In true luxury car fashion, the engine and accompanying six-speed automatic transmission are stunningly smooth. The exhaust note is definitely that of a V-8, but it's quite subdued and without any hint of a blower under hood. On smooth roads, the ride is on par with that of any similarly priced luxury sedan. Should pavement quality head south, however, things will get shaky. It is an SUV, after all, and it can't ignore all laws of physics. Steering is light but not dangerously vague as it is on some similarly-sized SUVs. The aforementioned smoothness comes partly thanks to standard 20-inch wheels and high-performance rubber. They're great for tackling the asphalt-and-concrete hellscape that is Los Angeles, but will need to be replaced with proper SUV tires for any serious off-piste adventures.

Inside, there's enough electronic gadgetry to make anyone that's ever heard of Lucas the Prince of Darkness to recoil in horror. The coolest feature is the all-digital instrument cluster. Where lesser cars feature a bunch of gauges with indicator arrows in them, the 2010 Range Rover packs a wide TFT screen that provides a digital speedometer and tachometer plus the usual compliment of warning and indicator lights. On the off chance that you forgot, the tachometer reminds you that the Range Rover you're driving is, in fact, supercharged - as will looking at the front door sills. In fact, the entire cabin is full of reminders that you're in a Land Rover Range Rover. The Nissan GT-R has fewer badges.

The gauge cluster also has an "off-road" mode that causes the speedometer to move over to the right, with the extra empty space being used for two displays that show wheel articulation, steering direction, ride height, and the status of the center differential. Handy information should you actually decide to risk scratching the paint by taking your shiny new Range Rover into the woods. Though it wasn't fitted on our tester, the available surround camera system is likely to be useful off-road as well, as it can show you just how close your front end is to that giant boulder - or that other Range Rover you're parking next to at Neiman Marcus. Front and rear proximity sensors are standard, as is a single rear-view camera, although the latter is placed at the top of the tailgate and provides a weird perspective.