We need more entertainment than rear-seat DVD players. Swathed in leather and wrapped in wood are fine for nouveau riche; old money knows that conquering nature separates the one percent from the one-tenth percent.
Refinement, restraint, and rule over all you survey combine to make the Land Rover Range Rover the go-anywhere luxury option, and our pick for the Best Luxury Vehicle to Buy 2017.
MORE: Read all about our Best Car To Buy 2017 awards
The Range Rover makes a compelling argument for the top spot, even in "base" configuration. The $86,000 starting price includes leather heated seats, 19-inch wheels, a 10-inch touchscreen with navigation, and wood trim. Drop $20,000 more for the long-wheelbase version and you'll get softer leather, 21-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, automatic privacy window screens, and a line item from Range Rover wedged between USB charging ports and black side-view mirror caps called "Beautiful Materials, Flawless Execution."
If you prefer your consumption to be a little more conspicuous, Range Rover's SV Autobiography edition is happy to take your base money for a Range Rover, and then all over again. For nearly $200,000 to start, the SV Autobiography has a mind-melting list of standard features including 24-way power adjustable seats, a rear bottle chiller and electronic folding tables, a knurled wood rear center console, twin 10.2-inch rear entertainment screens, and 1,700 watts of sound coursing through 29 speakers.
More than $100,000 in options for a Range Rover is shocking, but the SV Autobiography edition takes dead aim at the new Bentley Bentayga, which went on sale this year and won't go away. Clearly the market has an appetite for obscene luxury vehicles with $14,500 paint colors. Watch your step, ma'am.
Although we expect to find more of these luxury SUVs traversing parking lots than climbing mountain trails, the Range Rovers are fully equipped to handle the elements with ease. Two supercharged V-6 engines, a turbodiesel V-6, and two supercharged V-8 engines can power the Range Rover, spanning the band from 254 horsepower up to 550. Full-time four-wheel drive takes over when the pavement ends, and a standard terrain select system makes off-roading too easy—especially with an optional rear locking differential.
Maybe you'd rather haul some class? Launching the 5,000-pound Range Rover SVAutobiography edition toward the horizon at 60 mph takes just 4.5 seconds from a standstill. Its beefy 550-hp version of the supercharged V-8 would be impressive for a sports car, the SVAutobiography happens to ford water nearly 3 feet deep too.
That kind of capability would be impressive by itself, but the Range Rover's polish on any craggy trail is what makes it remarkable.
There are impressive, smooth-riding, luxury vehicles on the road today, but it's the Range Rover's ability to all of that anywhere on the planet that places it atop our luxury list this year.