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First Drive: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover

By Jonathon Ramsey

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The Imperial Super Star Destroyer of SUVs

2013 Land Rover Range Rover

Andrew Polsinelli, Land Rover North America’s head of product planning, told us this is what owners requested of the new, fourth-generation Range Rover: “Don’t change it, just make it better.” Superficially, the request appears to represent that species of conflicted, mashed-potato yearning that births other such entreaties as “I want it to be non-fat but still rich and full of flavor,” and “I’d like more cashiers and better service at the 99-cent store.”

Focus on the word “it” in the first part of that demand, though, and one can begin to find clarity. When they say “Don’t change it,” that isn’t a command to leave everything untouched on the 42-year-old SUV franchise that can simultaneously rule the farm and the Bolivian highlands and a refugee camp and the vogue enclaves of any national capital. They mean don’t change the ‘Range Roverness‘ of it, the feeling that it’s penthouse automotive luxury – a donked-out Rolls-Royce if you will, a Phantom on thirty-sixes but without the rapper/kingpin connotations. Beyond that comes the knowledge that if you want to get from Los Angeles to Miami in your Range Rover, you can take the straight shot over the I-10 freeway or a slight detour through the Canadian tundra. And it’s still the only SUV extant that will have the driver looking for buttons with the icons for serfs or footmen upon arrival (because you can’t be expected to have to do things yourself, can you?).

That feeling remains in the 2013 Range Rover. And the latest generation is better. So there’s the prime directive accomplished. Furthermore, it is so capable that it’s not wrong to call this the Super Star Destroyer of SUVs.

It does, however, look a little different.

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2013 Land Rover Range Rover originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Feb 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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