~ A DriveWays Review ~
by Frank A. Aukofer
A businessman in Baltimore bought a Range Rover partly because he wanted to park it outside his headquarters to convince potential customers that he was running a successful company.
Such is the cachet of the brand that has morphed into what many people regard as the Bentley or Jaguar of all-terrain vehicles, epitomized by the 2022 Range Rover SE P400 LWB tested for this review.
The Range Rover tops an array of models and trim levels from Land Rover of Great Britain, which was founded in 1947 to build vehicles designed to conquer jungles and deserts. A common misconception is that it manufactured military vehicles in World War II, like America’s Jeep. Over the years following, it produced extraordinary and expensive machines for civilian and military use.
In 1970, the company launched a sub-brand with the proper name of Land Rover Range Rover, though it is mostly addressed as the Range Rover. Though it now is familiar cruising along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or Fifth Avenue in New York, it has the all-terrain chops of its Land Rover siblings.
The tested 2022 SE P400 nestles near the top of the Range Rover lineup with a base price of $111,350 and, with options, a bottom line sticker of $130,175. Its LWB designation stands for long wheelbase, the distance between the front and rear axles, which results in an overall length of 17 feet 3 inches and space for a third-row seat.
Note that there are two classes of 2022 models: the all-new ones, including this tester, and some carryovers from the previous year. If interested, sort them out.
Its P400 denotes the power train: a 3.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine that delivers 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The transmission has a manual-shift mode controlled by paddles on the steering wheel, and there’s also a two-speed transfer case for off-roading.
Though there are more expensive versions, the SE had sumptuous limousine-like accommodations. Perforated leather seats, heated and cooled, had the sort of sink-into cushy comfort that rivals an armchair in an exclusive club for the wealthy. Yet there’s support for a long-distance drive.
Active front seat headrests are poised to eliminate or mitigate whiplash injuries in a collision. The Range Rover SE comes with a full suite of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping control, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
A panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade admits light into the cabin and also has a small opening for fresh air. Except for a high, hard cushion in the center-rear, the second-row seats are as comfortable as those up front. To mitigate the center-seat shortcomings, the floor is nearly flat.
There are power switches in the front and rear armrests to adjust the front and outboard rear seats, including power sunshades for the second-row windows and overhead reading lights on both sides. The armrest switches are OK for the back seats but they are not as intuitive in front as those on other vehicles mounted down on the sides of the seats.
On the road, the tested Range Rover SE proved its mettle. It is comfortable, powerful, quiet and handles easily for such a big vehicle, assisted by the standard air suspension system and four-wheel steering. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts so unobtrusively anyone would be forgiven for thinking they were in an electric vehicle or one with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which have no shift hiccups.
Land Rover says the Range Rover P400 can acceleration to 60 miles an hour in 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 150mph, not bad for a vehicle that weighs 5,600 pounds. It can also tow trailers weighing up to 7,716 pounds.
There was no opportunity to drive the tested SE off-road, though it was equipped with Land Rover’s Terrain Response selectable settings for comfort; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts, and sand.
It doesn’t seem likely that many owners of this respectable luxury SUV will risk it in any off-road terrain that could rip off outside mirrors, blow tires or peel off paint. But there are such people.
- Model: 2022 NEW Range Rover SE P400 LWB four-door, three-row, seven-passenger sport utility vehicle.
- Engine: 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder, turbocharged; 395 hp, 406 pound-feet torque. Mild hybrid (MHEV) with 48-volt electric supercharger.
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual-shift mode, two-speed transfer case and all-wheel drive.
- Overall length: 17 feet 3 inches.
- Height: 6 feet 2 inches.
- EPA/SAE passenger volume: 154 cubic feet.
- Cargo volume: 9 cubic feet seats up; 93 cubic feet second and third rows folded.
- Weight: 5,600 pounds.
- Towing capability: 7,716 pounds.
- Ground clearance: 8.6 inches.
- EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 18/26/21 mpg.
- Base price, including destination charge: $111,350.
- Price as tested: $130,175.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided the vehicle used to conduct this test drive and review. Photos © Land Rover