In its mission to move ever more smartly upscale, the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover adds even more standard equipment, while nudging its ultra-luxe Autobiography edition even further into the pricing stratosphere.
The Range Rover is priced from $83,500, and includes standard features such as the normally aspirated V-8, eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive, and user-selectable traction control modes. All Range Rovers also come with power features; cruise control; keyless entry and pushbutton start; three-mode automatic climate control; power heated front seats; and a power split tailgate that has a liftgate and a fold-down tailgate.
On the infotainment front, the Range Rover sports dual LCD screens: a wide 12.3-inch display replaces traditional gauges, and an 8-inch touchscreen runs infotainment systems on the center stack through a combination of soft and hard keys and Bluetooth-driven voice control for functions from navigation to climate, phone, and audio. The look of the center screen's been simplified, and the screens work better and more quickly than before, though the graphics are a revision or two behind those on the gauges--and not all the information for the navigation and audio system passes from one to the other. Track names on iPhones, for example, don't show up between the Range Rover's gauges as they would on some other vehicles. It's as simple as a firmware upgrade away, we think.
Worth noting: the center screen's a "Dual-View," so by the miracle of pixelation and LCD technology, the front passenger can watch a DVD while the driver doesn't have a clue as to what's on.
The Rover's basic audio system is powered by Meridian sound processing, and has more than 300 watts of sound; the most expensive version has 29 speakers (including passenger-facing speakers in the front seatbacks) and 1700 watts of power, but as with Bentley's Naim system and Rolls' Lexicon setup, the sweet and clean signal sound is attuned away from some of the hefty sound available just across the showroom, even. The bone-vibrating bass in a Bowers & Wilkins-equipped Jaguar XJ will out-thump the top Meridian system on, say, Zeppelin's "Kashmir"--by a huge margin--while the Meridian setup wins the clarity race and the marketing one too, with what Land Rover says is the first 3D signal processing on the road.Major luxury and convenience options will include a panoramic sunroof; 20-way power front seats with heating and ventilation and massaging function; individual rear seats for the second row with heating and massaging; a rear-seat DVD entertainment system; soft-close doors; electrically deployed side steps; and cooler boxes. Safety options run from surround-view cameras to adaptive cruise control and speed limiting.
Leather upholstery is standard on all Range Rovers, and there are a few grades that distinguish the pretty hides in the base versions from the gorgeous, supple ones in the Autobiography editions. All are semi-aniline, which means they're softer to the touch, not quite so heavily treated as some lower-grade leathers. The Range Rover is offered in a palette of 37 exterior colors, with a black or silver roof, 17 interior colors and 3 veneers; Autobiography editions hold 22 of those paint colors as exclusive.