After a week behind the wheel, I was curious as to why they named the top-of-the line 2014 Range Rover model the Autobiography.
Simple, I was told; the Autobiography has so many available options that a buyer can tailor the vehicle to his or her individual taste, needs and desires.
In essence, when you buy a Range Rover Autobiography for $135,995, you can “write your own story” with selected upgrades for paint color, trim and interior options such as rear seat entertainment, leather headliner, drink chiller and much more. I was sent the list of available options that included a broad selection of interior leathers, wheels and paint; there’s even a 29-speaker, 1,700-Watt Meridian Signature Audio System with 3D Surround Sound available.
The Range Rover lineup was all new in 2013, with an aluminum unibody construction that reduced the vehicle’s weight by 700 pounds. That gave it improved strength, better performance and agility, and much better fuel efficiency. For 2014, Range Rover adds a new 340 hp 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine to replace the 5.0-liter V-8. The V-6 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The new powertrain yields comparable performance to the V-8 model, but with much better fuel economy — 21 percent in city driving and 15 percent on the highway (23 mpg). An Intelligent Stop-Start system also helps reduce fuel consumption in certain driving situations.
The new-generation Range Rover rides on a four-wheel independent suspension system with air springs at all four wheels. Trailer towing capability remains at a hefty 7,716 pounds. The Intelligent Emergency Braking system can detect traffic ahead that slows suddenly or another vehicle cutting in front and apply the brakes as needed.
A new optional Lane Departure Warning system uses a forward-looking camera to monitor the vehicle’s position between lane markings. The LDW system provides feedback through the steering wheel if the vehicle begins to move out of lane without the driver using a turn signal. The same camera is used for the Traffic Sign Recognition system, which identifies speed limit signs and a variety of other warning and information signs.
Another nice feature is the Dynamic Response active lean control system that reduces vehicle body lean during cornering. Paired with Adaptive Dynamics, which provides continuously variable suspension damping, the technology gives the Range Rover an exceptionally smooth ride. And acoustic-laminated windshield and side door glass help to eliminate virtually all interior cabin noise.
Coupled with the versatile full-time 4WD system with dual-range transfer case, the fully automatic Terrain Response 2 analyzes road conditions and automatically selects the most effective vehicle settings for the 4WD, stability and traction control and other parameters. Even the maximum water-crossing depth has been increased to 35.4 inches.
Pricing on the 2014 Range Rover starts at $83,545 for the V-6 powered base model.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.