Range Rover Vogue SE

Range Rover Vogue SE lr

 

By Tim Saunders

The Range Rover has long been associated with the aristocracy. In fact the Duke of Cambridge drove the Duchess and Prince George home from hospital in the latest Range Rover after the birth.

Externally it is a masterpiece, sharing the design of its predecessor but with more rounded edges and arguably greater elegance and road presence. It is a privilege to find myself behind the wheel of this large beast, which seems to be one of the highest vehicles on the road. “It’s like a bus or a motorhome,” says my wife, sitting in the front passenger seat.

There is so much to this vehicle that you only discover it bit by bit over a period of time and I only discover certain features with the help of my four year old daughter Harriett! For instance, the fact that she can move the front passenger seat back and forth with the help of a switch on the right hand side or indeed the television screens in the back of the headrests. I am not a lover of this technology for children simply because they watch too much television already. But I can see that it is useful on a long journey because it does avoid any complaints or arguments from the little backseat passengers who are quite simply mesmerised by CBBC. We actually find this system easier to operate than the television in the house. The large folding rear armrest houses the remote control for the rear television screens and passengers can also use headphones so that the driver has some peace and quiet. Rear passengers also benefit from heated and adjustable rear seats as well as air conditioning controls.

It’s an easy vehicle to drive on the road with its automatic eight speed gearbox and there are paddle shifts either side of the steering wheel for more engaging driving. Driving the Range Rover is like sitting in your favourite armchair and piloting it to wherever you wish to go. It’s pretty quick too for a 3-litre turbodiesel bearing in mind the size and weight of this vehicle. The sound of the V6 is music to the ears and not something that you would typically associate with a diesel. It returns an average of 40 or so mpg which again is pretty impressive and far better than its predecessor.

But driving on the road is really only half the experience of driving a Range Rover. This is a vehicle that is targeted at farmers and the horse riding fraternity. For the cost of a small house in northern England you get suspension that can rise and fall by the push of a button. There is an electrically operated tow bar that again can be operated by the click of a switch. Designers have clearly thought long and hard about what will make the life of a Range Rover owner easier. Even the boot opens and shuts electrically. It is very much a vehicle that you can drive anywhere without discomfort. On the open road it can travel fast and in a field it will travel competently. Its intelligent cruise control automatically brakes and accelerates and stop/start technology helps the efficiency.

To make the driving experience even more user-friendly there is a touchscreen information system in the centre of the luxurious dashboard. While parked the driver and front passenger can watch most of the Freeview channels. We drive to Sussex and there didn’t seem to be any problems with reception or streaming, putting our laptop to shame when we try to stream iplayer etc. The front seats can even be heated or cooled by using this touchscreen. The cameras can also be viewed. Basically there are cameras all around the Range Rover providing good all round visibility when parking or manoeuvring. There is even a kerb view camera.

We all like the large fixed panoramic roof, which really does let a good deal of light into the cabin. This can be covered by the click of a switch. When I open the driver’s door at night I am pleasantly surprised by the light on the floor with a hologram of a Range Rover in it.

I can’t think of anything else that could be improved upon and this new Range Rover is certainly a worthy successor to its forebears.

Facts at a glance
New price: £80,650
0-60mph: 7.4secs
Top speed: 130mph
Power: 254bhp
Economy: 40mpg
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