Test Drive: Range Rover Offers Refinement

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Range Rover has been one of the world’s leading luxury brands since 1970, so choosing to engage customers during the upscale Monterey Car Week in California is a good fit. 

The brand presented its third Range Rover House installation, an invitation-only experience highlighting Range Rover’s vision of modern, sustainable luxury and design leadership.  

The event space aimed to bring modern luxury to life through curated experiences designed under the direction of Chief Creative Officer Professor Gerry McGovern OBE.

Nestled in scenic Carmel Highlands, California, the space aligns with the minimalist design philosophy of the brand. The automaker used the event to reveal the ultra luxury 2024 Range Rover SV Carmel Edition.

Seven of the vehicles will be sold to the invited guests of Range Rover House, with a portion of the $370,000 MSRP being donated to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

“Range Rover House events provide an opportunity to strengthen our connection with owners and brand enthusiasts through exemplary locations, hospitality, and experiences,” says Charlotte Blank, U.S. chief marketing officer of Jaguar Land Rover North America.

The brand encompasses Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque and is underpinned by Land Rover – a mark of trust built on 75 years of expertise in technology, vehicle architecture and world-leading off-road capability.

A recent test drive of the 2023 Range Rover Sport and the 2023 Range Rover SE LWB shows that even at varying levels of expense, the feeling of luxury is consistent.

The Range Rover Sport starts at $83,000. The test drive model retailed for $90,245 with options including a black contrast roof and a 22-inch Diamond Turned with Satin Dark Gray contrast wheel covers.  Meanwhile, the SE LWB, which features three rows of luxury seating, starts at $135,000. The test drive model retailed for $153,225 and includes Bespoke 23-inch wheels, a technology pack and semi-aniline leather seats.

Fuel economy is affected by the vehicle’s large size, offering 18 mpg combines (16/city and 21/highway) versus the Sport’s 22 mpg combined (19/city and 26/highway.)

The exterior styling on both vehicles is notable. Each grill is formidable without being over the top. Both vehicles are blessed with a decent amount of storage space in the vert rearm, and the back row of seats for each fold down with the touch of a button. 

Another noteworthy styling touch on both vehicles are flat-folding doorhandles that emerge from the body panel when the unlock button is pushed either on the vehicle or via the electronic fob. 

One negative is the seats don’t fold completely flat. There is a noticeable incline and also a small gap between the rear area of the cargo storage and where the seats fold down. 

The temperature control in both vehicles is slow to respond except when Max AC is pushed. The lane departure warning is a tad overreactive, yet the blindspot detection did not always detect vehicles during merging. 

Unfortunately, interior noise, vibration and harshness are notable at speeds over 50 mph. 

On the upside, there is a good amount of lighting in the backseat and in the back storage area. There are two glove boxes, which is nice, and the compartment in between the seats is also quite large.

Seats are not only heated, but offer a lovely massage feature, Finally the puddle lamp, which casts a design onto the ground next to the vehicle, is simple yet distinctive and elegant, kind of like the brand itself. 

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