With a 198mm longer wheelbase than the standard L405 Range Rover (122.8in, up from 115in), the LWB is all about rear seat comfort – Executive Class in this range-topper's case. But what's it like from the chauffeur’s seat?
● Engine: 5.0 s'charged V8 petrol
● Power/torque: 503bhp/461lb ft
● Transmission: 8-speed auto
● Speed: 140mph/0-60mph: 5sec
● Factory combined mpg: 22.1
● LRO RWT mpg: 20.5
● Price as tested: £148,000
380 MILES TO GET THE FULL LOWDOWN...
Supercharged V8 is thirsty, isn't it?
20.5mpg was less than I thought, disappointingly; the on-board computer stated 23.7 – better than claimed. But it can accelerate and sound like a dragster on demand.
What's it like in town?
It's hard to imagine how Land Rover could make the Range Rover more refined. You feel isolated from the outside world, troubled only by the rumble of passing vehicles. The only downside is over stepped surfaces that send a thump through the structure.
Is the extra length a problem?
You really don’t notice the extra eight inches, but it's the width that makes all L405s feel enormous on UK roads – especially little-used country lanes in the Yorkshire Dales. Its decent turning circle and feather-light steering actually make manoeuvring surprisingly easy, although you'll struggle to find parking spaces to accommodate it. Perpendicular Park Assist is handy, as long as you can open the doors after!
Isn't it too precious for greenlaning?
The greenlanes on our Real World Test route are wide, open and well-maintained, with little risk of damage, but loosened small sharp rocks threaten the 275/45R21 Pirelli Scorpion Verde M+S tyres a little too much for my liking. At least there's a full-size spare fitted (a £200 option). If I needed to survey all that I owned, I'd have one... But it won't even fit in my garden.
What's an Autobiography Black?
Designed for serious business types, this is the ultimate Range Rover. Outside you'll spot extra bits of chrome, but inside gets posher leather recliners, a front-to-rear console with chiller and electric folding tables, bigger seat-back TVs, and ground-shaking 29-speaker Meridian sounds. It's better than flying.
What's the point?
LRO’s Real World Test gives an independent, ‘real world’ fuel economy figure based on a varied and enjoyable 380-mile route, rather than sitting on a dyno.
It’s a big drive to do in one day, so we get up early and start by brimming the fuel tank at a garage on the A1 in Lincolnshire.
By doing the same at the end, it’s easy to get a precise ‘combined mpg’ figure – meaning a blend of motorways, fast A-roads, country roads, a couple of long greenlanes and a rush-hour city crawl. And, we find out more along the way!
Our test route
Bloody Oaks services, Stamford > A1 north Knaresborough > Arncliffe > Kettlewell > Middleham > Bainbridge > Stalling Busk (byway) > Hubberholme > Cam High Road (byway) > Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes > Settle > Silsden > Bradford > M62 east > Ferrybridge > A1 south > Bloody Oaks services, Stamford