2012 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 1 February 2012
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The arrival of a Land Rover or Range Rover in my driveway always seems to herald snow and a recent Fuji white Range Roger Supercharged did not disappoint.  Land Rover, it should be noted, is the second oldest four-wheel-drive car brand in the world (only Jeep is older) and the Range Rover is the automaker’s largest and most luxurious SUV. First introduced in 1970, it is now in its third generation.

Roughly one year ago, I drove a Land Rover LR4 from New York to Vermont for a winter driving school.  A blizzard seemingly followed me as I headed north but it made for great winter driving once I reached my destination, the Equinox Resort .

We drove on trails through the magnificent Green Mountains and we broke some fairly deep trail in the woods. The Range Rover had served as a magnificent sled, albeit one with heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

This time my destination was Philadelphia and light snow was coming down as I headed to the George Washington Bridge to cross into New Jersey.

For 2012, Land Rover made some styling changes including gloss black back plates for the headlamps and tail lamps, body-colored door handles and side vents, and elegant new 20” V spoke alloy wheels.


Our Range Rover came equipped with the supercharged engine, which boosts the V-8’s 375 horsepower to 510, making it one of the most powerful engines available in a luxury SUV.  It propels the hefty vehicle 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and eliminates any and all acceleration anxiety one might have on highways.

The six-speed automatic transmission worked nicely to manage all that power and Land Rover’s very capable full-time Terrain Sensing 4WD system was set to Snow for the drive down (you can also set it to Sand and Rock Crawl).

The Range Rover was supremely confident driving down the New Jersey Turnpike in snow – of course, I proceeded knowing that other lesser vehicles could indeed impede our path so caution was the watchword of the day.

Handling was surprisingly responsive for a large vehicle.  It took me a little while to get used to its size but it was quite happy to take corners at speed and didn’t waver from the course I set.

Hill Descent Control (which I used extensively last year but didn’t need on this trip) electronically controls the throttle and braking to prevent the vehicle from building up excessive speed descending a steep grade.  If the car has active cruise control (which mine did not), an emergency braking function in the supercharged version will slow or stop the RR automatically (if the cruise control is engaged) if the car notices traffic slowing down in front.

Land Rover has made significant improvements to the Range Rover’s all-terrain systems in the past two years, adding Sand Launch Control (for easier drive-away) and improving the Rock Control Program (the car is more composed on rocky terrain) and the Gradient Release Control, which inhibits acceleration when descending steep inclines.

Hill Start Assist keeps the car from rolling backwards when the driver moves his foot from brake pedal to accelerator and Gradient Acceleration Control slows the car when descending down steep slopes without having Hill Descent Control engaged.

Click here to continue to Page 2 – Range Rover Interior

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