Legal Disclaimer: The writer of this review has a serious bias in favor of Range Rovers.
It has been 10 years since any big changes to the Range Rover HSE. A decade ago, Land Rover was owned by Ford Motor Company, and they made major changes to the quality of the entire Land Rover lineup.Ford took the flagship Range Rover from a serious off-road vehicle to a luxurious off-road vehicle. Since India-based Tata Motors bought the company five years or so ago, they have done an even better job with quality and interiors. In fact, the 2013 Range Rover HSE can comfortably pass as an SUV or a daily driver car, it rides and drives that well.
Under the hood, there is a 5.0-liter V8 that pumps out 375-horses, and it is linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This combination gives the Range Rover strong, steady, yet quiet acceleration and strong power when you need it. The transmission shifts smoothly and effortlessly. This powertrain combination is perfect for this SUV. If you need even more power, there is a Supercharged version, which is the one I personally own, and it will kick out 510-horses.
For 2013, the HSE sports a new look, much more modern and it is instantly clear that big changes have happened. You see some design cues from the Range Rover Sport and you see some of the Land Rover Evoque in it too. The 2013 has a longer wheelbase, which Rover smartly used to give you more backseat room, something that was needed. The HSE is not offered with a 3rd row seat.
The 2013 Range Rover has an all-aluminum body which cut the overall weight by 39%, or 700 pounds. It also increased fuel economy from the year before by 2 miles per gallon in both city and highway.
Rover owners often do not appreciate the sophisticated fulltime 4-wheel system, most never use it. If you need it however, there is no better system anywhere. The new generation of Terrain Response Control that uses sensors to predict the surface ahead, and to change traction, stability, and active-differential settings to handle whatever lies ahead of you, allows you to choose among five settings: General-Grass/Gravel/Snow-Mud/Ruts- Sand-Rock Crawl.
The interior of the 2013 Range Rover is hands-down the nicest I have ever seen. Black lacquer wood trim abounds and accents the light colored leather seats and looks spectacular with the black headliner that surrounds the Panoramic moon roof. Directly in front of the driver is a 12.3-inch screen and virtual instrumentation. The entire instrument cluster is animated, including all gauges. A secondary 8” color screen is located in the center of the vehicle and is touch-screen to operate the navigation system, audio/video, Bluetooth, and voice commands.
As you would expect, the Rover comes completely loaded. You get automatic temperature controlled air conditioning, steering wheel controls, a heated steering wheel, air conditioned and heated front seats that massage you, and a heated rear seat. My tester even has a refrigerator in the front center console.
Also included, you get automatic dimming headlights, power tailgate, 20” wheels, pushbutton start, blind spot monitoring, and rearview camera that detect side traffic.
I admitted to the bias in the opening sentence, but I believe anyone who owns a Range Rover would agree with me. It is an incredible SUV to drive, it is wildly capable of any terrain, and perhaps most notable, there has never been a death recorded in the United States in a Range Rover HSE.
What I liked most: The interior, new exterior looks, and driving dynamics.
What I would change: Would like the option of a 3rd row seat.
MSRP: $82,000 base price, as equipped $94,645.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 14 in town, 20 highway. I am getting 18 overall.
Warranty: 4 years/50,000 mile bumper to bumper INCLUDING all scheduled maintenance, and roadside assistance.
2013 Range Rover SUV in a few words: The SUV that will do anything, anytime, in pure luxury.