There are full-sized sport utility vehicles and there are luxury SUVs. Then there is the Range Rover. This is a super-luxury sport utility and in the LWB edition, it’s even bigger and better. For an executive-level interior experience and range-topping offroad capability, there’s no beating this Rover.

Quick Specs & Info

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2015 Range Rover Class: Luxury SUV
Base Model As Tested: Supercharged LWB
Powertrain 3.0L V6, 8spd auto Powertrain 5.0L V8, 8spd auto
Base MSRP $84,950 MSRP as tested $118,501

Overview

2015 Range Rover LWB - offroad 3 - AOA1200pxThe 2015 Range Rover LWB is the long wheelbase version of the standard Rover model. It adds over seven inches of length to this big beast, all of which goes to the rear seating space. Supercharged engine choices make this a powerful SUV as well, with some best-in-class muscle available.

Off the road, the Range Rover name is fully intact and the five-seat LWB can go anywhere at any time and under any conditions.

Putting it all together, there is no other luxury sport utility with the opulence and capability that the Range Rover offers. The one thing it doesn’t offer is its only weakness: there is no third row. The Range Rover LWB is a two-row luxury SUV with five trim levels. Of those, we drove the mid-level Supercharged edition.

Exterior Styling of the 2015 Range Rover

2015 Range Rover LWB - 1 - AOA1200pxThe Range Rover may be the first popular vehicle to have perfected and stylized the “floating roof” design. It’s one of the signatures for this SUV, as are the “shark gills” behind the front fender and the overall simple but rugged looks it sports.

The front fascia is decidedly non-truckish with a thin, but not weak look. The hood drapes over the edges in another Rover style mark, though the hood on this Rover opens up and back rather than forward as with other Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

The straight body and roof is part of the Rover appearance, but the lifted rear quarter with its angle of attack and the stylish taillamps are a great finish. The huge wheels and thin tires hide the extreme capability underneath the pretty exterior.

Inside the Range Rover LWB

The interior of the 2015 Range Rover LWB is palatial and roomy. The huge panoramic roof (with shades), the rear doors with their deeply tinted windows (and shades), and the extremely posh and comfortable interior is beyond comparison.

2015 Range Rover LWB - interior 4 - AOA1200pxFor the driver, the front bucket has so many adjustments a manual just for them may be required except that the buttons and levers for doing so are so easy to understand, it takes only seconds to get it right. Add in optional massage to go with the heating and cooling and.. ahhh, you’ll forget you’re supposed to drive the Range Rover, not sit in the lot and snooze.

The passenger’s seat gets the same treatment up front and storage space abounds with nooks and tastefully covered holders being located strategically throughout the front of the Rover.

In the back seats, the long wheelbase really gets busy. The extra seven and some inches all went to rear legroom for this model and allows those sitting back there to not only stretch out, but gives so much room that it’s difficult to even reach the front seat backs, let alone have them cramping your style. Everywhere in the Range Rover is comfortable. In some models, the rear seating becomes two pilot chairs with tray tables and more. Luxurious only gets started.

2015 Range Rover LWB - interior 7 - AOA1200pxAdd in the rear cargo area, which is the size of a warehouse, and you have a taste of why the Rover is considered the top of the shelf when it comes to luxury SUVs.

Now for some niceties. How about a 29-speaker stereo system? That’s not a typo. Twenty-nine speakers. How about a digital instrument panel bigger than your iPad? 12.3 inches big to be exact. That’s in addition to the 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment. Infotainment that includes InControl apps with a full new suite of options and plug-ins that sync with your smart phone. Jaguar Land Rover has taken a big step forward with their infotainment.

Wow.

Under the LWB’s Hood

2015 Range Rover LWB - engine 1 - AOA1200pxStandard in most Range Rover models is the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, which we experienced when we drove the Jaguar XJL. This engine is rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is Rover’s Terrain Response system for four-wheel drive.

We drove the LWB with the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that outputs a roaring 510 hp and 461 lb-ft. The same transmission is included and we had Terrain Response 2, the adaptive offroad optional upgrade.

The EPA rates the Range Rover at 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) with the V6 and at 16 mpg combined (14/19) for the V8. We saw near those numbers with an average of over 14 mpg during our time with the Supercharged LWB model. For performance junkies, we note that the 0-60 mph times we averaged in the supercharged V8 were a phenomenal 5 seconds.

On the Road in the 2015 Range Rover LWB

Surprisingly, the 2015 Range Rover LWB, despite its bulk, is a very smooth highway drive. Around town, its size becomes obvious, but out on the highway, it almost disappears as the Rover becomes a smooth, comfortable machine.

In any situation, the supercharged engine kicks in quickly when asked and powers the big SUV through lights, around that truck, or just down the road for fun. It’s rare for a sport utility to have both real sport performance and capable utility. The Rover has it all and is a truly fun vehicle to pilot.

Off Pavement In the 2015 LWB

2015 Range Rover LWB - offroad 1 - AOA1200pxOff the road, the Rover lives up to its reputation for get-anywhere capability. Although the long wheelbase does affect ground clearance in some situations, the Rover LWB is still very astute at climbing, digging, and getting to wherever it is you want to be, off that beaten path. And it can tow a large amount of stuff, besides what’s already packed inside, to get there. In style.

We took the Range Rover LWB into dirt, over rough terrain, and even over some small rocks and it never once seemed uncertain. The Terrain Response System is excellent, but with the upgraded 2 series, it makes it so easy that even the most inexperienced can likely get just about anywhere without trouble. It’s literally just steer and go.

Competition

It’s difficult to find a direct competitor to the Range Rover, but the Mercedes-Benz G- and GL-Class are a good start. The Porsche Cayenne is another choice in this segment. None of the domestic luxury SUVs are at the same level as the Rover. Of the competition listed, none offer the full package that the Range Rover does, though they each have definite advantages of their own.

Strong Points

  • Powerful engine options, excellent capability.
  • Exceedingly posh, roomy interior.

Weaknesses

  • Barely average fuel economy.
  • No third row option, despite its size.

Conclusions

In the world of posh vehicles, the Range Rover is well-respected. For a company that started out building race cars and military vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover has really come a long way. The 2015 Range Rover LWB is the most dignified and capable upper crust vehicle on the planet. You can literally roll down the window and ask for Grey Poupon, in the swamp.. after coming down off the mountain. With the president in the back seat. And not be out of place.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The Range Rover was a manufacturer’s press loan for about a week. During that time, we put a total of around 300 miles were put on the vehicle in various driving conditions.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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