The Land Rover Range Rover is one of the only premium sport utes left to offer meaningful off-road capabilities, a four-wheel drive system with low-range gearing for crawling and inching and climbing, and ground clearance to get up and over nearly anything that might pass beneath. It’s a Land Rover, remember.

And though the top-dog Land Rover might be dressed to the nines and is unlikely to be seen playing in the mud with 4Runners and Rubicons on Sunday afternoons, it’s far from a poser luxury ute designed primarily for use around town by ladies with purse dogs.

Some call it a mall-crawler, but if you need it to, the Range Rover will go places.

A Terrain Response selector lets drivers preemptively dial the Range Rover’s numerous systems into whichever setting best suits the driving at hand. Drivers can feel corresponding changes in throttle sensitivity, speed limits, transmission shift strategies, ride height, traction control and more, each referenced via slick animations and diagrams that appear in the all-digital instrument cluster. The Hill Descent Control system creeps the Range Rover down steep and slippery hills at slower-than-walking speeds, no pedals required, and a camera system can, among other things, allow drivers to call up a view of their front tires to check for clearance around sharp obstacles without leaning out of a window.

Need more ground clearance? Tap a button, and the body lifts a few inches higher on the wheels. Need to get your elderly grandmother on board? Tap another, and the suspension hunkers down to access height.

In its standard setting, the tester offered generous ride height, evidenced by the climb up and on board, followed by a tall and commanding driving position enhanced by a tall windshield, thin and low-mounted dash, thin A-pillars, and great outward view from high over the hood. If it’s your thing, you’ll feel that sense of towering SUV confidence here, before you even start the engine.

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