2010 Land Rover Range Rover Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
January 20, 2010

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover is a bit pricey, but it delivers a lot of value, too.

TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the Range Rover to bring you their expert opinions. To bring the rest of the conversation together and help you make a smart, informed decision, TheCarConnection.com has also compiled a range of reviews from the web.

Though hordes of newcomers like the Escalade, Navigator, X5, and G-Class assault its throne, the Land Rover Range Rover is the only official off-roader of the English royal family, and it remains the ultimate luxury sport-utility vehicle for the Hollywood elite.

Major changes are afoot for the powertrain this year, but the exterior styling of the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover remains very close to the previous model; only subtle changes to the headlights, grille, and bumper set it apart. Inside, the Range Rover gets an upgraded interior that looks nicer thanks to a 12-inch screen in place of the traditional gauges, as well as enhanced materials.

Power for the base Range Rover HSE comes from a new 5.0-liter V-8 engine replacing the 4.2-liter from last year's model. Output jumps a healthy 70 horsepower to 375 horsepower, helping to cut 0-60 mph times to 7.2 seconds, as well as improving passing and acceleration. The Supercharged model bumps output to a whopping 510 horsepower, capable of rocketing the big SUV to 60 mph in a sports car-like 5.9 seconds. Both are also capable of towing up to 7,716 pounds.

Review continues below

Fuel efficiency isn't the best, rated at 12/18 mpg for both models. But considering the Range Rover's big power output and blocky profile, that's to be expected. TheCarConnection.com's editors have found real-world numbers to sit closer to the low end of that range, however.

Either Range Rover is a strong on-road performer, with a stable, solid feel. Steering is slow but progressive, balancing everyday driving with its true mission in life: off-roading. If you want something sportier but still eminently capable in the dirt, the Supercharged model might be the right choice-but don't forget you're driving a 6,000-pound SUV. Even if you do, the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover gets upgraded 14.2-inch brakes for more stopping power, while the Supercharged model picks up huge 15-inch stoppers. The revised Adaptive Dynamics system improves ride quality while also helping keep the vehicle stable in corners.

Off-road is where the 2010 Range Rover really shines. The Land Rover Terrain Response system has been updated to provide even better traction in sand, snow, or mud. The height-adjustable suspension allows more ground clearance, and the hill-descent control makes even a novice look good.

Upgrades to the interior materials and finishes push the new Range Rover into even more premium territory, with high-quality plastics and satin-finish real wood in abundance. A high-tech virtual instrument panel makes for a modern feel and conveys a wealth of information about the car whether on-road or off.

Spacious, comfortable seating for five is complemented by triple air conditioning with independent rear-seat controls. Without a third-row seat, there's no chance of hauling seven people around, but it does allow for plenty of cargo space in the rear and ample legroom for the second row. Plush carpeting and leather-upholstered door pillars and door casings round out a premium cabin.

No crash testing has been conducted on the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover. Nonetheless, with its wide range of safety features, the 2010 Range Rover is sure to inspire confidence. Radar-based adaptive cruise control, an optional Surround Camera system that lets the driver see a full 360-degree view around the vehicle, a complete slate of nine airbags, a whiplash reduction system, pre-tensioning seatbelts, and side impact beams shroud occupants in a cocoon of high-tech aids.

There's no shortage of features and options in the 2010 Land Rover Ranger Rover. From hard-drive-based navigation to the 12-inch TFT touchscreen output, there's a wealth of tech goodies to be had. Heated front and rear seats, a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, LED interior lighting, and Bluetooth integration are also available, as are a range of wood and leather interior options.

9

2010 Land Rover Range Rover

Styling

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover offers the look and feel of true luxury inside and out.

With the perfect mix of luxury and off-road ruggedness, the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover is a favorite of reviewers throughout the realm of car critics. Major changes are afoot for the powertrain this year, but the exterior styling of the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover remains very close to the previous model with only subtle changes to the headlights, grille, and bumper to set it apart. Inside, the Range Rover gets an upgraded interior that looks nicer thanks to a 12-inch screen in place of the traditional gauges, as well as enhanced materials.

Cars.com notes the Range Rover's "upright grille" and "downward-sloping roof line" work together to create a blocky yet smaller-than-it-is appearance. Kelley Blue Book says the overall styling offers a refined tribute to tradition "with a polish never before seen on a Land Rover product." Edmunds agrees, calling the Land Rover Range Rover the "most elegant and distinctive utility vehicle on the market." Reviewers make note of the large alloy wheels and front fender side vents as other attractive features.

The interior also gets praise from reviewers. Edmunds calls the cabin "a mix of traditional and modern" thanks to the blend of upright seating and high-tech displays." The satin-finish wood trim and European leather, upgraded for 2010, are also cues that this is a thoroughly modern luxury vehicle. Cars.com finds the interior to be "generally outstanding," but notes some aspects seem a bit dated.

Kelley Blue Book describes the Range Rover as having "one of the most handsome interiors ever to grace an SUV," and deems the dash "automotive art." The upgrades for the 2010 model year only enhance its appeal. Car and Driver goes so far as to call it an "off-road Rolls-Royce."

8

2010 Land Rover Range Rover

Performance

On-road and off, the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover is a capable, strong vehicle.

Power for the base Range Rover HSE comes from a new 5.0-liter V-8 engine replacing the 4.2-liter from last year's model. Output jumps a healthy 70 horsepower to 375 horsepower, helping to cut 0-60 mph times to 7.2 seconds, as well as improving passing and acceleration. The Supercharged model bumps output to a whopping 510 horsepower, capable of rocketing the big SUV to 60 mph in a sports car-like 5.9 seconds. Both are also capable of towing up to 7,716 pounds.

The Range Rover has the ability to "whisk the aristocracy away from most any uprising," says Car and Driver, and Autoblog reports there's "plenty of grunt" on tap. The new 375-horsepower base engine should overcome complaints about the last-gen car's 305-horsepower engine. Automobile calls the new 375-horsepower base engine and 510-horsepower supercharged unit "big upgrades over the aging 4.2-liter V-8" found in the previous model. ConsumerGuide agrees, noting the Range Rover provides "ample power for daily driving."

The Supercharged model in particular impresses with its speed and power. Car and Driver notes that the 510 horsepower is enough to make the Range Rover Supercharged "rear up onto its back tires under full throttle." Electronically controlled shocks work continuously to keep body motion in check, however, both in a straight line and around corners, and on all new 2010 Range Rovers.

Fuel efficiency isn't the best, rated at 12/18 mpg for both models. But considering the Range Rover's big power output and blocky profile, that's to be expected. TheCarConnection.com's editors find real-world numbers to sit closer to the low end of that range, however.

Either Range Rover is a strong on-road performer, with a stable, solid feel. Steering is slow but progressive, balancing everyday driving with its true mission in life: off-roading. If you want something sportier but still eminently capable in the dirt, the Supercharged model might be the right choice-but don't forget you're driving a 6,000-pound SUV. Even if you do, the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover gets upgraded 14.2-inch brakes for more stopping power, while the Supercharged model picks up huge 15-inch stoppers. The revised Adaptive Dynamics system improves ride quality while also helping keep the vehicle stable in corners.

Off-road is where the 2010 Range Rover really shines. The Land Rover Terrain Response system has been updated to provide even better traction in sand, snow, or mud. The height-adjustable suspension allows more ground clearance, and the hill-descent control makes even a novice look good.

Whether crawling the hillsides or roaming the highways, ConsumerGuide points out that you can choose to shift your own gears with the six-speed automatic transmission standard across the range.

The high-tech gearboxes, computers, and differentials at work in the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover turn it into what ConsumerGuide calls a "mountain goat off-road" without ruining its "carlike on-road" feel. The Range Rover does have a tendency to lean due to its tall height, however. Kelley Blue Book says the Range Rover is fitted with "one of the finest off-road systems ever designed." Aiding this symphony of drivetrain technology is a computer-controlled suspension system that raises the vehicle for extra ground clearance when needed. Edmunds praises the driver-selectable "powertrain, suspension and electronic system" controls, which help the vehicle meet the conditions, whatever they may be.

10

2010 Land Rover Range Rover

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover is an opulent, comfortable all-terrain cruiser for five adults.

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover earns a perfect 10 for comfort and interior quality from TheCarConnection.com. Upgrades to the interior materials and finishes push the new Range Rover into even more premium territory, with high-quality plastics and satin-finish real wood in abundance. A high-tech virtual instrument panel makes for a modern feel and conveys a wealth of information about the car whether on-road or off.

Spacious, comfortable seating for five is complemented by triple air conditioning with independent rear-seat controls. Without a third-row seat, there's no chance of hauling seven people around, but it does allow for plenty of cargo space in the rear and ample legroom for the second row. Plush carpeting and leather-upholstered door pillars and door casings round out a premium cabin.

Not all reviewers find the five-seat layout entirely satisfactory. Kelley Blue Book warns that it "has excellent room for four passengers, though it is designed to hold five." Cars.com points out the materials quality, noting the leather on the seats "would befit any six-figure car." The raised stitching does "dig into" the reviewer's back at times, however. Autoblog lauds the Land Rover Range Rover's "supportive seats" that make easy work of "staring down long stretches of bitumen." Eschewing the third row of seating allows for "excellent legroom and headroom," according to Edmunds. They remark that the "seating position is notably upright," however.

Even skipping the third-row seat, the "overall cargo volume is tight for its class," says ConsumerGuide. Edmunds blames the small cargo space on a "high load floor," though Cars.com points out it's still only able to hold 74.2 cubic feet of material.

Interior quality was a strength in the previous version, but it's even better in the 2010 Range Rover. Car and Driver calls the interior "opulent" and makes special note of the "Gorgeous brown leather seats are trimmed in fat, beige piping." AutoWeek asserts the Range Rover is "barely rattled by anything the back roads can dish out." ConsumerGuide finds the interior to be "premium all the way." Kelley Blue Book says the interior "fit and finish...lead[s] one to believe it was handcrafted."

ConsumerGuide goes on to remark that the V-8 engine churns out a "refined snarl during acceleration," but otherwise makes no noise. Not even the wind or the road intrudes much, with "virtually no coarse-surface tire thrum."

9

2010 Land Rover Range Rover

Safety

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover's safety features live up to its reputation for security.

No crash testing has been conducted on the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover. Nonetheless, with its wide range of safety features, the 2010 Range Rover is sure to inspire confidence. Radar-based adaptive cruise control, an optional Surround Camera system that lets the driver see a full 360-degree view around the vehicle, a complete slate of nine airbags, a whiplash reduction system, pre-tensioning seatbelts, and side impact beams shroud occupants in a cocoon of high-tech aids.

ConsumerGuide points out the hill descent control, which is "designed to limit speed on steep descents," is also standard on the 2010 Range Rover. They go on to note the rearview camera and front and rear obstacle sensors, which aid in parking and maneuvering the vehicle. In TheCarConnection.com's research, all sources remark positively on the 2010 Range Rover's standard airbag complement. In combination with all of the safety equipment above, the Range Rover inspires a lot of confidence.

Cars.com notes that despite the Ranger Rover's size, "tall windows and a mildly raked windshield" add up to "excellent" forward visibility. However, ConsumerGuide cautions that visibility to the sides and rear is blocked by "thick headrests and roof pillars," making use of the obstacle detection and rearview camera systems "necessary." Cars.com agrees, noting that the large head restraints in particular "can reduce side and rear visibility a bit."

8

2010 Land Rover Range Rover

Features

Despite a wide range of standard and optional luxury and high-tech features, the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover could be more user-friendly.

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover features a range of useful but temperamental gadgets. TheCarConnection.com's editors warn that the Range Rover's controls and displays look great but aren't as straightforward as they could be in execution. Still, there's no shortage of features and options in the 2010 Land Rover Ranger Rover. From hard-drive-based navigation to the 12-inch TFT touchscreen output, there's a wealth of tech goodies to be had. Heated front and rear seats, a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, LED interior lighting, and Bluetooth integration are also available, as are a range of wood and leather interior options.

For 2010 the standard Land Rover Range Rover is the HSE, while the Supercharged adds a host of features to the more powerful engine. Neither should be confused with the Range Rover Sport, which is actually an entirely different model.

Cars.com reports that many features that are optional on other luxury SUVs, like "heated leather front and rear seats and a navigation system," are standard equipment on the Range Rover. Optional upgrades include a dual-screen DVD rear-seat entertainment system. AutoWeek points out that the standard navigation touchscreen "doesn't do anything quite completely or easily," however. That's a common theme throughout the Range Rover's selection of high-tech equipment.

For instance, ConsumerGuide says the 2010 Range Rover's instrumentation is "small and hard to read in certain light conditions." Edmunds also points out that the control interface is "very button-heavy" and that figuring everything out can be "a tad befuddling." Other features are easy to use, however, like the radar-based adaptive cruise control noted by Cars.com.

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8.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9.0
Performance 8.0
Comfort & Quality 10.0
Safety 9.0
Features 8.0
Fuel Economy N/A
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