Iconic is an over-used term, but it definitely applies here. The latest Range Rover builds on the knowledge gained from the 1st generation PHEV and sets out the path to a full EV model making this arguably the most important Range Rover ever.
They say that first impressions count and the Range Rover starts off on the right foot. The usual mix of executive saloon opulence and go anywhere SUV ability still applies. Nothing combines the two so well, but the latest model also set new standards in the PHEV market with a massive official electric range of 70 miles.
The secret behind that mesmerising mix of abilities is a massive 31.8 kWh battery under the floor which powers a slim-line electric motor located within the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which can work on its own or in conjunction with a high output 3-litre petrol engine. The system allows up to 70 miles of pure electric running (in theory) before calling on the 71.5 litre petrol tank. Land Rover has included a 7 kW on board charger and the ability to use 50 kW Rapid chargers which is very unusual for a PHEV but is necessary due to the battery capacity, which is the size of a small EV.
Of course, the official electric only range can be hard to achieve, particularity if you are in a 2.7 tonne SUV, so Land Rover has helpfully provided a real world estimate of 54 miles on a full battery. Whilst that is comfortably short of the 70 mile official range it is still a long way ahead of most PHEV’s and means that for many drivers all of their day to day journeys could be pure electric.
It is worth saying that if you aren’t able to regularly use the electric range you will be driving a heavy hybrid 3 litre petrol so you won’t be seeing anything like 300 mpg. In short the PHEV makes absolute sense if you use the EV mode lots and the hybrid mode a little, if this isn’t your bag then look elsewhere!
As ever there are several drive options including EV, hybrid, and Save (which maintains battery charge) but the Ranger Rover has an extra trick up its sleeve in the form of Predictive Energy Optimisation (PDO) which uses planned Sat Nav routes to optimise the hybrid usage.
The PHEV system adds refinement, performance, a useful EV range and if used properly could slash fuel bills. On the negative side? Answers on a postcard. We can’t think of any area where the system detracts, including full off-road ability, wading heights, and towing ability (a full 2.5 tonnes) – although it’s not the most affordable vehicle. Is the PHEV Range Rover the best 4×4 by far? Quite possibly.
Estimated real world range: 40 – 70 miles (electric)
Official range: 70 miles (electric)
Official electricity consumption: 287.6 Wh/km
Battery pack: 38.2 kWh (gross) 31.8 kWh (net) lithium ion; 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty >70% SoC
Recharge time: 240 v 15 hours; 7 kW charge 5 hours; Rapid 50 kW CCS 40 mins (0-80%)
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.