Range Rover 2022 review: We test drive the new 4x4 fit for the Queen

The new Range Rover is better than ever

When the Queen kicked off her Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, it was fitting that the car she should arrive in was a Range Rover.

Flanked by the Household Cavalry, she arrived at 'A Gallop Through History' in the latest version of the iconic luxury SUV, originally launched 52 years ago, and now in its fifth generation.

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Just as the Queen has been a constant for 70 years, Land Rover - and its younger, upmarket sister brand - have been there providing go-anywhere 4x4s for a complete cross-section of buyers the world over.

The Queen arriving at the Royal Horse Show in Windsor in the latest Range Rover model

Equally at home in a muddy field as Mayfair, the Landies and Rangies have been the car of choice for everyone from farmers to the emergency services, explorers and the military.

The Royal Family’s relationship with Land Rover goes back to 1948 when the Queen’s father, George VI, was presented with the 100th car to roll off the production line at Solihull in the West Midlands.

In 1951, the-then princess Elizabeth was famously pictured standing in an open-top Landie when she deputised for her father presenting the King’s Colours to the Royal Air Force in London’s Hyde Park.

The-then Princess Elizabeth in 1951, presenting the King's Colours

Over the years, the Royals have driven dozens of Land Rovers and latterly Range Rovers, and clearly still has a soft spot for the company which holds Royal warrants from Her Majesty and The Prince of Wales.

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The car that chauffeured the Queen to the Windsor jubilee event represents the future for Range Rover. Initially available with petrol and diesel engines, plus a plug-in hybrid, the first fully electric version will follow in 2024. Packed with the latest technology, the all-new Range Rover line-up starts at a whisker under £100,000 - a far cry from the original which cost just £1,998 back in 1970.

The all-new 2022 Range Rover in action

At first sight, the 2022 Range Rover looks like the outgoing model. Get closer and the differences, especially the rounded edges and flush door handles, are more plentiful and nuanced. The biggest changes are inside and under its skin out of view. The interior is a sophisticated blend of the traditional and minimalist modern.

Comfortable and beautifully finished, you can choose from real leather upholstery or sustainable alternatives which are just as lovely. The seats are 20-way electrically adjustable as standard, while higher trim models get 24-way adjustable massaging seats. The cabin oozes space and light, the commanding driving position delivers excellent visibility, while a slick new 13.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system is mounted in the centre of the dashboard.

The Range Rover comes in two sizes and the long wheelbase version is available as a seven-seater. Unlike some rivals, it's possible for adults to sit in the third row and the entry/exit process is surprisingly simple thanks to rear seats that slide and flip at the touch of a button.

The sleek interior of the new Range Rover features a large infotainment system

Our test car was fitted with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel engine featuring mild hybrid tech (badged D350). It has a 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds; fuel economy is 35.8mpg and CO2 emissions are 207g/km. Such is the refinement of the new Range Rover, you have to listen very hard to even determine whether there's a diesel engine under the bonnet.

The petrol versions are faster, but the diesel offers plenty of oomph for most drivers and it can tow just about anything if that's important to you. Adaptive air suspension comes as standard so the ride is smooth and it generally feels totally planted. Push it a little on more challenging roads and it can't hide its size, so expect a little body lean.

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If you want a luxury 4x4 that's more dynamic, wait for the upcoming Range Rover Sport. The Range Rover is at its best cruising along, leaving you cocooned from the stresses of the world. Of course, Land Rover produces the most capable off-road vehicles in the world and the new Range Rover is no exception.

We took it around the company's proving ground near Eastnor Castle (the setting for Shiv and Tom's dramatic wedding in Succession) in Herefordshire. PIC Few Range Rovers will ever get their tyres dirty, but it's still fascinating to find out how remarkably capable the 2022 model is when the going gets tough.

Whether it's tackling steep, slippery slopes; wading through water or squelching along deep, muddy ruts, it's genuinely effortless. This go-anywhere ability is down to the genius of Land Rover's latest Terrain Response 2 system which includes various drive modes for different surfaces.

The luxurious back seat area of the new Range Rover

The car's new, all-wheel steering is especially effective off-road in tight corners. The turning circle of 11.4 metres is the smallest of any Land Rover, which makes parking in tight spaces a doddle too. Naturally, the new Range Rover is also stuffed with the latest technology and driver assistance aids, making it safe for all the family.

Frankly, it's hard to fault. Yes, it's expensive, but you are investing in the most capable luxury SUV on the market. The only disappointment is that you will have to join a long waiting list to get your hands on one because of the global shortage of computer chips which is affecting the whole of the automotive industry.

HELLO!'s verdict: The all-new Range Rover is an outstanding all-rounder offering a glorious blend of luxury, practicality, go-anywhere ability, comfort and cutting-edge technology. Rivals: Bentley Bentayga, Audi Q7, BMW X7, Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-Benz GLS. Price: from £99,375.

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