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Friday 9 December 2016
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Test Drive: 2016 Range Rover HSE Td6 Review

Test Drive: 2016 Range Rover HSE Td6 Review

This week, I bring you the 2016 Range Rover HSE Td6, the flagship of the Land Rover lineup of SUVs, and for the first time in the United States, it has a diesel under the hood. 

As I usually do when I review a Rover, let’s go through the name game, since these tend to confuse people.  First and foremost, it is a Land Rover.  That is the name of the brand, like Ford, Chevy, Toyota and so on.  From the bottom to the top, the lineup of Land Rovers includes the Discovery, the LR4, the Range Rover Evoque, the Range Rover Sport, and finally this one…the Range Rover HSE.  So my tester’s official name on its birth certificate is the Land Rover Range Rover HSE Td6.


Just to refresh your memory, the Range Rover HSE and Sport went through a big transformation in 2013. They shed almost 800-pounds by going to an all-aluminum body. A 6-cylinder supercharged engine replaced the naturally- aspirated V8, and an 8-speed transmission replaced the 6-speed. The body and interior underwent big changes as well.

The end result of the changes produced the most refined and best Range Rover ever, and even 3 years later, the HSE and Sport are always in short supply and have incredible resale value.

Yay, it comes with a diesel option.

My review vehicle has the 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that is putting out 254-horses, but as always with diesel engines, the torque is the most important factor, and this one has 443 pound-feet of torque.  There is a gasoline 3.0-liter V6 engine available, and then for you people with a heavy foot, a 510-horse supercharged 5-liter V8. 

The 8-speed and the diesel engine together provide good acceleration after a very slight turbo lag, especially considering it weighs over 4700 pounds.  Acceleration, like most diesels, is strong and steady. If you are worried about the diesel sound, inside the vehicle there is absolutely none. From the outside, you can tell it is a diesel when you get really close to it, otherwise it is whisper quiet.

Overall, there is a lot to love about Range Rovers.

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When you ask Range Rover owners why they love their vehicle, they will generally answer because of an exceptional interior, an incredible 4-wheel drive system, and safety.  Also some people just like the overall functionality and incredible view of the road the Rover, with its huge windshield, affords drivers.

The interior makes you want to move in.

Like all Range Rovers, the interior of the HSE is exquisite. There is leather, wood, and aluminum everywhere you look or touch. The seats are extremely comfortable and the leather trim is soft to the touch. You will not detect any plastic anywhere.

The dash is simplistic and not overly complicated.  There is a Driver Information Center in the middle of the gauge cluster, and that is where you personalize your Range Rover.

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Most everything else operates from an 8” color touch screen. It has all your audio controls, navigation system, which is also voice activated, more settings for the vehicle and climate controls, and much more. The screen is easily reachable by the driver and passenger.

The re-do of the HSE in 2013 yielded more back seat room, and now you can get a third row seat in it, but I assure you, it is only for children and do not recommend it.

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My Scotia Grey tester comes nicely equipped with many standard features including power front heated and cooled seats, power tailgate with hands-free opening, pushbutton start, rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, power tilt and heated steering wheel, and much more.

The Terrain Response System is nothing short of awesome.

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Like all Range Rovers, it has full-time four-wheel drive, and features Rover’s famous Terrain Response System.  This is the heart of the suspension system.  To use the Terrain Response System, you turn a knob on the center console between the seats to choose among five usage or surface settings: (1) general mode, for everyday driving, (2) grass/gravel/snow, (3) mud and ruts, (4) sand, (5) rock crawl. For each setting, Terrain Response adjusts the aforementioned components to perform best for each driving condition. It is awesome.

You also get all of this.

Other standard features include 20” wheels, panoramic glass roof with power sliding cover, heated rear seat, a 380-watt Meridian sound system with Sirius/XM and HD radio, keyless passive entry, Xenon headlights, and rain-sensitive wipers.  Oh, and it has my favorite, the stop/start system but luckily it can be turned off.

Major standard features on this HSE include the Vision Assist package, which gets you interior mood lighting, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beam headlights, reverse traffic detection, and a 360-degree rear camera. 

It also has the trailer-towing package that comes with a full-sized spare and a trailer hitch, and the Driver Assistance package that gets you lane departure warning, park assist, heads-up display that reads traffic signs, soft closing doors, and it will parallel park itself.

It offers the best four-wheel drive system out there.

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If you want to get sold on the off-road capability of the Range Rover, you have to experience the four-wheel drive system at a Land Rover dealership to understand what the system will do. You can move the vehicle 11” with the push of a button and it will rise even higher if the vehicle senses you need more clearance. It is my opinion that this is the best four-wheel drive system in the auto industry, and this contributes greatly to the overall cost, but well worth it.

Fuel economy and pricing.

Gas mileage is good at 22 in town and 29 on the highway, especially considering it’s an extremely large and heavy SUV.  I had stretches of over 30 miles per gallon on the highway. Total MSRP is $94,945, which is a lot of money, but it also offers a lot of features and safety.

Globally, 50% of all Range Rovers sold have the diesel engine, and given the longevity of diesel engines, I can easily make the case for the $2000 upgrade to the Range Rover diesel.

If you are in a position to spend a hundred grand or so on an SUV, for me, this is the Crown Jewel of them all.

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2016 Range Rover HSE Td6 Diesel
  • What I liked most:  Fuel economy and handling characteristics.
  • What I would change:  Infotainment system is slow to react.
  • MSRP: Base price $94,945. As equipped $94,945.
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 22 City/29 highway/25 combined.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 3700 miles.
  • Weight:  4727 Pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 196.8” long/81.6” wide/72.2” High.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 23.5 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
  • Towing Capacity: 7716 pounds.
  • 2016 Range Rover HSE in a few words: Overall a great SUV with terrific performance!
  • Warranty: 5-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance and all scheduled maintenance.
  • Final Assembly Location:  Solihull, United Kingdom.
  • Manufacturers website: Land Rover