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2014 Land Rover Range Rover Long-Term Verdict

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/8/2015 Angus MacKenzie, Motor Trend Staff

All good things must come to an end, and after precisely 22,830 miles, I've said a reluctant goodbye to the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover that has been my daily driver for the past year. I already know I'm going to miss its quiet comfort and restrained opulence, as well as its discreetly confident, go-anywhere demeanor. Fast-moving freeway? Rocky trail? Sandy beach? Cratered city streets? Snowy mountain pass? Country club driveway? No problem. Drive on.

Range Rover reliability is still a favorite meme of the Internet's armchair experts, many of whom posted dire predictions of expensive problems after my introduction story. In the interest of objective reporting, here's a full list of everything that went wrong with the Range Rover over the past year:

1) The rubber covering started to peel off the remote key.
2) A small plastic tab on the tow-hitch cover snapped while it was being removed, meaning the cover wouldn't quite sit straight when replaced afterwards.
3) Er … that's it.

2014 Land Rover Range Rover© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Land Rover Range Rover I picked up a nail in the left rear tire in suburban L.A., which resulted in a $20 puncture repair, and I blew a right rear tire on a rock in Utah, which required a replacement to be shipped in from our friends at Tire Rack. The scheduled 15,000-mile service took place at 16,386 miles and cost $290.36. The oil and oil filter were changed, the usual checks and inspections made, and the car returned from Land Rover Pasadena cleaned and washed.

My final few months with the Range Rover included a 2,000-mile Thanksgiving road trip from L.A. to Utah, Colorado, and Arizona that included everything from brisk freeway cruising to low-range rock crawling and elevations that, according to the handy 4x4 Info mode on sat-nav screen, ranged from more than 11,000 feet (snow-clad Engineer Pass in Colorado) to almost 90 feet below sea level (on the I-10 near Palm Springs, California). That trip saw the Range Rover return its best fuel economy number -- 21.6 mpg for the 419 miles from Durango, Colorado, to Globe, Arizona -- and cover a record 482.9 miles from Globe back to El Segundo, California, before the 26-gallon gas tank was topped up with premium unleaded.

2014 Land Rover Range Rover© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Overall fuel consumption for the 22,830 miles, roughly a third of which was highway cruising or freeway driving, came out at 16.9 mpg, reasonable for a 340-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 hauling 5,170 pounds of luxury SUV. The on-board trip computer proved routinely optimistic to the tune of 3 to 4 mpg, but manual calculations suggested the Rangie would routinely return around 20 mpg cruising at 75-85 mph on the highway, with consumption dropping to the low teens in stop-start running around town.

Speaking of stop-start, the Range Rover comes with this feature as the default running mode. I switched it off, preferring to keep the engine idling for the relatively short times the car was stationary. A couple of powertrain engineers I've spoken with have suggested stop-start is really only useful in passing European fuel economy tests, and that with frequent use you may actually consume more gas because of the need to over-fuel the engine on restart.

From its elegant design to its commanding driving position, superb ride quality, and accurate steering, there's a lot I love about the Range Rover. So what didn't I like? The information and entertainment user interface. Whether it was programming the sat-nav, searching for music, switching on the heated front seats, or accessing and actuating a dozen other functions, the center-mounted touchscreen was an exercise in frustration. It's quite a stretch across the cabin, for a start, and the system reacts slowly.

2014 Land Rover Range Rover© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Land Rover Range Rover

2014 Land Rover Range Rover© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Jaguar Land Rover needs to come up with a better, faster, more intuitive user interface. A console-mounted rotary knob, as used with Audi's MMI or Mercedes-Benz's COMAND systems would be ideal, but JLR's interior designers would have to figure out how to make that work with the rotary gear selector, whose stately rise-from-console on startup is one of the signature party tricks of the car.

What would I change if I had my time over again? Very little. I'm still not convinced it's worth spending $18,500 more to get the 510-hp supercharged V-8, although its midrange punch is immensely satisfying. The available 20-, 21-, and 22-inch wheels look fabulous, but the base 19-inch wheel/tire combination is very comfortable -- perfect for a luxury car. The Pirelli Scorpion 235/65R19 all-season tire could use a touch more dry-weather grip, though, and is an unusual size, as I discovered trying to find a replacement in Moab, Utah, on Thanksgiving eve (a big shoutout to Chip at Chip's Grand Tire Pros for finding a used Goodyear 265/60R19 as an emergency spare). I'd probably spend $1,750 on the optional glass panoramic roof. We could have used it sightseeing in the Colorado Rockies.

If JLR tossed me the keys to the Scotia Grey Range Rover I've now lived with for a year and said, "Keep it," I'd be happy. A quiet, comfortable, elegant luxury car with the versatility of a wagon and the go-anywhere capability of, well, a Land Rover, the 2014 Range Rover is the one vehicle that truly does it all.

More on our long-term 2014 Land Rover Range Rover:

Our Car
SERVICE LIFE22,830 mi
BASE PRICE$83,645
OPTIONSVision Assist Pack ($2,160: Terrain Response 2, adaptive headlights, surround-view exterior cameras, blind-spot monitoring), Meridian 19-speaker sound system ($1,850), adaptive cruise control ($1,295), Tow Pack ($900: hitch receiver, full-size spare wheel)
PRICE AS TESTED$89,850
AVG ECON16.9 mpg
PROBLEM AREASNone
MAINTENANCE COST$290.36 (oil change, inspection)
NORMAL-WEAR COST$0
3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*$44,925
RECALLSSide airbag connectors, front turn signals, tire-pressure monitoring system
*Automotive Lease Guide data


2014 Land Rover Range Rover
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUTFront-engine, 4WD
ENGINE TYPESupercharged 90-deg V-6, alum block/heads
VALVETRAINDOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT182.7 cu in/2,995 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO10.5:1
POWER (SAE NET)340 hp @ 6,500 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET)332 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
REDLINE6,800 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER15.2 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION8-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO3.73:1/2.49:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REARControl arms, air springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO16.6-19.4:1 (est)
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK3.0
BRAKES, F;R13.8-in vented disc; 13.8-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R7.5 x 19-in, cast aluminum
TIRES, F;R235/65R19 109V M+S Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE115.0 in
TRACK, F/R66.5/66.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT196.8 x 78.1 x 72.3 in
GROUND CLEARANCE8.7-11.6 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE26.0-34.7/24.6-29.6 deg
TURNING CIRCLE40.4 ft
CURB WEIGHT5,170 lb
WEIGHT DIST., F/R49/51%
TOWING CAPACITY7,716 lb
SEATING CAPACITY5
HEADROOM, F/R42.5/39.2 in
LEGROOM, F/R39.1/40.2 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R60.7/59.4 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R71.7/32.1 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.1 sec
0-403.2
0-504.5
0-606.1
0-707.9
0-8010.3
0-9013.2
PASSING, 45-65 MPH3.2
QUARTER MILE14.6 sec @ 94.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH124 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.71 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT28.6 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH1,600 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE$83,645
PRICE AS TESTED$89,850
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROLYes/yes
AIRBAGSDual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee
BASIC WARRANTY4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY4 yrs/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE4 yrs/50,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY27.7 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON17/23/19 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB1.01 lb/mile
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB16.6/22.9/19.0 mpg
RECOMMENDED FUELUnleaded premium

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