Review | Interior - Exterior

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Walk Around

When redesigning the iconic Range Rover, one is left with a responsibility to please the core group of loyal customers, many of whom may have varying tastes. For example, some love the Range Rover because of its incredible off-road performance, and they actually do utilize it. Many can't live without its unpretentious, yet luxurious styling, and they couldn't care less that it can climb canyons. Then there are the rappers and their adherents, who savor blacked-out windows to complement their custom 27-inch chromed rims. All they want is a bass jumping stereo and enough visual presence to demonstrate their worth on the block.

Somehow, as the Range Rover has progressed with each generation, all forms of buyers appear to have been immensely happy. This is an SUV that appeals widely because of its ambidextrous nature.

That phenomenon could not be more evident than when you take a look at the exterior styling. For the 2013 transformation into the fourth generation, the idea was to build upon the proven formula. The silhouette has always remained similar, with short front overhangs to avoid scraping over rugged terrain. Then you have the traditional high beltline, gently sloping roof, and a rear bumper that rises higher than the side sills, to aid when mastering tough off-road sections.

The floating roof is still present, but there is a more streamlined demeanor with sculptured corners, rearward angle of the grille, and more acute A-pillar angle.

Modernized light clusters at the front and rear are installed, with specific lighting graphics that use LED light blade technology. The rear lights are stacked, as they were on the previous generation.

The only negative from an aesthetic perspective is the disappearance of the air intake from behind the front wheels. It was moved higher into the hood to improve wading performance in deep water, and in its replacement, three vertical groves run down the front of the door panels. The grooves look out of place and functionless. Despite this, moving the vent to the hood does make sense from a capability standpoint.

Many color options are available and, to be honest, they all look good. Unlike many cars where only one or two specific colors do it justice, and the others simply don't work, you can't go far wrong with the Range Rover, though some of the two-tone combinations can be more polarizing.

Long-wheelbase and standard-length models look very similar.

Interior

The interior of the latest Range Rover was simplified with an increase in luxurious materials. This is one of the best cabins we have been in, and worthy of the Range Rover's lofty price tag.

Many interior color options are available. Our personal favorites are the lighter tones, such as the Ebony/Ivory mix. If you can splurge for the Autobiography model, then you are granted the most delicious color combinations and leather roof lining. If you opt for the base model, the standard lighter colorings are almost as nice, and more than sufficient.

The 2014 Range Rover utilizes a number of controls through the 8-inch touchscreen, meaning there are far fewer buttons and dials on the center console than in earlier generations. Such de-cluttering emphasizes the beautiful wood trimmings that are mixed with various brushed aluminum accents.

The touchscreen is intuitive, not overly complicated, and easy to use. So are the climate-control dials and Terrain Response system. The steering wheel is soft to touch, with wood trim and a large center wrapped in supple leather. The digital dials on the dashboard read clearly and look great, which is something that cannot be said for many manufacturers' attempts at digitalization.

In traditional Land Rover fashion, the driver's seat is set high to allow for maximum vision when off-roading. In some Land Rovers, we have found it feels high on the pavement. The seating position in the Range Rover, while high, seems to be a great balance. In fact, during heavy off-road activities, we found it useful to raise the seat height another couple of inches.

In true Range Rover fashion, no matter what surface you drive, comfort is excellent. The seats have a massage function, which sounds delightful, but in practice is kind of annoying. But the many seatback adjustments allow finding the optimum driving position without fuss.

Rear legroom is fantastic, the rear seats can recline, and if you opt for the panoramic roof, the backseat passengers are treated to a journey in lavish luxury. The long-wheelbase models offer significantly more rear-seat room, adding greatly to legroom.

The cargo compartment maintains the Range Rover's traditional split tailgate, but is electrified. Cargo space is excellent, making the Range Rover the perfect vehicle for the wealthy buyer who demands ultimate comfort, combined with off-road capability. With the rear seats up, there is 32.1 cubic feet of cargo space; with the rear seats down, it totals 71.7 cubic feet.

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