2014 Land Rover Range Rover Long-Term Update 2

Finding the Sweet Spot

Angus MacKenzie
Jun 20, 2014
Photographers: Motor Trend Staff
I've spent a lot of time in Range Rovers recently, none of them mine. A week in New York saw me chauffeured around Manhattan in everything from the entry-level model to a fully loaded Long-Wheelbase Autobiography. Then I spent a week driving a V8 Supercharged model while the Real MPG team put my car through their detailed fuel consumption test.
So what have I learned? First, the rear seat in the Range Rover isn't as good as it should be. The seat cushion feels hard and thin, and is located a little too close to the floor. It's especially noticeable in the Long Wheelbase, where the extra 7.3 inches of rear-seat legroom promise genuine limo plushness the rear seat emphatically fails to deliver.
Photo 2/19
Most African cities boast roads in far better shape than Manhattan's battered streets, which threw the differences in ride quality between the various wheel/tire combinations available on the Range Rover into sharp relief. The various 21- and 22-inch alloys available on the new Range Rover look terrific, but for ride comfort the entry-level car's 19-inch wheel and tire setup is unbeatable. From the back seat, the base Range Rover consistently proved noticeably quieter and more comfortable than the Long-Wheelbase Autobiography.
Back in L.A., on roads I know intimately, the V8 Supercharged confirmed my New York observations. There's more noise and impact harshness from the 275/45 R21 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires than the 235/65 R19 Pirelli Scorpions fitted to my car, and a noticeable edginess to the ride as a result. The V8 Supercharged's steering doesn't have quite the same delicacy, either, a legacy of having to twist a bigger contact patch across the tarmac.
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The other thing I've learned this month? I'm not sure I'd take the V-8 engine over the V-6. Sure, 510 hp is nicer than 340 hp, and you feel it in the mid-range, where the V-8 delivers an elastic surge of acceleration. There's none of the slight graininess the V-6 exhibits under load, either. But in real world, everyday driving, it's truly difficult to justify the extra expense of buying and running the bigger engine.
There's always one vehicle in a lineup that's the sweet spot car; the car that delivers the best all-round combination of performance and value. In the case of the 2014 Range Rover, it's probably the base model.
More on our long-term 2014 Land Rover Range Rover:

Our Car
Service life 7704 mi
Average fuel economy 15.6 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.24 lb/mi
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 17/23/19 mpg
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0
Photo 7/19

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Land Rover Range Rover

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$83,495
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MSRP: $83,495
Mileage: 17 / 23
Engine: 3.0L V6
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