2013 Range Rover: Black Tie or Backroad?
By Brian ArmsteadIt’s not every day that you take a vehicle with a base price of about $84,000 and crawl across rocks or ford streams up to three feet deep. And once you get done, you hose the mud off the chassis and head to a formal event in black tie and evening gown.
Such is the paradox with the world’s most iconic Sport Utility brand — Land Rover. It is arguably the most luxurious SUV on the market, yet it climbs hills like a mountain lion.
Not content to be among the world’s most capable off-road vehicles, Land Rover has upped their own game by enhancing just about every performance and convenience feature on the new 2013 Land Rover. So how did it perform off-road?
In a word, well. After ample time on smooth, twisting roads to assess the new Range Rover’s stellar on-road acumen, it was time to head for the hills. Hog Canyon in Arizona would give the “Range” a real workout and challenge both man and machine.
It started innocently enough, with a couple of modest hills covered with mud. Our instructor from the Land Rover Driving School stayed with us at all times to ensure our personal safety during the most challenging parts of the trail, and to also ensure that $100K (with options) worth of Range Rover made it back to regular roads in one piece. My driving partner faced the first real challenge of the off road course — to climb a muddy hill strewn with large rocks. It was quite a sight to see the leather and wood clad Range Rover climb the hill. It took my partner several tries to find the right line up the hill without getting bogged down in the mud, and once he did, power and the Range Rover’s advanced technology took over and got the job done. The rest of the off-road experience featured even more difficult terrain.
Once we scraped off the mud, it was time to enjoy the interior, which features a 12.3” Thin Film Transistor virtual gauge cluster. Bright LED overhead and mood lighting creates the perfect ambiance inside. Optional is mood lighting with variable colors.
A full-sized panoramic glass roof is standard or available, depending on trim levels. It’s very well integrated and really brightens the interior. This is a “must purchase” option.
I’ve got a new favorite in the luxo-SUV game. Congrats Land Rover on producing a superior SUV.