Luxury comes in many different forms. However, there is only one brand that comes to mind, when luxury meets utility. The updated 2023 Land Rover Range Rover sets the threshold of the luxury SUV segment in its own way. Unlike the competition, it wasn’t born as a luxury product when it was first released in the 1960s, but it has evolved from a utilitarian 4×4 off-road machine to a flagship SUV that offers first-class luxury, refinement, comfort, and practicality.
Having said that, luxury isn’t all about comfort and refinement, it must be aesthetically pleasing to look at from all angles. At the end of the day, luxury SUVs are meant to be a status symbol more than hauling. The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover does not disappoint when it comes to overall looks. With its fifth generation, which is updated this year, there is quite a bit of a difference. The front end is a completely new design with updated headlights, a front grille, and a front bumper, although it looks very similar to the previous generation.
That design similarity is also called the traditional design language, as you would find similar lines in the previous generations. The attention to detail is pretty impressive, including the retracting door handles, glossy black trims, and taillights, but the optional Sunset Gold in Satin finish stands out so much, it makes the Range Rover look extremely premium, as long as you are willing to pay the premium of $9400 CAD just for the optional paint. The gold and black contrast are one of the greatest colour combinations for this type of vehicle, which is included in the First Edition version like our tester.
The colour contrast continues in the interior, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The white/beige interior and light brown wood trims make you feel you are in a vehicle that has a 6-figure price tag. The upper side of the dashboard is wrapped with black leather, creating a nice contrast. I just wish A-pillars were not in black colour, as the headliner is also wrapped in beige leather. Other than that, it is very hard to criticize this interior, including the fit and finish, material choices, and overall feeling. You just need to get used to the interior and button layout, and once you get the hang of it, it becomes a part of the experience.
The technology is also another reason why the interior feels very premium. Instead of having two screens like the outgoing model, it comes with a giant 13.1-inch infotainment screen and the latest JLR software. The infotainment system is one of the most intuitive options in the market, not only offering excellent resolution but there is no input lag. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be used wirelessly and easy to set them up. The 35-speaker Meridian premium audio system is a great choice for audiophiles.
If you are wondering why the 2023 Range Rover costs almost $200,000 CAD with all the extras, you should look at the seats. The front seats, like any other Land Rover products, offer a lot of adjustment options (24-way) and this particular vehicle comes with many different massage features. However, the biggest difference is the rear seats. Although it is the short wheelbase version, it still comes with rear seat entertainment and Executive class rear seats.
When you opt for the Executive class seats, it is still technically a 5-seater, but the rear middle seat should be used more of an armrest as it comes with the main screen to control the rear screens as well as seat adjustment. With the Executive class seats, you also get a little bit less overall cargo space, but it is still more than enough for your business trips, as it can carry a few pieces of luggage with no problem. Although it is technically a utility vehicle, I wouldn’t mind compromised cargo space for extra comfort and luxury.
Like the rest of the vehicle, powertrain options are also updated. There are now three different configurations. The base trim gets the P400 engine, which is a 6-cylinder turbocharged engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. There is also a plug-in hybrid variant called the P440e, but if you want the most amount of power and fun, the P530 engine is a no-brainer. All-wheel-drive is standard on all Range Rovers, and all engine options come with ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission, which is already a proven platform in many different vehicles.
The P530 engine is a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 generating 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, it’s sourced from BMW and tuned exclusively for the Land Rover model lineup. It can hit 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, pretty impressive for an SUV that weighs almost 6000 lbs. The character of the engine feels pretty similar to JLR’s 5.0 litre supercharged V8, but it offers more power, more torque and is more efficient. However, it sounds and delivers the power in a more refined and less dramatic way, which is the right choice for a luxury SUV like the Range Rover.
I think the new Range Rover is too pretty for any type of off-roading, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do it. Like the other Land Rover products, it is still quite capable off-roader with all the locking differentials and different off-road modes. The V8 engine has been modified to handle off-roading and some of the utility a Land Rover requires. It has a higher air intake location, allowing the Range Rover P530 to wade in up all the way up to 35.4 inches of water. It also comes with a new oil sump for hardcore off-roading to avoid oil starvation due to the extreme forward, back or sideways angles.
The ride quality is top-notch, as expected from a Range Rover. There is absolutely no road or wind noise at any speed, and this is why you are paying the premium for a luxury product. The noise-cancelling technology along with the double-paned windows helps reduce road noise. The air suspension can be adjusted for a variety of driving situations and the ride height can be changed for different terrain. It also offers an exceptionally comfortable ride, delivering the best ride quality compared to German entries, no question.
The updated Range Rover is a huge step forward from all perspectives. With the price tag of almost $200,000, most people are in the wrong tax bracket to even dream about owning one, and that’s the main reason why modern Range Rovers will be more of a status symbol, or a celebrity toy, rather than a utility vehicle. For the right person, the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover continues to be the statue of luxury and is still the best option for someone that wants to have great off-road capability from their luxury SUV.
|Engine||4.4L twin-turbocharged V8|
|Transmission & Drivetrain||8-Speed automatic & All-wheel-drive|
|Max power||523 hp @ 5500 rpm|
|Max torque||553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm|
|0-100 km/h||4.6 sec|
|Curb Weight||5982 lbs – 2713 kg|
|Top Speed||155 mph – 249 km/h|
|Fuel Economy (Combined)||18 MPG – 13.1 L/100 km|
For more details – please visit www.landrover.ca