The Range Rover Vogue is a mighty expensive vehicle in the Indian market at about Rs 1.8 crore, ex-showroom, Delhi. Interestingly, it's the base variant in 'THE' Range Rover facelift line-up, which was launched in India recently with the Autobiography being the top variant if your pocket has the depth to match the height of your desires. Despite being the base variant the Vogue has pretty much all you would need from a luxury SUV and of course being a Range Rover, you can take it off-roading where many other AWD SUVs would struggle.
First, let's talk about what changes does the facelift offer, starting with the design changes. There isn't a great deal of change in the way this SUV looks and that's a good thing as Range Rover is one of the few SUVs today that has a timeless design. Changes that give it a more modern look include Pixel-laser LED lights, updated front bumper and a new grille. At the rear, the LED tail lamps have an updated design, which embodies the classic design appeal while lending a contemporary look. The biggest thing, however, that would catch the attention of most is the sheer size of this SUV. At 5.2 metres long the long wheelbase version of the Vogue is longer than the standard model by 200 mm. The wheelbase itself is 3,120 mm long, which in layman's perspective is less than 300 mm short of the full length of a Maruti Suzuki Alto!
There's also the option to electrically raise the air suspension, which at its highest setting will put the driver seat at par with most city buses and occupants in small hatchbacks will literally be looking up to get a glimpse of you. Quite simply, given the physical footprint of the new Range Rover long wheelbase, it is literally an SUV limousine and will ensure that you arrive in style wherever you go.
How good is the cabin?
The facelifted Range Rover comes with a host of new features aimed at not just making life more comfortable for occupants but at spoiling you with sheer luxury. New bits include wider seats upfront, new wood veneers, 10 colours for Ambient Lighting, centre console storage compartment and a front centre console cooled storage area. Material quality is impressive all around and the design is soothing and adds to the airy feeling of an already expansive cabin.
However, what will entice your visual sense first is the Touch Pro Duo touchscreens, which with two 10-inch colour touchscreens cover up pretty much all of the vertical center console. Both screens with a rectangular layout on top of a squarish one looks neat and lends the cabin a thoroughly modern touch. The screens themselves are easy to use and offer a wide array of information readouts including vehicle modes and 360-degree camera display, which comes in handy in off-road conditions. The only shortcoming with these screens is that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are missing.
The instrument cluster too is digital and thankfully looks pleasing without bombarding the driver with excessive information at one go. The steering mounted controls have been integrated nicely and have a good tactile feel to them.
Move to the rear seat and it's evident that space or the generosity of it need not even be discussed. If the Range Rover long wheelbase were to be found by the people of Lilliput, they could set up an entire city in the rear cabin of this SUV. At 5 feet 8 inches tall, I had space to pretty much stretch legs fully without having to push the front seat forward. The grandeur doesn't stop here as both front seats have a 10-inch entertainment screen for the rear occupants with individual headphones. The seat bench itself is extremely comfortable and no matter what duration you spend inside this cabin, you're more than likely to come out as fresh as you were while starting the journey.
At this point, some might ask about the third-row of seats, which isn't there and the simplest reason for it is that the Range Rover is a luxury SUV, not a people-mover. There is a massive boot though, which can easily swallow a couple of golf kits and then a lot more. Long story short, the Range Rover in its Vogue trim offers not just what you would expect from a vehicle at this price but a lot more to pamper the occupants after the facelift.
Can big be good to drive?
By now you are aware that the Range Rover long wheelbase is quite simply massive and hence not many would expect it to drive well. Fortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case as the 3-litre V8 turbocharged diesel engine produces 255 hp and 600 Nm of torque. This is more than enough to move the Range Rover's 2,387 kg unladen weight at a brisk pace. We were able to hit 100 kmph from a standstill in 8.5 seconds, which is impressive for the vehicle's size and weight. Refinement levels are exceptionally high and won't give occupants any reason to complain.
Around corners is when the size of the Range Rover makes a difference as one needs to be very mindful of the massive length of metal behind the driver. At 13.4 metres of turning radius, the SUV needs a lot of space on the road. Thankfully, the light steering takes off a lot of strain off the driver and within minutes one can start feeling comfortable with it. No one with a sane mind would take this Range Rover hard through corners and since we are a sane lot we didn't try that out as well closing the discussion for handling. Straight line stability though is great and the ride quality with the air suspension is simply bloody mighty impressive!
The big one then! Who really should buy the new Range Rover then and why? Well, the Range Rover in its long wheelbase is a limousine with impressive off-road capability. We weren't able to test the off-road ability of this SUV in particular but it's a Range Rover and comes with the same electronic wizardry that its smaller siblings come with. This makes it suitable for those who are largely chauffeur-driven but do like to drive themselves at times. That said, this SUV isn't exciting to drive but to be driven in and the chances of someone going hardcore off-roading in this? Pretty slim we'd say. So technically, it's a bit confusing to understand who exactly this SUV would be suitable for.
However, not all car-buying decisions are made on basis of pure logic. Many in fact are made from the heart with the need to fulfill long-time dreams and wishes. The Range Rover too is one of those vehicles that appeal to people of all age groups. It has a timeless design, unrivalled pedigree, fabulous cabin and will ensure that you're always followed by admiration and that is most of what one desires from vehicles bought by heart.
Psst...when pretty much no other SUV can go through the flooded streets of cities such as Gurgaon or Mumbai, well that's when you can still sail through in this luxury barge as others watch you in envy. The end line for many is just the start line for Range Rover! How's that for value justification on an emotional scale?