Surprise: The Most Popular Range Rover In America Is Not The Most Affordable Range Rover

surprise the most popular range rover in america is not the most affordable range

Land Rover sells the company’s flagship luxury SUV with three different powertrains in the United States. In two states of tune, with 340 horsepower or 380 and at $85,945 and $92,945, there’s the 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Priced in between, the $87,945 Range Rover is a 3.0-liter diesel V6.

At the top of the heap sits the supercharged 5.0-liter V8-powered Range Rover, which stretches from $104,190 onward and upward.

You can likely guess which one is most popular.

This is Range Rover we’re talking about, remember. So naturally the model that attracts the largest number of buyers is the top-trim, most powerful, most expensive Land Rover Range Rover V8 Supercharged.

The Range Rover is facing a great deal more competition these days. Bentley began selling the Bentayga in August. 505 copies of the $230,000-plus Bentley were sold in its first three months. The Range Rover certainly reaches into that territory. Before options, the long-wheelbase V8 Supercharged Autobiography is a $200,490 SUV. (There are paint jobs available that cost $14,500.)

Maserati is also selling a new luxury utility vehicle, the Levante, 979 of which were sold in the U.S. between August and October.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising to then see that overall Range Rover sales are in decline in the U.S., falling 11 percent so far this year. The Range Rover’s 32 percent decrease in October translated to 580 lost sales, year-over-year.

Within the Range Rover range, that diesel option seems to be stealing some of the limelight from its supercharged V6 and supercharged V8 siblings, as well. V8 Supercharged Range Rover sales have decreased by 1,277 units so far this year, for instance. Diesel-powered Range Rover sales are up by 1,608 units.

Yet the most costly Range Rover powerplant remains the most popular, earning 48 percent of all U.S. Range Rover sales in 2016: 6,081 of the 12,748 Range Rovers sold year-to-date.

Down the Land Rover ladder, the same practice isn’t followed. The Range Rover Sport’s most popular variant is the least costly ($65,495) V6 Supercharged variant, a powerplant that earns 56 percent of all Range Rover Sport sales. For the Land Rover Discovery Sport, all of which come with the same 2.0T/nine-speed auto combo, 55 percent of buyers choose the mid-grade HSE trim.

But if you’re going to spend big money, the theory goes, why not spend big money?

The Land Rover Range Rover is America’s 74th-best-selling SUV/crossover, just behind the Infiniti QX80; just ahead of the Porsche Cayenne. Brand-wide, Land Rover USA sales are up 8 percent this year, setting a pace that should crush last year’s all-time record annual performance.

Of the 59,923 Land Rovers sold so far this year, one in five have been Range Rovers. The three-pronged Range Rover family — Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque — account for more than six out of every ten Land Rover sales in America.

[Images: Land Rover]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Comments
Join the conversation
5 of 18 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on Nov 11, 2016

    I just don't get the appeal of a Range Rover. First and foremost, it's hideously unreliable to the point that people who don't know anything about cars will understand the jokes we make. It doesn't really look like anything, and plenty of cars and SUV's have an equally comfortable ride and can get out of a patch of grass or snow.

    • See 2 previous
    • S2k Chris S2k Chris on Nov 12, 2016

      @krhodes1 "A Lexus SUV is no more special feeling than a Camry, for all their wonderful talents." Which Lexus? Because the interior of the latest RX is a wonderful place to be.

  • Romanjetfighter Romanjetfighter on Nov 12, 2016

    Range Rovers are Veblen and positional goods. The Sport is not.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
Next