The Range Rover Vogue transforms you from mere mortal to royalty
If first-class travel is non-negotiable, then this luxury SUV is the perfect fit
In expanding the Range Rover division of Land Rover, the eponymous, boxy flagship that first wore the nameplate may have lost some limelight. The Evoque, now in its second generation, remains a sales hit. The utterly striking Velar is one covetable piece of metal. And the Sport continues to pose an enticing proposition to consumers who want more exclusivity than the other two, with an extra level of off-road capability.
And then at the top of the pile sits the classical Vogue specification. The full-sized, original Range Rover. Or the "big body" as some like to call it.
This is the one favoured by monarchy, successful hip-hop practitioners, owners of conglomerates and generally, customers for whom first-class travel is a non-negotiable aspect of existence. In November 2018 the icon was a recipient of an assortment of revisions. We recently snagged some seat time in one.
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The Range Rover offers a chair position that few other vehicles can match. Perched within a cavernous cocoon of fine materials, it offers an empowering vantage point from which to survey the land. While getting a massage, or maybe some hot stone therapy, a function enabled by four central elements in the backrest through which heat is channelled and targeted.
THE AIR THAT YOU BREATHE
The air you breathe is of a superior quality too. An ionisation system called Nanoe, developed by Panasonic, uses electrostatic, atomised water particles. Put simply, that kills odours and microscopic gremlins that cause sniffles and sneezes.
Taking cue from the Velar, which pioneered a new infotainment concept for the brand, the Range Rover uses two 10-inch touchscreens through which all functions are controlled. Some 17 connection points are scattered throughout the cabin, including USB and HDMI ports, as well as 12-volt sockets.
A waft-along driving character has always been a hallmark of the Range Rover experience. Aside from the inherent heft of the vehicle and the competence of its pneumatic suspension, unfussed momentum was further aided by the presence of a stonking supercharged-diesel engine in the prow.
Its 4,367cc displacement and octet of cylinders delivers a 250kW power figure and a generous torque output of 740Nm. No hiccups from the eight-speed automatic either.
Nowadays, the choice of engines goes beyond the usual V6 and V8 mills. The P400e plug-in hybrid sees the fitment of a boosted 1,997cc unit with four cylinders. And though its claimed consumption figure seems enticing at 2.8l/100km, frugality is not really the point of a Range Rover, is it?
No, indulgence and excess are what it is about. The responsible Range Rover buyer would probably go across to sister brand Jaguar and put money down for an I-Pace, to offset some of their carbon footprint.
The Range Rover Vogue costs upwards of R1 998 500.