As an automotive journalist, I get the great opportunity to review many vehicles throughout the year which are delivered to my driveway every week. Some weeks it is a cool car while others it is a less than sexy economical sedan car to review. Yet, every once in a while a vehicle arrives and my perception of the segment is forever altered. This is definitely the case with the 2015 Range Rover LWB.
What makes the 2015 Range Rover LWB segment altering for me? Simple the level of refinement is a step above another I have driven. In fact, I wasn’t clued in that the luxury offering from Porsche, Cadillac, Infiniti, BMW and Lexus could be taken to another level. Range Rover has done this in spades.
It is hard to write any review of the LWB without using the words amazing, marvelous, phenomenal, astounding, splendid, incredible and remarkable. From the interior refinements, the drivetrain and the exterior styling, the SUV is splendid.
As it should be, given our test model came in at $118,501 with $11,506 in upgrades. For that price, you could buy two Lexus RX350 F-Sports and have quite a bit of luxury. Yet, again, the Range Rover LWB is on a whole different level.
This new level is found throughout the vehicle. The exterior styling may seem a bit bland to some, but it really grows on you over time. In fact, the longer I spent getting to know the vehicle, the more impressed I became. From front to rear, designers did a phenomenal job of wrapping together all the elements like the bumpers, grille, door handles, etc… There really isn’t an overlooked detail.
On the inside, the vehicle is simply amazing. Driving it around town, on dirt and on the highways, I discovered a new level of ride quality. Plus, the seats are so well made I literally thought I was in some kind of day spa rather than behind the wheel. The interior layout is well thought out, and the material quality is top notch.
One of the key things I look for now in luxury vehicles are the middle seats. Frankly, as the segment has gotten more competitive, automakers are spending more time on the middle seats as a way to differentiate themselves. The Range Rover LWB is no exception and I spent a considerable amount of time in the middle row (or in this SUV’s case the only row). With a longer wheel base and lack of a third row, the seats offer an astounding amount of legroom along with a power recline and lumbar. Plus, the rear cargo room is still pretty large for carrying groceries or luggage like 4 seats of golf clubs for a guy’s weekend.
On the road, the supercharged V8 is powerful AND refined. This is a surprising combination since many large SUVs see their front-ends raise with the amount of HP delivered to the wheels. Yet, with the Range Rover LWB, the power is refined and it is more like driving a sports car than a SUV. In fact, the powertrain is shared with the Jaguar F-TYPE R, and so is the responsiveness. Slight steering wheel inputs are met with immediate responses instead of feeling like you are driving a school bus. The suspension does a great job of muting subtle bumps and reduces the impact from large pot holes. Finally, slamming on the brakes brings the vehicle to a controlled stop without feeling like you are going to fly through the windshield unlike other large SUVs.
Besides the great ride and styling, the Range Rover LWB comes equipped with a marvelous assortment of luxury features like a heated windshield, interior mood lights, soft door close, laminated exterior glass panels, front massage seats, front cooler box as well as an air suspension system allowing you to choose one of four different heights for the SUV.
Plus, the LWB continues the off-road heritage the brand was founded on and includes a remarkable range of off-road features like a variety of terrain select settings for the powertrain and suspension. As well as full-time 4-wheel-drive and an electronic center differential to handle anything you can throw at it.
Of course no vehicle is perfect, yet the Range Rover LWB misses are really small. For example, the start/stop button is in a tough spot and would be better served to be placed lower and within easier reach of the driver. Also, the SUV comes with an intelligent stop/start technology which turns it off while sitting. This feature could be further refined, it turned off the vehicle in a fast-food drive thru, and I question the need for it with the supercharged V8. My question is I just don’t know how much it improves the EPA-estimated 14/19/16 MPG city/highway/combined. Lastly, and this is extremely nitpicky, but the cup holders in the front of the cabin work, well, too well. Consistently any beverage I put in resulted in the soft plastic cup holder sticking to my drink. I ended up using the door-mounted cupholder instead.
If you have been keeping track, I only have one adjective left to use – incredible. This adjective nicely sums up the 2015 Range Rover LWB. It is, for lack of another word, just incredible in every single way.
2015 Range Rover LWB
Base Price: $106,995
Price As Tested: $118,501
Options: Four Zone Climate Comfort Package ($3,500), Vision Assist Package ($1,760), Driver Assistance Package ($1,560), Rover Tow Package ($1,300), Meridian Premium Audio ($2,150), RR LWB Protection Package ($511)
- Start/stop button placement
- Intelligent stop/start technology
- Cup holders