2010 Range Rover Supercharged | road test

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 by

The performs brilliantly both on and off road

AT A GLANCE

FOR

  • Great engine
  • Strong on and
  • Feature-packed

AGAINST

  • Minor interior quality worries
  • Could use more interior space
  • Fuel thirsty

SUMMARY

It’s pretty hard to fault the Range Rover. We have a couple of very minor concerns about build quality and would like a few more storage spaces, but overall it exudes quality and performs superbly both on and off road. It’s one of the best SUVs out there; a great product with a respected name and an impressive 40-year heritage.

The Supercharged version of the Range Rover pushes out 510bhp, making it quick despite its size

PERFORMANCE

The new-for-2010 engine, a 5.0-litre supercharged V8, is an absolute beauty, putting out a massive 510bhp that’s almost gooey in its delivery. It’s always there – put your foot down and the car will react and move instantly no matter where it is in the rev range. The six-speed gearbox is great, making the car very easy to drive with power always on hand when you need it.

HANDLING AND RIDE

Handling is very good. Being an SUV there is a touch of body roll but nothing excessive and it’s only really there if you’re pushing the Range Rover hard. It’s only really noticeable if you’re used to driving something with a lower centre of gravity. For a large car the Range is very nimble and holds onto the road well.

The Range Rover's bulk is only really noticeable during braking

The bulk – almost three tonnes – becomes noticeable when braking. The Brembo brakes are good, but if you have to hit the anchors rapidly, you’ll notice the weight of the car more than at other times. It’s an indication of how good the engineering is, but it can come as a surprise.

There’s always a battle in SUV suspension between stiffness to keep the car level during cornering and compliance to soak up bumps. has hit the sweet spot – speed bumps, potholes and uneven surfaces are soaked up beautifully. There are cars with softer rides, but they’re nowhere near as good around the corners.

We’ve taken the Range Rover into the sand as well as on road, and it’s easily as good as anything else in the class. There’s the power and technical features to tackle very challenging terrain. Variable ride height and a terrain response system that automatically optimises the car’s settings for different rugged surfaces mean that it’s ready for some serious sand or rock bashing, even on regular road tyres.

The interior is a nice place to be, but we have some minor quality concerns.

COMFORT

The interior is nicely designed; very chunky as befits the Range’s image. The commanding driving position is great and interior build quality is largely good, although having tried a couple of examples of the latest model we’ve found faults in each.

It might be as a result of previous journalistic abuse of the press fleet, but as an example the leather on the armrest of our most recent test car was peeling away after only a few thousand kilometres.

Generally though, the interior feels solid, well put together and luxurious with plenty of leather and other high-grade materials. It’s not quite up there with top-end Lexus models in terms of a premium, quality feel, but it’s not far off.

PRACTICALITY

There's lots of room for driver and passengers inside

The Range Rover will seat five in comfort with plenty of room for all. There’s also plenty of storage space: two glove boxes and big storage pockets in the door but a disappointingly small space under the centre armrest. Other nice touches include space for sunglasses in the roof panel above the centre console, and two sun visors each for both driver and passenger for maximum dazzle avoidance.

There are some very nice little features that make living with the Range Rover a pleasure; pull the right stalk to wash the windscreen and you don’t have to hold it down – instead, the stream of water is timed for maximum efficiency. The stereo dials are the same chunky design as the knob that controls the off-road settings. Little details like these really give the car an extra feeling that the designers have thought things through properly.

FEATURES

Our test car, riding on 20-inch alloy wheels, was crammed full of features: triple zone air conditioning, parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, climate controlled seats and a very clever dual view TV screen that allows the driver to see the satellite navigation map and the passenger to watch a DVD at the same time. There’s full iPod integration on the stereo and an auxiliary input socket for other external music sources. Other features include a powered tailgate, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a very good adaptive cruise control system.

The dual view screen allows driver and passenger to see different displays at once

Our favourite feature is the high-resolution screen that Land Rover has opted for in place of regular analogue instruments in the dash. It looks fantastic, displaying virtual dials with features that couldn’t be replicated with a traditional instrument cluster, such as menu screens and a highlighting of the numbers surrounding the area where the needle is pointing. Crucially, it’s easy to see even in bright sunshine.

SAFETY

The Range Rover comes as standard with front, side and curtain airbags, as well as an additional airbag for the driver’s knees. ABS, traction control and electronic stability control are all standard.

The current Range Rover was originally introduced back in 2002, when it scored four out of five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test programme.

Traditional instrument dials are replaced by virtual representations

COSTS

At a cost of 400,000 the Range Rover compares fairly well to rivals like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo (474,300), although a more luxurious version of the Ranger Rover, the Autobiography, is pricier at 485,000AED. The Lexus LX 570 is cheaper at 342,000AED, but is much less powerful and lacks the image of the Range. The top-level 2011 BMW X5 is also cheaper at 390,000 but doesn’t come close to the Range Rover’s power.

The large, supercharged V8 engine might be supremely refined, but it’s still pretty thirsty with an environmentally unfriendly combined fuel economy of 14.8 litres per 100km. However, thanks to its large 104.5-litre fuel tank, it’ll cover a range of around 700km before a refill is needed.

Land Rover offers an impressive five-year, 150,000km warranty on the Range Rover Supercharged. Services are due every 12,000km (or 6 months) and will cost around 4,800AED at the time of writing.

2010 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8
Max power (bhp/rpm): 510/6,000
Max torque (Nm/rpm): 325/2,500
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Driven wheels: Four-wheel drive
Kerb weight: 2,710kg
Price (AED): 400,000AED

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