RAC Cars News


2014 Land Rover and Range Rover Range Driven

By raccars Published

Land Rover has introduced its 2014 model year collection – these include a facelifted Land Rover Discovery, a revised Range Rover Evoque with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, the new Range Rover Hybrid and a powerful 339hp Range Rover Sport SDV8. Find out how we got on…

New 2014 Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover has given the Discovery a revised look for 2014. It has an updated front end, new headlights with distinctive daytime LED graphic, detail updates throughout – and on the bonnet leading edge, the words ‘Land Rover’ have been replaced with ‘Discovery’. It’s not major but is enough to freshen the popular Discovery.

The big change is below the surface. The SDV6 diesel engine produces the same 256hp power output, but now gets an eight-speed gearbox and fuel-saving engine stop-start. This cuts CO2 emissions to 213g/km and improves fuel economy to 35.3mpg. A lower tax burden means the Discovery is also now cheaper to run.

On the road, that gearbox performs brilliantly, bringing Range Rover sophistication to the Discovery. It’s superb off road too, as ever: this does mean it’s not as car-like as some other SUVs on the road (the steering is particularly slow, requiring lots of arm-twirling) but owners don’t seem to mind as it remains a very comfortable and hugely practical machine.

RAC Cars Verdict: New 2014 Land Rover Discovery

Model year changes bring a much-needed fuel economy boost to the Discovery. Not the newest car on the road but still hugely practical and satisfying to own.

…Now buy a used Land Rover Discovery 4

The Land Rover Discovery 4 was introduced for the 2010 model year. It was a revised version of the old Discovery 3, with a richer exterior look and a much more premium interior. The biggest change, though, was the introduction of a 245hp 3.0-litre TDV6 engine, replacing the old 2.7-litre V6.

Prices for 2010 models with high mileage start from under £24,000 and, for around £25,000, there’s a lot of choice on the market. At this level, most models will be entry-level GS trim, but it’s still really well equipped so you’ve nothing to fear. The sporty-look XS is rarer.

New 2014 Range Rover Evoque

The 2014 Range Rover Evoque looks no different to previous years: look carefully and you’ll note the land Rover badges are different, but that’s about it. Again, the big change is below the surface – because Land Rover has introduced a remarkable new nine-speed automatic gearbox. Yes, nine gears!

It sounds far too many but clever electronic control and fast, near-imperceptible gearchanges mean it works. The aim is to keep engine revs low and make it seem as flexible as possible, which it does really well. It’s also linked to a clever driveline disconnect system – at low speeds, the four-wheel drive setup is disengaged, reducing drag and improving fuel efficiency.

A new four-wheel drive system has also been fitted to the 2014 Range Rover Discovery. This is snappier and sharper than the old setup, with added functionality improving grip and traction, and also making it feel more ‘natural’.

RAC Cars Verdict: New 2014 Range Rover Evoque

Again, the changes aren’t major but they make the Range Rover Evoque a bit more fuel efficient and even better to drive – as it’s already a great car, this means they’re very worthwhile enhancements.

…Now buy a used Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque was launched in 2011 and, even today, remains in huge demand. The factory can’t build enough of them and this means used models are sought after too – which is keeping prices high.

The fact most owners choose a huge amount of options when new also helps used prices rally. The result is that you’ll struggle to find an approved used Range Rover Evoque for much less than £28,000 – although the cars that are on the market for this price are generally well equipped and fitted with the choice 190hp SD4 engine. Just make sure you get one with leather and sat nav.

New Range Rover Hybrid

The new Range Rover Hybrid is Land Rover’s first ever production vehicle with electric drive capabilities. It pairs a powerful motor and battery pack to, uniquely, a V6 diesel: all its rivals use petrol engines. The result is diesel V8 performance but fuel economy even better than the regular V6 diesel.

Although it can drive under electric power alone for short distances, working as an EV isn’t what this model is about. The electric motor is there to boost the diesel when it needs it, such as when pulling away, improving its efficiency while it ‘gets into its stride’. It does this very well – you don’t notice it, with the sole benefit being improved real world economy. Just as Land Rover intended.

You can feel it when you press on, though: put your foot down and the electric motor and battery will add to the acceleration force. This is the part that delivers V8-like performance. Best of both worlds? With practice, quite possibly…

RAC Cars Verdict: Range Rover Hybrid

Unlike other hybrids, the Range Rover Hybrid doesn’t go big on electric-only drive. Its capabilities are subtler – but, if you learn how to make the most of them, improved fuel economy with an added performance boost in reserve will be your reward.

…Now buy a used Range Rover

The old shape Range Rover was an exceptional vehicle that was on sale from 2002-2013. This means that early models with RAC Buysure are now down to less than £8000 – a lot of extremely prestigious and amazingly capable luxury SUV for the money.

2006 model year vehicles are the ones to go for if you have a little more to spend. These come with Jaguar V8 engines rather than the original BMW-supplied motors. The TDV8 is particularly impressive; prices start from around £18,000.

New Range Rover Sport SDV8

The Range Rover Sport was famously revealed by Daniel Craig in dramatic fashion at the New York Motor Show earlier this year. Now, perhaps the choice model in the range has been launched – the 339hp 4.4-litre SDV8 turbodiesel model. Capable of 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds, it’s swift and punchy; although it’s not as fast as the Porsche Cayenne alternative, the boost against the clock is still welcome.

Particularly as it brings a very rich and smooth engine note with it. Range Rovers have always been associated with big V8 engines and this model keeps that tradition alive – albeit now with 32.5mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 229g/km. Remarkably, it is 50 per cent more fuel efficient than the supercharged V8 petrol alternative.

Range Rover Sport SDV8 models are only available in Autobiography Dynamic pack, with the full adaptive suspension and active anti-roll control. This means handling is remarkable, with virtually no roll and a sports car like feel of dynamism. For such a large SUV to handle and perform this well is amazing.

RAC Cars Verdict: 2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8

It may not be quite as fast as the competition – and it may also cost an eye-watering £81,550 – but there’s little to fault the Range Rover Sport SDV8 behind the wheel. Simply a very satisfying machine, with all the off-road ability and peerless design and luxury Range Rover does so well.

…Now buy a used Range Rover Sport SDV8

The original Range Rover Sport V8 diesel used a 3.6-litre motor and was introduced in 2007. Today, prices start from under £20,000 and, given the performance of the Jaguar-supplied engine, are very tempting secondhand propositions.

The latest Range Rover Sport is still too new to be freely available on the used market – we’d look instead of the heavily facelifted 2010 model year Range Rover Sport. With a V8 diesel, these today cost from around £30,000.

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