This week, I bring you the 2017 Range Rover HSE, the flagship of the Land Rover lineup of SUVs.
Before we look closely at the vehicle, let’s go through the name game, something I always try to do when reviewing any Land Rover. 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 Discovery Sport, the Range Rover Evoque, the new Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Sport, and finally this one…the Range Rover HSE.
So my tester’s official, legal name is the Land Rover Range Rover HSE.
Just to refresh your memory, The Range Rover HSE and Sport went through a big transformation about 4 years ago. It 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. Since that time, the changes have been very minor, most upgrades to the electronics.
My review vehicle has the 3.0-liter V6 supercharged engine that is putting out 380-horses. There is a 510-horse supercharged 5-liter V8, but honestly, even for my heavy foot, this 3-liter has plenty of power. There is also a six-cylinder diesel available called the Td6 that I reviewed in 2016.
The 8-speed and the supercharger together provide amazing acceleration, especially considering it weighs almost 4700 pounds.
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.
Moving to the interior, like all Range Rovers, the interior of the Range Rover HSE is exceptional.
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 Rover.
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 Range Rover 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.
My Aruba (silver) sampler comes nicely equipped with many standard features including power front heated and cooled seats, power tailgate, push-button start, rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, power tilt and heated steering wheel, and much more.
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.
Other standard features include a hands-free tailgate, 20” wheels, panoramic glass roof with power sliding cover, heated rear seat, 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.
Several packages are now coming at no-charge on the 2017 models.
It includes the Vision Assist package, which will get you adaptive headlights, fog lights, surround camera system, and interior mood lighting, It also has the trailer towing package which comes with a full-sized spare, and a trailer hitch. You get a stereo upgrade that takes you to 825-watts, the ebony headliner, 20” wheels, heads-up display, blind spot monitoring, and traffic sign recognition which shows on the heads-up display.
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.
Gas mileage isn’t good at 17 in town and 23 on the highway, but it’s an extremely large and heavy SUV.
Total MSRP is $93,645 which is a lot, but it also offers a lot, and this price is actually about $5000 less than it was in 2013.
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t make it a secret that I love Rovers, and in fact own one with the 510-horse engine and 22” wheels. It is approximately the 10th Land Rover in a row I have owned.
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.