The weather was suddenly against me during the road test. The light drizzle had turned to rain and then a downpour and with nowhere to stop safely, putting up the roof was out of the question. What made it worse was taking a wrong turn onto the M40. At speeds, up to 60mph the front of the cab, at least, remained dry. Anything over this and water caught the slipstream and would come over the top of the side glass. This I thought was very satisfactory. Don’t say we at THEGAYUK don’t test cars for you.
The engine on this HSE Dynamic was the Ingenium 2 litre petrol turbo. It was smooth and silky. Attached to the 9-speed automatic gearbox it felt incredibly step-less. Its 0-60mph time of 7.8 seconds is quick enough with a top speed of 130 mph. It comes at a price though and with the weight of the vehicle, it only gives mere average economy for the vehicle.
It’s a bit of a niche car in a market that it controls. There once was a time when it was the Japanese who had this market cornered.
Now it belongs to the British. This is the one vehicle that you’d expect to see on the hire list in the Mediterranean for your two week holiday and not on the streets of Basingstoke. And here comes the fundamental design flaw, the boot opening is not practical enough. You have to scrabble around to get anything out of the deepest corners and the boot door is awkwardly angled when opened.
In the end, there are three questions you need to ask yourself. First is should you buy one? If you need a soft top vehicle in the guise of an SUV with proper 4WD credentials then yes you should. Remember this is a Range Rover so it will take you properly off road. With a good approach and decent angles, it can also wade into water half a meter deep. For what it is though you may forget that it even has this ability.
Second is will you look silly driving it? That’s up to you to decide. With one single badge, it can stop all the silliness of people thinking it no more than a Barbie jeep or soft-roader. It reads Range Rover. They don’t make vehicles to get stuck in a muddy field.
The third and final question is will you blend discreetly into the background never to get noticed? Yes. Oh, who am I kidding, no, of course, it won’t.
There isn’t anything else like it out there. Enjoy your time in the limelight action man.