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Range Rover (2022) launch First Drive

After giving us a sneak peek earlier in the year, Jaguar LandRover finally got their stock in and we were able to sample the next generation of luxury estate living in the new Range Rover in Autobiography trim.


Published: 4 August 2022, 16:57

Luxury estate living

The argument over who was first has gone on for hundreds of years, What we have here is the definitive answer to who made the first true SUV. The roots of the SUV can be traced back to the first Range Rover, a bespoke offroad capable yet luxurious vehicle that could handle the trips into town and trundle across a muddy field in pursuit of quail.

Estate owners lapped it up and the Range Rover became the symbol of British estate ownership, going out to check on one's fields and meadows and then luncheoning out the tailgate with rare cheeses and champagne. Although the vehicles have changed a lot over the passing decades the ownership experience has not and capable luxury is still the hallmark of the Range Rover. We spent a few days cruising the Western Cape in what is arguably the biggest, baddest and best Range Rover yet.

D350 Range Rover Autobiography (Standard Wheelbase)

We started out our trip behind the wheel of the diesel-powered behemoth. The D350 is almost impossible to tell apart from the petrol model except under driving conditions. Our test unit was draped in pearlescent white paintwork that accentuated the nose making it look very flat. The Range Rover is big, just shy of 5 m in fact, and as such one would imagine that it would have the handling characteristics of a cruise liner. Despite the fact that it felt like one, it was rather nimble and pushed on through corners like a tank on rails. The suspension is so super-complaint and evens out even the smallest of road undulation that one could rather easily fall asleep in the back seat.

The back seat is also coincidentally the place you want to be as our unit was also fitted with the Executive Rear Seating package which comprised the heated, ventilated, and massaging rear seats with touchscreen centre console controls and individual viewing screens. The levels of noise damping inside the vehicle are eerily good with all but the slightest of wind noise completely done away with.

The power delivery was on the delayed side, but this is a diesel model. Once the 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel producing 257kW and 700Nm of torque engine had spooled it up, it behaved in much the same way a train locomotive would, carrying an enormous amount of weight behind its speed of 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds. That weight is very easily kept in check by the massive front and rear brakes that you can clearly see behind the 23" wheels.

Hill and dale were dispatched with ease as the D350 wafted along, unperturbed by the farming back roads and rutted gravel, and a quick stab at the go pedal resulted in the vehicle lurching forward making overtaking a breeze. The chassis has now been made lighter due to a higher aluminum content and maneuvering the beast in small boutique parking areas is immensely easier due to 7-degree capable rear steering that actually works.

P530 Range Rover Autobiography (SWB)

Our second day was the one we were waiting on, we took on the P530, the monstrous V8-powered machine with its throaty growl that turned heads in every small town we passed through. As mentioned earlier the two machines are equally spec'ed in Autobiography trim with these launch 530 models not having the executive rear seating package. You don't really need it due to the awesome sound and performance that emanates from this machine.

The P530 engine produces 390kW and 750Nm of torque, and powers this beast from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds with Dynamic Launch engaged, and onto a limited top speed of 250km/h.

The winding back roads were an ideal testing point as long open stretches of nothing allowed for some spirited driving while the suspension was put to the test in the twisty mountain passes. Sheer output junkies will love this machine, decked out in its opulent interior trim and brutish engine the P530 is the enthusiasts' choice but the D350 is where the smart estate owner is going to put their money.


Range Rover D350 Autobiography SWBR 3 409 000.00Range Rover P530 Autobiography SWBR 3 579 000.00

All Land Rover vehicles come with standard 5-year/100,000km Land Rover Care Warranty and Maintenance Plans.

* Prices correct at time of publication, subject to change without notice


The Range Rover is everything you would imagine it is, Luxuriously appointed with just about every mod con you can think of with a trim package and engine option to meet your every need.

The vehicle wafts along in pin-drop silence in you so choose, or you can crank up the volume on the sound system and plant your foot to hit ridiculous speeds if you wanted to. The Range Rover is a sensory experience either way. The vehicle is naturally aimed at the upper echelon, property developers, CEOs, and those who don't particularly care about the fuel bill. The Euro-dependent pricing will keep the riff-raff out while you serenely sip cocktails from the custom mini bar that you had fitted at the coachbuilder last week.

And that right there is Range Rover ownership in a nutshell, It's a luxury experience that doesn't quite stray into the territory of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan but gives you a place to store your custom engraved and paint-matched shotguns for when you want to go grouse hunting.

British football players and Russian oligarchs aside, the Range Rover is an absolutely fantastic drive whether you are behind the wheel or stretched out in the back, outside of the steep pricing there is nothing to criticize and if you have the folding matter you can Search Autotrader right now, you won't be disappointed!


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