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Driven: Land Rover Range Rover TDV8 – on sale now

Land Rover


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2008 Range Rover TDV8 As the most famous brand in the 4x4 sector, Land Rover has come in for a lot of stick from environmentalists.

As a result, driving its flagship Range Rover, powered by a CO2 belching TDV8 diesel takes a bit of assertion.

Nevertheless, 5,200 buyers took the plunge in 2007. With 1,100 units registered in the first quarter of this year, Land Rover hopes to get close to this in 2008.

The thing is, all but the die-hard environmentalist would be swayed if they had sufficiently deep pockets to buy and run one.

In Vogue SE top specification, the Range Rover manages to combine luxurious comfort with versatility, security and bomb-proof durability in a way which could almost make other cars redundant.

Well, apart from city runabouts that, admittedly, are far easier to park.

Maybe it should counter the green lobbyists with a strong marketing message that could highlight any potential CO2 savings if motorists owned a Range Rover for 20 years rather than buy a freshly-manufactured family saloon every three years.

The 3.6-litre TDV8 is a great workhorse, with power and refinement that has drawn buyers out of its petrol alternative.

It hauls Range Rover’s 2.5-tonne bulk with ease through the smooth six-speed CommandShift auto transmission.

The adjustable air suspension makes a reasonable job of keeping the car on the road, but Range Rover’s handling doesn’t inspire as much confidence as a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne.

Still, this is a true 4x4, capable of getting owners well into the wild, should they really fancy getting their £70,000 car filthy.

Fact file

Price: £68,600 (Vogue SE trim)
Engine: 3.6 TDV8 diesel: 271bhp@4,000rpm, 472lb ft@ 2,000rpm)
Performance: 0-62mph: 9.2sec; top speed: 124mph)
Transmission: 6 sp auto )
Efficiency: 25.1mpg, 299g/km CO2)
Cap: RV 44%)
Rivals: Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7)
Strengths: Luxury, solidity, ability)
Weaknesses: Running cost, prestige 4x4 stigma

Also driven: Land Rover Discovery 4 HSE 3.0 SDV6

In the wake of Evoque’s sales conquests it could be overlooked that Land Rover has long been selling superb premium vehicles.

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