The Land Rover Range Rover has a fundamental place in the now ubiquitous category of luxury SUVs. It pretty much invented the concept both when it was first launched over 50 years ago, and when it was first officially imported to America in the late 1980s, where it became the first overt vehicle status symbol (alongside the Jeep Grand Wagoneer) that was also a kind of truck.
The current (fourth-generation) Range Rover has been around for nearly a decade, which is far less than the nearly 25 years it has been… the first generation lasted (1971-1994), but still a life and a half in today’s car expectations. Nevertheless, it continues to sell very strong and profitable; combined with its slightly smaller and more dynamic Range Rover Sport sibling, it is the brand’s best-selling car.
But now the venerable British brand has finally unveiled the fifth-generation Land Rover, and it’s a stunning, if evolutionary, design. This means it retains many of the classic features of previous Ranges: an upright stance, rectilinear angles, a dimpled beltline, a shell-shaped hood, large windows, a floating roof and a two-piece rear hatch. At first glance, the look is imposing like a tall modernist skyscraper, such as the Seagram building: simple, formidable and extremely sophisticated. Then, at second glance, the details emerge, with beautiful notes of luxury and sophistication.
Many of these arise in the service of pleasure, the kind of affection that keeps owners and drivers laughing for the duration of their ownership. These include available interior materials such as gloss ceramic rounded handles on the gear knob and accessory dials, deeply patterned wood inlays in the front and rear center consoles, a front beverage cooler and rear champagne fridge (complete with whistles), and a push-button aluminum rear leaf. the button floats. The Land Rover brand also takes the Range to the next level: the cheapest model starts at over $100,000 and the top-of-the-line SV has a base price of $218,300.