The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Range Rovers are known to be comfortable long-distance cruisers, and it’s easy to get set-up perfectly behind the wheel. For a start, the steering wheel adjusts up and down as well as in and out electrically, and even the entry-level Vogue and Vogue SE models have heated (and cooled in the Vogue SE) front seats with 20-way adjustment, including four-way variable lumbar support and a memory function. Step up to Autobiography, and you get 24-way seats with a massage function.
All models get digital dials behind the steering wheel that are clear, but are fiddlier to configure than the similar system in the Audi Q7. To help reduce the need to take your eyes off the road, a clear head-up display is a cost option on most trims. The climate controls can take your eyes off the road, though; instead of being operated by physical buttons that are easy to pick out, they're integrated into one of the car’s two touchscreens, which we'll discuss further in the infotainment section. You do at least get a couple of rotary switches so you can change the interior temperature easily.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
It’s a bit of a climb up into a Range Rover but, once you’re there, its huge windows give you a fantastic near-360 degree view. That helps you to define where the car’s extremities are, so despite it being five metres long you’re able to thread the Range Rover accurately down narrow lanes or into tight parking spaces.
Of course, the Range Rover’s key appeal is that you sit far higher from the road than the vast majority of other cars. The lofty seating position gives you an amazing view of the road ahead, while many will appreciate that you look down on the vast majority of other road users, even vans and other SUVs.
To further assist, a rear-view camera is standard on every model, as are front and rear parking sensors, while the options list includes a 360-degree camera system and semi-automatic parking. Matrix LED headlights, which can remain on main beam without blinding the cars in front, are also standard, and you can upgrade those to Pixel units (standard on Autobiography) with more LEDs for finer beam control. Top Pixel-Laser LED lights extend the reach of the main beam and are standard on SVAutobiography trim, but we'd argue that the standard lights are plenty good enough.
Sat nav and infotainment
All Range Rovers have a pair of 10.0in touchscreens: one where you’d expect it to be, towards the top of the dashboard, and the other just below, in front of the gear selector. This lower screen is used to access the air conditioning and off-road modes, but you can also use it to operate the multimedia system while the main screen displays navigation info.
This setup gives the interior a minimalist, high-tech look that’s certainly appealing, plus its graphics are sharp, but there’s the occasional lag when you select something on either screen. And while the menus prove reasonably easy to navigate when you’re stationary, the lower screen can be distracting to use on the move. Thankfully, there are two physical rotary switches, although even these change in function depending on which menu you're in at the time. The Audi Q7’s twin-screen setup is just as distracting to use while driving, but is a bit more responsive, leaving the best system by far in the class as the BMW X7's brilliant iDrive.
Entry-level Vogue-spec includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a digital TV receiver. The Vogue SE has a more powerful 825W surround-sound system (the standard car gets a more humble 380W set-up), while the SVAutobiography model features a 1700W Meridian audio system.
The Range Rover may be an all-conquering SUV with a taste for the wild outdoors, but you shouldn’t expect its interior to appear even slightly utilitarian. In fact, car interiors don’t get much more luxurious than this; the craftsmanship is of an extremely high standard and everything you see and touch is made from top-drawer materials.
Leather seats are naturally standard, and there's a range of attractive veneers to complement the colour of your upholstery. So, why not five stars? Well, an X7 or Q7 might not be quite so indulgent, but their fit and finish is even better.
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