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2013 Land Rover Range Rover Debut

The newest Range Rover can tackle more than country club driveways, even if it never will.


What's New

Nearly everything in the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover is new, and we mean it. Simply known as “the big Range Rover,” is completely new as it continues in the fifth decade it’s been on the market; fourth decade if you’re only counting the U.S. While retaining the Jaguar-based engine lineup as from its predecessor, the 2013 Range Rover makes extensive use of aluminum to shed an average of 700 pounds across its U.S.-spec lineup.

Along with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, a more aerodynamically slippery shape, and other touches, the Range Rover should be able to achieve significantly better fuel economy ratings than the outgoing truck’s 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway. But seeing as how this vehicle is a luxury sport utility with a reputation of off-road domination to uphold, the Range Rover will also have plenty of other redeeming qualities, as it should. It starts at $83,500 and tops out just above $130,000.

Who It's For

This thing is pretty much the off-roader’s Bentley. And if you think of it like that, a top-trim Range Rover Autobiography seems like a steal, coming completely with an uprated supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 510 horsepower, available massaging and reclining rear seats, and even a built-in cooler designed for champagne bottles in the rear center console. Of course it’s all drenched in the finest leathers and woods available.

If you have one of these, you’ll likely never take advantage of its 11.9 inches of ground clearance, water fording ability, or 7,700-pound towing capacity. And we really can’t blame you. This beast is expensive. But we do imagine you might take this as your weekend vehicle to your cabin in Aspen. Or you’ll drive it to Whole Foods for shopping. It can do that quite well, too.

Key Features

At its core, the 2013 Range Rover is still an off-road beast, staying in line with the legend that the brand has built with the British military. But it has some other cool knickknacks, too, like:
  • A base 5.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 375 horsepower or a supercharged version with 510 horses. Both are plenty fast.
  • Eight—that’s right, eight—different wheel designs ranging from 19 to 22 inches in diameter. It also has 37 different paint color options.
  • A pulling/drift compensation mode that shortens the turning circle by dragging the inside tire in off-road situations. It comes in handy on trails.
  • And, of course, as many customizable options as you can think of. Just because it tops out at $130,000 on the spec sheet doesn’t mean it’s not available with even more features. Think of it like you would In-N-Out’s secret menu.

What We Think

This is the sort of purchase you make while discussing with an advisor over some brandy and fine cigars. It ain’t cheap, but what you’re getting for that kind of money is an immensely more capable and more luxurious vehicle than what you’ll likely ever need. Growing in size and becoming more efficient, the 2013 Range Rover is exactly what it needs to be in a plus-size era of downsized carbon footprints. And yet, it’s also exactly what it ought to be: A vehicle of mass destruction that you take mudding while listening to Mozart on its 1,700-watt, 29-speaker Meridian audio system.

We’re smitten.

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