the “Vision Assist Package” or $4,000 for the “Premium Package”. Our Evoque Pure (yes, that’s the trim level) came out to $48,995 – roughly half the price of the Range Rover Supercharged we had last year. The base price of $43,995 is nearly $7,000 more than a BMW X3 xDrive28i, which seems to be the most appropriate competitor, given the X3’s turbo 4-cylinder engine and sporty nature. Other competitors, like the Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Audi Q5 start closer to $35,000.

The main takeaway here is that the Evoque does everything that current Land Rover customers want – to look good, impress others, and have the satisfaction of owning a “luxury vehicle” – with only minimal drawbacks. Cargo space is reduced compares to the rest of the lineup, and rear seat comfort may not be the Evoque’s strong suit. On the other hand, the Evoque has style and presence in spades, and the overall packaging is unique, fairly practical and well-engineered (thanks in part to pilfering from other automakers). For childless young professionals, empty nesters or dog owners, the Evoque will be more than adequate, with better fuel economy and a smaller footprint than the full-fat Range Rover. For the supremely insecure, the thought of driving the “cheap” Range Rover may be paralyzing, but an informal survey of people during our photoshoot suggests that the Evoque draws a lot of positive attention from bystanders, more so than the ubiquitous black Range Rover Supercharged that so many bad drivers tend to favor in this town. Even though it is more expensive (and, for some, less practical) than the aforementioned competitors, Land Rover will sell every single Evoque they can make – and with the LR2 platform already paid off, the Evoque should be a cash cow for the brand, as well as parent company Tata.

evoque Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette. 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Photo courtesy Chris Blanchette.

The post Review: 2012 Range Rover Evoque appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/review-2012-range-rover-evoque/feed/ 54
Review: 2011 Range Rover HSE and Supercharged http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/review-2011-range-rover-hse-and-supercharged/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/review-2011-range-rover-hse-and-supercharged/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 18:35:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=402197 If you are on the market for a classically-styled English luxury vehicle with a compliant ride and a sticker under a quarter-million dollars, the Range Rover dealer might be your only destination. After all, Jaguar recently nixed the styling often referred to as “fussy” (but I preferred to think of as “dignified”) opting instead for […]

The post Review: 2011 Range Rover HSE and Supercharged appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

If you are on the market for a classically-styled English luxury vehicle with a compliant ride and a sticker under a quarter-million dollars, the Range Rover dealer might be your only destination. After all, Jaguar recently nixed the styling often referred to as “fussy” (but I preferred to think of as “dignified”) opting instead for jamming insane engines into sporty, avant-garde styled rides, Bentley has been churning out stiffly sprung modern sports cars lately leaving only the dueling RRs, Range Rover and Rolls Royce, to battle for our softly sprung anglophile hearts and minds. (Mind you, the baby Roller is considerably more expensive than anything coming out of Solihull.) With this kind of company, does a Rover have what it takes to be the ultimate in off-road luxury? Or will it at least make a more appropriate garage mate than a Jeep?

For the uninitiated, Range Rover is not quite a brand per se, it’s a model; Land Rover is the brand. Making this more confusing is the proliferation of the Range Rover name in products such as the Range Rover Sport and the Range Rover Evoque. The “real” Range Rover, known only as a “Range Rover” was completely redesigned in 2002 taking the sub-brand considerably upmarket. TTAC took a spin back in 2004 and over the past seven years the Range Rover has been tweaked and primped regularly to keep the vehicle fresh and keep the MSRP on a steady upward climb. 2010’s update was a bit more than the usual mid-cycle refresh and brought new interior parts, new infotainment systems, updated styling and most importantly: completely new drivetrains.

Before we dive into the “real” Range Rover, we should cover what the Range Rover is and what it isn’t. Despite looking quite similar to the Range Rover Sport, the Range Rover shares almost nothing with the plebian model aside from the engine, transmission and radio. The Range Rover Sport is based on the Ford-designed Land Rover LR4 with some Volvo bits tossed in. The “real” Range Rover was originally designed under BMW ownership and uses BMW parts-bin bits. Confused yet?

As the Range Rover Supercharged press loaner pulled up [Ed: please note that images are all of the Supercharged due to an unfortunate camera theft], I almost expected either Jay-Z or The Queen emerge. I realize these two icons could not possibly be farther apart, but somehow both are attracted to the unmistakable styling of the Range Rover. In certain circles, having a Range Rover is the ultimate bling. In other circles a Range Rover is a sign of restrained elegance and country estate ownership. This dichotomy was not lost on us. Either way you swing, the slab-sided Range Rover checks all the right boxes: far from brash like a BMW X5M, better proportioned than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and it won’t make you feel like you are fighting an urban war in the middle-east like a Mercedes G-class. Yet, it is with this (perhaps unlikely) trio of Germans the English off-roader naturally plays. The Lexus LX570 represents something too ordinary being a Toyota Land Cruiser in a nice suit (and it is too cheap anyway). In that same way the X5, GL and Cayenne might even be entirely dismissed by shoppers as they are merely social climbing members of a more plebian origin.

In order to get a sense of the price range of the Range Rover, we first spent a week in the almost-base-model Range Rover HSE Lux before spending another week in a middle-of-the-range Range Rover Supercharged. Our “bargain priced” tester arrived with a most English interior: ivory leather and more dark brown piping than a plumbing wholesaler. This is the interior you are used to in a British vehicle of any type; elegant but restrained, luxurious but not gaudy and just the perfect amount of pretentiousness.

High society often prefers to avoid price discussions, but let’s dive in anyway. Price is truly what separates the Range Rover from the rest of the Land Rover’s creations. The Range Rover in base HSE trim starts at $79,685. (This means the base Range Rover is only a fee Benjamins cheaper than the most expensive Range Rover Sport model.)

 

Stepping up from the Range Rover HSE model to the HSE Lux trim gets your hind end some cooled seats, more wood, better cow and a few other goodies from $84,285. The Supercharged trim (the tester we had for week two) adds an insane 510HP supercharged V8, six-piston front brakes with ginormous rotors, air suspension with dynamic damping, and access to even more options. If six-digits don’t scare you, the Range Rover Autobiography covers everything including the ceiling in cowhide, possesses a snazzier color palette, yet more standard goodies and a price tag to match starting at an eye-bulging $116,000 and easily cresting $134,000. Decided your AWD Bentley lacks the ground clearance required for your country estate? No problem, the Range Rover Autobiography Black Limited Edition is the SUV for you but you’d better have deep pocket; admission starts at $122,950 and ends up god-knows-where after options.

From the soft leather thrones to the stitched leather dashboard and abundant wood trim to the optional stitched leather headliner it’s obvious some serious time was spent on the details. Need more proof the Range Rover is not your ordinary luxury car? Only the English would charge you $350 more to fit your SUV with wood that is lacquered so black it looks like plastic. While this may seem stupid to some of us, it allows Range Rover owners to tell passengers: “see that, that’s real wood that top-quality labor in the UK hand lacquered to look like plastic.”

Tall thrones and vast expanses of glass make it easy to see and be seen while on or off the road, and an electric grid in the front windscreen makes sure it is clear in any kind of weather. If your Range Rover is destined to be driven for you, four-zone climate control and heated/cooled/reclining rear seats are available just like any full-size luxury sedan. Just tell Jeeves to take it easy on the tank-traps. Despite the larger and boxier proportions vs the Range Rover Sport, cargo room checks in only a hair larger at 35.2 cu-ft with the seats upright and 74.2 folded. While this is perfectly sufficient for a weekend getaway for four, it’s not much bigger than your average mid-size SUV.

Much like Jaguars of yore, Range Rover luxuries focus on price, style and feel rather than gizmos. This means while there are a few nifty-whiz-bang gadgets, electronic doo-dad lovers are best advised to shop further down the food chain. This proved to be a problem for me as I “love me some gadgets.” The first thing that bugged me was the lack of smart-key entry made doubly infuriating because keyless-ignition is standard. This means half the equipment is already present but they didn’t go the distance. Worse yet, the cheaper Range Rover Sport gets smart-key entry standard. Looking beyond this glaring omission you’ll find all the usual optional goodies to please a luxury car owner including a surround camera system, blind spot monitoring, surround audio, radar cruise control, automatic high beams, rear seat entertainment, and a heated steering wheel. Don’t expect heads-up displays, night vision systems, lane keeping systems or shiatsu massages, if you want that sort of thing you’ll need to stay on-road and in something else.

The Logic 7 sound systems (available in a 14 speaker/720 watt or 19 speaker/1,200 watt version) produce extremely well-balanced audio for both front and rear passengers. Regardless of the audio system selected, control of your tunes and navigation is handled by the sluggish 7-inch touch screen display in the center of the dash. While the system’s features are fairly standard, graphics are pleasing and the functionality is high; the response of the system is slow enough to drive you crazy while attempting to navigate the menus. In another odd twist, Land Rover no longer includes the cable to connect your iPhone/iPod to the proprietary interface connector in the center console leaving high-roiling buyers to snag it as an accessory at the dealer for a bundle. My local dealer was none too pleased with the new cable arrangement as buyers have apparently been very vocal about it. On the bright side, the revised rear seat entertainment system now comes with a snazzy touch-screen remote control which befits the price tag, something that cannot be said of most systems in this price range.

Press the start button on the dash and the gorgeous 12.3-inch LCD gauge cluster comes to life. This is essentially the same LCD used in the new Jaguar XJ, and like the XJ, it replaces all the traditional gauges in the vehicle. The display is bright and readable in almost all lighting conditions, the blacks look black, the response time is lightning fast and the graphics are top-notch. Sadly however, the gauge cluster offers little customization and does not offer the duplicate nav-screen feature the XJ does (pops a small nav map in place of the tach). It does however duplicate the 4×4 system information provided on the navigation screen which could be handy if you ever took your expensive three-ton baby off the beaten path. I really hope next year brings an update to the nuveau disco-dash so it can be a bit more useful. It would be nice if it would at least display track info from your iPod or radio.

If you’ve read my review of the Range Rover Sport, I came to the decision that it might just be the ultimate man-wagon. It’s the Sport’s combination of butch looks, insane power and decent on-road feel that drew me to that conclusion. The full-on Range Rover’s road manners however can best be described as a three-ton marshmallow. It’s that comparison back to the Sport that plagued me all thru my time with the Range Rover. The Sport sacrifices only a modicum of off-road prowess for improved road manners, the Range Rover on the other hand makes few such compromises. Taking the Range Rover into corners should be done with the over 6,200lb curb weight firmly in mind (including a 170lb driver). For those that do intend to take this jewel off-road, the Range Rover has all the off-road hardware you need from Land Rover’s terrain response system, locking diffs, hill decent control, gradient release control, low-range gearbox, adjustable-height air suspension, automatic load leveling and supreme water fording ability.

The Range Rover in HSE and HSE Lux trims are equipped with a naturally aspirated 5-liter V8 churning out a respectable 375HP capable of scooting the three-tons of British steel to 60 in 7.1 seconds. The Range Rover in Supercharged and Autobiography trims receive the same 510HP force-fed V8 monster from the insane Jaguar XKR and consequently tackle the same feat in an impressive 5.1 seconds. The insanity of the thrust is a joy all to its own when you consider this brick gets to 60 only ½ a second behind Jaguar’s 2-door sports coupe (grip is everything). This rocket-like performance is thanks largely to the 425 lf-lbs of torque between 2,500-5,500 RPM as compared to the peaky (in comparison) 375 lb-ft at 3,500 for the regular V8. For those who remember the old blown AJ-V8 under the hood of the 2009 model, this is a 31% power increase (the HSE’s naturally aspirated V8 gets a 25% improvement vs the 2009 4.2L V8). Strangely enough, the increased power does not come with increased gas consumption in the EPA tests as all the above mentioned Range Rover variations regardless of engine get the same 12/18 MPG city/highway. We averaged a surprising 21.2MPG on our 475-mile round trip to Tahoe in the HSE Lux and an understandable 19.2MPG during our 700 miles with the Supercharged model. While these numbers are not overtly green, they are not as bad as I expected them to be. Faint praise? Perhaps.

The Range Rover’s competition is hard to nail down as I previously mentioned. The closest luxury urban assault vehicle would be the Mercedes G which starts at $105,750 for the G550 and $124,450 for the G55 AMG. The thing is; the Range Rover is strangely both more and less “blingy” then the G depending on your crowd. Whether you are parked at the golf club or the strip club, the Range Rover is far more comfortable than the G and considerably better looking. While I have no doubt the G550 is less likely to get stuck on the Rubicon Trail, G550 owners are no more likely to attempt this feat than Range Rover buyers. Because of this lack of actual off-roading, I must break with most reviews and posit the true competition for the Range Rover is more along the lines of a Mercedes S-Class, Jaguar XJ or perhaps a Maserati Quattroporte. If you just a tiny bit worried about traversing that gravel drive at your country estate, a Range Rover is the sensible and stylish choice, and although spinners are the spawn of Satan, if you really must have them a Range Rover pulls them off better than any of the luxury sedan competition.

Since this is TTAC, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: I’m not sure why buyers wouldn’t just walk right by the real-Range-Rover in the showroom and buy a Range Rover Sport Supercharged. The RRS is only slightly smaller yet it is far nimbler, provides all the driver luxuries (but fewer passenger goodies) the full-size Range Rover brings to the party (and keyless entry) but costs tens-of-thousands less. If you are merely after an SUV with some snob value, the Range Rover Sport will get you plenty. In society circles however, the country club elite will suspect your bank account has gone soft. At the end of the day, my problem with the Range Rover is not actually with the Range Rover; it’s with the sensible-shoe option (in comparison): the Range Rover Sport Supercharged. Of course, when your shopping takes you to six-digit SUVs, “value” is probably not a huge concern. It’s good to be The Queen.

Land Rover provided a Range Rover HSE and a Range Rover Supercharged, full tanks of gas and insurance for this review.

Performance statistics as tested:

0-30: 2.05 seconds

0-60: 5.1 seconds

1/ Mile: 13.6 @ 103 MPH

Not a fan of our Facebook page? Too bad. For our facebook peeps, here’s what you wanted to know: Doug M: Sorry, the full-time AWD makes doughnuts impossible. Jeff C: Yep, tackles mud just as well ad any other full-time SUV with locking bits, just be careful with those rims, they cost as much as a Jeep. Darren W: I feel 55% British, higher than the XJ but not as high as a Roller. Robandcindy A: The tires look like they will probably last over 15,000 miles on the Supercharged and probably longer on the HSE. James M: front cup holders are lovely, the rears are just meh. Steven S: It would probably be an insult to Rover’s Indian masters if we dared compare a $105,000 SUV to a mere Mercedes M. Thomas E: The rear seats are comfortable for a 4+ hour drive but the reclining rear thrones are even better. Nick S: Bad-assness factor is quite high, it possesses Überholprestige in spades. Rob F: Build quality is excellent, reliability is statistically iffy. Andy A: I would say it may be a better car for passengers than the XJL, the new XJ is much more of a driver’s car than a passenger’s car despite the long wheelbase. Scott C: Snow handling is good, but weight factors against the RR.

IMG_2540 IMG_2534 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail IMG_2587 IMG_2546 IMG_2543 IMG_2545 IMG_2575 IMG_2562 IMG_2547 IMG_2570 IMG_2563 IMG_2542 IMG_2550 IMG_2531 IMG_2585 IMG_2556 IMG_2559 Home on the Range? IMG_2530 IMG_2538 IMG_2541 IMG_2553 IMG_2536 IMG_2566 IMG_2552 IMG_2571 IMG_2560 IMG_2532 IMG_2590 IMG_2561 IMG_2557 IMG_2589 IMG_2567 IMG_2568 IMG_2565 IMG_2586 IMG_2549 IMG_2548 IMG_2551 IMG_2576 IMG_2578 IMG_2533 IMG_2580 IMG_2574 IMG_2555 IMG_2537 IMG_2579 IMG_2588 IMG_2558 IMG_2554 IMG_2539 IMG_2572 IMG_2564 IMG_2535 IMG_2529 IMG_2544 IMG_2577

The post Review: 2011 Range Rover HSE and Supercharged appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/review-2011-range-rover-hse-and-supercharged/feed/ 25