Range Rover SVAutobiography Review
The Range Rover SVAutobiography is an even more luxurious version of the standard Range Rover that can be had with a supercharged petrol engine. As a result, it’s significantly more expensive
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The Range Rover SVAutobiography is an ultra-luxurious version of the already incredibly posh Range Rover. It’s a high-riding alternative to the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and runs the opulent Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV close in the outright luxury stakes.
Take the Range Rover SVAutobiography’s interior, for example. It feels even more solidly built than the standard Range Rover’s and almost every surface comes with plush leather upholstery, brushed metal trim or a varnished wood finish. Pick a Dynamic model and you get a curious combination of lightweight carbon fibre and heftier steel trims on the centre console, too.
It’s not just packed with plush materials, you also get a decent serving of high-tech kit. Three infotainment displays come as standard – one on the dashboard, a second below on the centre console and a third which replaces conventional analogue dials. The dashboard-mounted display is easy to use and comes with sat nav as standard while the lower screen deals with all the Range Rover’s climate control functions. Sadly, it’s not quite as intuitive to use as the physical dials you get in most alternatives.
There’s absolutely masses of space in the Range Rover SVAutobiography’s front seats and the standard 24-way electric adjustment means you could happily waste hours finding your perfect seating position.
Unlike the standard Range Rover, SVAutobiography models come with just two rear seats. These come with almost as much adjustment as those in the front and enough legroom to rival a first-class flight. The Range Rover’s boxy body means there’s boatloads of headroom, too, and its large rear doors mean you won’t have to stoop down to climb in.
So, there’s space for two passengers to travel in comfort, but there isn’t quite as much space left over for luggage as you get in other less luxurious SUVs. There’s still room for four large suitcases or a few sets of golf clubs in the SVAutobiography’s boot with the back seats in place, however.
If you need to carry the odd antique sideboard, the back seats can be folded down to open up a wide, flat load bay. It’s especially roomy if you go for an LWB model with the longer wheelbase.
There’s an almost sadistic pleasure to be taken in driving this supremely opulent SUV down a very muddy trail. It’s a bit like going hiking in a pair of Church’s Brogues – only a bit more comfortable
You probably won’t be filling the Range Rover SVAutobiography’s boot with large items of furniture very often, but even if you do, the 565hp V8 engine will have no problem pulling you and it around at considerable speed. In Dynamic models, dispatching the 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.4 seconds and it won’t run out of steam until you hit a whopping 155mph.
As you might expect, fuel economy takes quite a hit when you’re barrelling along at such speeds, but even with a gentle touch on the accelerator you’ll be lucky to achieve more than 20mpg in normal driving conditions. If fuel economy is more of a concern, there’s also a 2.0-litre hybrid model or a pair of V6 and V8 diesels that’ll lap up long journeys with fewer stops to brim the tank.
Unfortunately, the industrial-strength suspension needed to keep the Range Rover SVAutobiography’s huge body in check in corners isn’t able to iron out bumps as well as in the likes of a Mercedes S-Class or Rolls Royce Cullinan. You’d never call it uncomfortable, but large potholes will send a more unpleasant thud through your seat than in some alternatives.
Head down a rutted off-road track, however, and the Range Rover SVAutobiography comes into its own. The standard four-wheel-drive system and automatic gearbox help it claw its way up steep, slippery slopes that’d leave most alternatives stranded.
Once you’ve had your fill of off-road pursuits, you’ll find the Range Rover SVAutobiography is very relaxing at motorway speeds. You’ll hear barely any wind and tyre noise and it comes with plenty of driver aids to help lessen fatigue on long journeys.
The Range Rover – on which this high-performance SVAutobiography model is based – earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, too, but this was back in 2012. Since then, the crash tests have been made significantly more stringent. That being said, you do get automatic emergency braking as standard to help prevent avoidable collisions.
Overall, the Range Rover SVAutobiography makes a good high-class SUV that’s certainly worth a look if you occasionally head off-road but don’t want to compromise on luxury.