Supercharged Range Rover has faults, despite its super price

Supercharged Range Rover has faults, despite its super price

Land Rover Range Rover featured

Land Rover’s LR4 was impressive, but the larger Range Rover Supercharged is a beast – in good and not so good ways.

For starters, the dark gray test truck would set you back $101,975 as equipped.

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But the Supercharged Rover has some oomph, like a sport sedan. With a six-speed automatic transmission, it uses the power well. If you want to take charge of your own shift points, it offers CommandShift, a clutchless manual system. It has a towing capacity of 7,716 pounds.

This is a big, heavy truck: It weighs 5,891 pounds. You can lock in whatever off-road setting you need – sand, mud, snow – from a knob on the console.

With power comes gas consumption. I got a measly 11.9 mpg in mostly city driving, with a few short forays onto the freeway. The EPA rates this at 12 mpg city and 18 highway. Most large SUVs and pickups I’ve driven get considerably better, but none had 510 horsepower.

Beyond the power, you’ll be pleased with the Rover’s performance. While it feels heavy, it doesn’t drive heavy. Handling is fine, without the top-heavy feel you might suspect with a tall boxy SUV. There is too much play in the steering wheel for me, but it’s easy to control and the soft leather wheel feels good to grip, especially when its heating element is on.

Ride is good and well cushioned, thanks to an electronic air suspension. However, you still feel some sharp bumps from time to time. This *is *a truck, after all. But there’s no roll or bounce, and the Rover is steady and smooth over railroad tracks and our area’s cement road seams.

Braking is excellent from the four-wheel discs, complete with six-piston front calipers and a stability control program. This also comes with hill descent control to help ease the big SUV down a sharp incline.

Electronic extras

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There certainly are plenty of electronic extras. More than the navigation system, I appreciate the blind-spot warning system along with the back-up camera to help when backing. Rover also has a front warning system, so you won’t be tapping any car bumpers if you parallel park.

The windshield is heated and includes rain-sensing wipers, and there’s a tire monitoring system on board. In addition to the steering wheel being heated, it is a power tilt/telescope model. Overhead is a giant power sunroof and shield. Rover also retains its power once the vehicle is shut off, so you can adjust that sunroof and your windows.

The test SUV added a 720-watt Harman/Kardon Logic7 surround sound system and special black lacquer finish ($350) on the dash, which gives the interior trim a high-end feel.

Seats are power with memory and are mildly contoured. The shape is fine, but rather firm, so could be tiring on a long haul. This one adds a $1,250 package that includes reclining rear seats.

The Range Rover Supercharged starts at $94,275. The Rover adds a $2,500 rear seat entertainment system and $1,000 four-zone climate control system, although I’d expect those to be standard at this price.

The climate control fan in the Rover was on the noisy side, something I’d never expect in a vehicle costing this much.

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