All-new 2022 Range Rover is a luxury juggernaut

Land Rover’s flagship sets the bar high but you’ll have to wait for the electrified variants.

By Lesley Wimbush Wheels.ca

Jun 9, 2022 6 min. read

Article was updated 9 months ago

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As a lifelong horsey girl, my earliest recollection of Range Rover was as one of old money’s frumpier accouterments, parked ringside at pony club shows and usually occupied by whiskery, Barbour-jacketed matrons, and their ubiquitous pack of dogs. Though the British marque has an impressive off-road legacy forged from African plain to moor and heath – it’s developed a certain cachet amongst the upwardly aspirational thanks to its adoption by the royal entourage. When the Range Rover first became the darling of the Kensington set, the luxury SUV segment didn’t yet exist. Since then there’s been a veritable slew of high-rolling 4x4s– such as the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls Royce Cullinan, or Lamborghini Urus – just to name a few. The current Rangie’s been around for a decade– which makes it a little long in the tooth in the jet-set realm that it arguably pioneered. To remain relevant in this lofty arena, the fifth-generation model would have to relaunch with a no-holds-barred level of luxe and swagger.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

With that in mind, Land Rover rolled out the red carpet for the recent press launch. Chauffeured by long-wheelbase Range Rover with more luxury and leg room than an Emirates first-class cabin, we fly by private jet to Sonoma wine country, where our fleet of test vehicles wait on the airport tarmac.

At first glance, the new Range Rover really doesn’t look very different from the model it replaces. But a closer look reveals a sophisticated tweak and tuck of the familiar design language. It’s a testament to the designers skill that such a blocky outline could be executed with style and refinement – crucial requirements in this category. Particularly compelling are the vertical “hidden” taillights that only appear when illuminated.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

The bar has never been higher when it comes to interior luxury – the aforementioned Bentayga, Cullinan, and even recent newcomer Genesis GV80 come to mind. Range Rover’s countered with what’s undoubtedly their best cabin yet. While the design is clean and uncluttered, the materials are first rate, from fine, plump leather or vegan Kvadrat material, to marquetry inlaid wood. It even smells rich. The ultra-premium SV (from Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations) offers a long wheelbase four-seater with enough rear legroom for a pro basketball player, hot stone massage, a motorized, cam-driven aluminum pedestal table that rises from the full-length centre console; and between the armrests – a small wine chiller with room for champagne bottle and a pair of flutes.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

For the first time ever, there’s now an available third-row on long-wheelbase Range Rovers – and with the push of a button, the second row kneels to allow easy access. And not just for children – the third row offers fairly generous seating space compared to what has traditionally been a cramped afterthought.

Behind the wheel, there’s a curved panorama of driver controls in the centrally-mounted 13.1” infotainment display and 13.7” instrumentation panel. They’re beautifully designed with crisp, clean graphics and an uncluttered interface. Even better, the controls are ergonomically friendly with rotary knobs and hard buttons for climate, drive modes and all-terrain functions.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

Standard features include Integrated Chassis Control, all-wheel steering; Electronic Active Differential with torque vectoring, adaptive damping with terrain response; 24-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats with hot stone massage; “Tailgate Event Suite” with leather cushions; digital LED headlights and signature daytime running lights, 13.1” infotainment; wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, with Amazon Alexa; wireless device charging with phone signal booster, automatic software updates, and a Meridian Sound system.

Opt for the long wheelbase, and add the The SV Signature Suite, and you get a full length centre control, an electrically activated club table, push button deployable cupholders, refrigerator, Darlington Crystal glassware, and a 13.1 inch rear touchscreen with high fidelity headphones. Exclusive to the SV model are Icy White Paint with Corinthian Bronze accents and aniline leather interior; or Sunrise Copper with Black accents and “ultra fabrics” upholstery.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

Standard on all models are blind spot assist, park assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive speed limiter, rear traffic monitor, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, and a 3D surround camera.

There are two available engines in the North American Range Rover lineup; the standard 3.0 litre, inline 6 with an output of 395 hp/406 ft. lb., or a BMW-sourced 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 with 523 hp/553 ft-lb of torque. European markets will also get a 3.0L diesel engine. Regardless of engine choice all 2022 Range Rovers use an eight-speed automatic transmission that channels power to all four wheels through an electronic differential with torque vectoring.

But even the uber-rich are reluctant to be seen as resources-sucking pariahs these days, and not having an electrified version is a big social faux-pas for a premium brand. Fortunately Range Rover will rectify that later this year with a DC fast-charge capable plug-in hybrid. It uses the standard 3.0L inline six paired with a 132 hp electric motor for a total output of 434 hp/457 lb-ft of torque. An all-electric model is scheduled to arrive in 2024. Thanks to the Range Rover’s new MLA platform, developed with future electrification in mind, the battery will be located under the floor instead of encroaching on cargo space.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

There are a lot of glorious, winding roads in the hills above Sonoma wine country. While a 5,000 pound plus luxe-barge might not seem the idea vehicle for tackling narrow roads that loop and fold back upon themselves, it’s surprising how well the Range Rover comported itself.

Peter Bigham, chief engineer for the new MLA platform credits a number of factors that contribute to the new vehicle’s composure. The new architecture is 50 per cent more rigid, and Bilstein adjustable dampers help control rebound. Such a tall vehicle could be expected to lean in corners, but a 48-volt electronic roll response system respond with up to 1,033 pound-feet of torque in milliseconds to keep it flat.

To ensure that the Range Rover’s signature floating ride wasn’t compromised by becoming too firm, Bigham explains that the air suspension system was engineered with low spring rates.

The standard rear wheel steering was also a big contributor to the vehicle’s nimble handling through the tight turns while improving its maneuverability in tight spots. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn up to 7 degrees opposite to the steering angle — giving Land Rover’s largest vehicle the smallest turning circle (11 feet) in its lineup.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

While the turbo-charged straight-six acquitted itself admirably with little drama, it’s the V8’s 523hp and 553 lb.ft. that really brings this enormous beast of a vehicle to life. The bark is gruff without being obnoxious, and its enormous reserves of torque give the Range Rover the ability to effortlessly rocket forward when called upon.

It seems almost sacrilege to flog such a refined and pricy vehicle off road, where rocks and errant brush could mar its matte aluminum hide – but the Range Rover’s legacy was forged on rugged trails. There’s a selection of terrain modes to choose from, and the air suspension can raise the chassis to provide 11.6” (295mm) of clearance. Hill descent control and low gearing let you navigate steep downhill trails without any pedal input, and you can even forge through water up to 900 mm thanks to a wade sensor system.

Historic marques take a big risk when relaunching iconic vehicles like the Range Rover. Evolving without losing the vehicle’s all-important character is a very fine line – one that Range Rover appears to have balanced admirably

The writer attended this media drive as a guest of the automaker. Content and vehicle evaluations were not subject to approval.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

BODY STYLE: Full-size Luxury SUV

CONFIGURATION: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive

ENGINE: 3.0L turbocharged 6/4.4 litre twin-turbo V8

POWER: 395 hp; 406 lb. ft /523 hp; Torque: 553 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic


CARGO: 900/1943 litres

PRICE:  $126,550 - $250,100

Website: https://www.landrover.ca




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