By KBB.com Editors
For 2009, the flagship Range Rover shines as the height of Land Rover engineering and luxury. It combines unparalleled off-road prowess with a winning combination of power, performance and, quite possibly, one of the most handsome interiors ever to grace an SUV. Adhering to a long tradition, the Range Rover retains its boxy styling and tall doors, augmented by a modern front fascia, large wheels and flush side glass. Furthermore, unlike many luxury competitors, the Range Rover is not derived from lesser siblings; it is a true original designed from the ground up to be the best premium SUV possible. Although fuel economy is definitely not a strong point, we doubt many buyers in this price range even notice the price at the pump when filling up.You'll Like This Car If...
f you have the income to afford the finer things in life, then perhaps your mode of transportation should reflect your hard-earned social standing. Range Rover was the original luxury SUV, pioneering the segment long before SUVs were ubiquitous. Its technical sophistication and blend of on-road comfort and manners with off-road prowess and capabilities have simply grown through the years.You May Not Like This Car If...
Though it can easily out-perform most sport utility vehicles when traveling far from the pavement, the Range Rover's gorgeous exterior and high price tag will discourage many owners from ever experiencing its off-road abilities.What's New for 2009
The base HSE trim receives new 19-inch wheels, while a new Autobiography Package adds a more luxurious interior with more standard equipment.Driving It Driving Impressions
Though not many people are going to take a $70,000 – let alone $90,000-plus – vehicle for a romp in the mud, it's nice to know that, if you must diverge from the civilized road, the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover is equipped with one of the finest off-road systems ever designed. Its permanent four-wheel-drive system and complex array of electronic monitoring devices permit the Range Rover to ascend hills that might have a mountain goat think twice. The air-spring suspension allows you to choose the ride height of the vehicle, raising it higher when more ground clearance is required and lowering it when conditions allow a lower center of gravity. For a big SUV, the Range Rover handles itself surprisingly well, devoid of that top-heavy feel you sometimes experience in softly-sprung SUVs.Favorite Features
The Range Rover's lovely dash is a work of automotive art.
Colored piping on the seats is a subtle but effective accent.
The Range Rover's dash is a complete original, and the fit and finish of the interior might easily lead one to believe it was handcrafted. The Range Rover has excellent room for four passengers, though it is designed to hold five. You can choose from five beautiful interior leather seat and piping combinations, all of which complement the standard Burl Walnut wood trim.Exterior
For decades, the Range Rover was defined by its boxy, upright greenhouse and short front and rear overhangs. The 2009 Range Rover continues this theme but with a polish never before seen on a Land Rover product. From its flush multi-beam projector headlamps to the elegant side-fender louvers, every inch of this SUV looks as though it was assembled to be a one-of-a-kind vehicle.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2009 Ranger Rover HSE features a 305-horsepower V8 engine, six-speed ZF automatic transmission with CommandShift, Terrain Response all-wheel drive, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, xenon headlamps, Hill Descent Control, dual-heated power auto-dimming power mirrors with tilt-down feature, rearview camera, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, power glass sunroof, navigation, 710-watt 14-speaker harman/kardon LOGIC 7 surround sound audio system, heated leather front seats, cruise control, stability control, automatic load-leveling suspension, heated windshield wipers, alloy wheels and a memory feature for the driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel.Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the Range Rover include a 400-horsepower Supercharged V8, heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, 14-way power driver's and passenger's seats, adaptive headlamps and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The Autobiography Package adds Diamond Turn 20-inch wheels, semi-aniline leather seating, unique wood trim, four-zone air conditioning and a rear seat DVD entertainment system.Under the Hood
The 305-horsepower 4.4-liter V8 engine of the Range Rover HSE rates high in the areas of horsepower, torque and fuel economy. The supercharged 4.2-liter engine provides superior off-the-line acceleration as well as passing power, but the additional $15,000-asking price is steep. We think most people will be perfectly happy with the HSE.
305 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18
4.2-liter V8 Supercharged
400 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
420 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18
The Range Rover HSE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that starts around $78,500, while the Supercharged model runs closer to $94,000. Those prices are a bit higher than those of the Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes-Benz GL450, but on par with the Lexus LX 570 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Before you begin negotiations, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price – it shows the typical transaction prices paid for the Range Rover in your area. As for resale, the Range Rover is expected to retain good values over time, although not as strong as the GL450 and LX 570, but on par with the Escalade.