Solidly Charming

Range Rover’s latest takes British splendor to new heights



I’m king of the mountain! So went a story-song from childhood. The triumphant line might come to you again if you are lucky enough to get behind the wheel of one of the new Range Rovers, where you ride high, wide and very handsome, indeed.

The brand has been on a roll lately. Range Rovers have always been presentable, of course, but lately, under new ownership, its vehicles have advanced to new levels of imperial might. The new models go from the athletic Range Rover Sport (base price $63,500) to the Autobiography LWB (long wheelbase) that seeks to rival Rolls-Royce for sheer stretch-limo sumptuousness. (Base price $100,100; total $146,900.) The interior is a British feast of fine textures, and rear-seat passengers get their own DVD screens. The driver, meanwhile, gets to enjoy the unworldly combination of power and catlike grace. The 510-horsepower, supercharged V-8 engine growls with sinister charm as it lays down creamy dollops of power. (Fuel economy will, alas, be in the teens.) And how did they make it handle so well? Taking this out on our north-country byroads was like sailing a majestic galleon over starlit seas.  

Being a Range Rover, its numerous all-wheel-drive and traction options assist you in crashing through the drifts on the way to the ski lodge. Air suspension assures a refined glide over rough stuff. Tight parking is surprisingly easy. For customers who have already scaled great heights, it just might be the magic ticket.