- Stately looks
- Ravishing interior
- Strong powertrain
- Off-road chops
- Big thirst for fuel
- Stately road manners
- No third-row seat
The 2008 Land Rover Range Rover remains the ultimate luxury sport-utility vehicle, a well-heeled performer for those well-heeled enough to own one.
The 2008 Land Rover Range Rover is the ultimate luxury sport-utility vehicle. It's the official off-roader of the English royal family, and it's the unofficial paparazzi escape vehicle for Hollywood. Despite the emergence of Escalades, Navigators, X5s, and G-Class utes, the Range Rover remains atop the SUV heap.
It's offered in two versions for the 2008 model year, and they're rated at the same fuel economy. The base Range Rover HSE, with a price tag of more than $77,000, offers a 4.2-liter V-8 engine with 305 horsepower. It gets 12/18 mpg, just like the supercharged Range Rover SC, which delivers 400 hp, a 0-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds, and a price tag of more than $92,000.
Performance is surprisingly strong with either vehicle. The supercharged version makes an unmistakable whine, which immediately will remind British car fans of this ute's heritage. On-road handling is sharp enough, with slow but progressive steering and a composed ride, with reasonable handling for such a tall, heavy (6,000-plus pounds) vehicle.
Take it off-road and the 2008 Land Rover Range Rover shows the mettle that earned its royal reputation. All sorts of electronics and hardware ensure lots of traction in sand, snow, and mud. The suspension's height is adjustable for crossing large obstacles, and hill descent control makes rolling down slopes a snap.
Inside the Range Rover, five passengers now enjoy four-zone air conditioning. Rear-seat passengers now can control their own air temperatures and vents; there is no third-row seat. The front buckets are thrones, upholstered perfectly with great outward visibility. There's plush carpet, wood trim, and leather everywhere--and Land Rover even allows you to choose wood cut from sustainable forests.