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.

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  • 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.

  • FreedMike Alfa had its’ shot in this market, and it didn’t work out. Of course, based on Alfa’s horrid history of reliability record, scathing quality related reports like this one certainly didn’t help. Yes, the base models weren’t that bad, but this kind of atrocious press was the worst possible thing for a brand that got drummed out of this market over quality issues. Besides, Dodge is a LOT more viable in this market than Alfa Romeo. Let the Europeans have Alfas.
  • Dukeisduke That charging station in the picture looks like it's nailed to the back of an old utility pole and weather beaten chest of drawers. Lol, WTH?
  • Dukeisduke Corey, do you have links for some of those ads? I'd like to be able to zoom in on them.
  • Dukeisduke A free Model T Touring Car? Heck, I'd take one of those, even today. The ABC radio news ad has a few names I recognize - columnist Walter Winchell (he later narrated TV's "The Untouchables"), Drew Pearson, who was an accomplished journalist and writer, Dorothy Kilgallen, a columnist who later appeared on game shows in the '50s, like "What's My Line?", and Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons.
  • Dukeisduke The Hornet got plenty of hate on Instagram when Dodge announced it the other day, mainly from people who want Dodge to build nothing but Hemi-powered vehicles, in perpetuity.
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