Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Michael La Fave
Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada
Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads
Recently, I’ve been growing more fond of big, powerful and feature-laden SUVs. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo impressed me with its taught handling, powerful engine and Carrera-esque styling. The Touareg V10 TDi is similar to the Porsche in design but has a character all its own with over 500 lb.-ft. of torque to waft you along. Unfortunately, however, the VW has been discontinued in TDi form. The Navigator is slow but it still handles better than it has any right to and the dashboard is gorgeous. I could go on but I won’t bother. As of this week the Range Rover Supercharged is my favourite SUV, it’s even become my favourite day-to-day transportation device.
Sure the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is a relative bargain to its big brother and both are, in fact, quite similar to drive, but for a guy my size (6’5″, 54-inch blazer, 34-inch inseam) the bigger Range Rover Supercharged has a pronounced edge in interior space. I can hop (up) into the Rangie, settle into the upright seats and not have to worry about creasing my suit jacket. My shoulders, knees and hips don’t rub or even touch anything. It’s total freedom.
The firm seats offer excellent comfort and support and are swathed in the nicest leather I’ve ever seen. It’s like driving your den down the highway but with more luxury features at your fingertips and a better stereo to boot. The touch-screen user interface for the navigation system, stereo and trip computer is the easiest to use in the industry and for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to get smudged by fingerprints. The aforementioned stereo plays loud and clean and the separate subwoofer control lets you live out your wildest rap video fantasies.
The interior materials are just about as good as it gets and all the controls are intuitive and easy to use. Every switch, dial, toggle and button move with precision and a well oiled feel. Supercharged Range Rovers feature black lacquer inserts in the dash in the place of American Rosewood – lending it a more high-tech look than the classic ‘club car’ feel of other Range Rovers.
As is befitting a luxury SUV, the Rangie is one of the quietest highway cruisers I’ve ever driven. Laminated side glass and truly adept suspension tuning allow it to glide along.
That’s not to say it’s floaty or anything. The steering is light and easy at low speeds, which, combined with the tight turning radius, makes the Rangie easy to navigate in town. At speed the steering has a nice weight and is quite accurate. This three-ton beast has decent winding road prowess and can be hustled around quite respectably if not as aggressively as the Sport.
One of this vehicle’s most impressive features is its engine; a 4.2-litre supercharged V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. Tip the tall, leather and aluminum shift lever to the left and you can snick-snick your way up and down the gears. The manual gate has positive stops and is fun to use with the engine computer matching revs on downshifts. Not that you need to change gears very much as the 400-hp is quite capable of lugging a gear if you ask it to.
Open the throttle from a dead stop and the Rangie explodes forward thanks to its four-wheel traction and massive 255/45R-20-inch tires. Do the same around a corner and the inside tires spin and squeal until the stability control reins in the fun. For such a large and plush vehicle the Rangie will amaze you with its ability to hustle. Fear not, there are huge four-piston Brembo calipers at the front to help slow things down again.
Click image to enlarge
The new Range Rover has always impressed me with its sophisticated, tasteful styling, go anywhere capability and indisputable pedigree but to this list of attributes the Supercharged model adds satisfying dynamics, comfort and performance. This is the best SUV space I’ve found so far to wait through stop-and-go traffic, blast down the highway or go on an extended road trip. At $118,900 it is a treat for a select few but relative to other up-market SUVs and sedans it is well worth the money.
Technical Data: 2006 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged
|Base price HSE||$99,900|
|Base price S/C||$118,900|
|Price as tested||$119,995 Click here for options, dealer invoice prices and factory incentives|
|Type||4-door, 5-passenger full-size SUV|
|Layout||Longitudinal front engine/perm.four-wheel-drive|
|Engine||4.2-litre V8, DOHC, 32 valves, supercharged|
|Horsepower||400 @ 5750 rpm|
|Torque||420 @ 3500 rpm|
|Curb weight||2557 kg (5637 lbs)|
|Wheelbase||2880 mm (113.3 in.)|
|Length||4972 mm (195.7 in.)|
|Width||2192 mm (86.3 in.)|
|Height||1905 m (75.0 in.)|
|Ground clearance (min.)||225 mm (8.9 in.)|
|GVWR||3100 kg (6834 lb.)|
|Towing capacity||750 kg (1653 lbs)|
|Towing capacity||3500 kg (7718 lbs)(w/trailer brakes)|
|Cargo capacity||2122 litres (74.9 cu. ft.)(seats down)|
|Fuel consumption (S/C)||City: 18.1 L/100 km (15 mpg Imperial)|
|Hwy: 11.8 L/100 km (23 mpg Imperial)|
|Fuel type||Premium unleaded|
|Warranty||4 yrs/80,000 km|
|Powertrain warranty||4 yrs/80,000 km|
|Assembly location||Solihull, England|