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#3

in 2012 Luxury Large SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $57,201 - $89,191
Original MSRP: $79,425 - $94,820
MPG: 12 City / 18 Hwy
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2012 Land Rover Range Rover Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Critics say the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover does it all, and despite its off-road capability, it preserves on-road manners. Reviewers appreciate its smooth ride, composed handling and ample power, even from the base engine.

  • "Range Rover is a mountain goat off-road, and car-like on the road." -- Consumer Guide
  • "When your shoe meets the gas and the pedal hits the carpet, your back meets the seat and your brain takes a shot of dopamine. It's an intoxicating process that you'll want to repeat over and over. This, of course, came back to bite us at the gas pump, where we recorded an average fuel economy of just 10 miles per gallon.” -- Autoblog
  • "In addition to being able to travel the autobahn at speeds up to 140 mph, the Range Rover is quite happy chugging along off-road. The trails we tackled outside Barcelona were quite impressive and the overall experience was rather relaxing and confidence inspiring." -- Automobile Magazine
  • “Despite its ability to navigate daunting terrain, the wildest environment the Range Rover is likely to encounter is the metro freeway system. Driven in the civilized world, the quiet cabin and smooth ride give the Range Rover a luxury-sedan-like demeanor with an elevated view.” -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Land Rover Range Rover has two versions of its 5.0-liter V8, depending on the trim level you choose, and both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The base Range Rover HSE and the HSE Lux come with a version of the V8 that makes 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. Upgrading to the aptly-named Supercharged trim gets you a supercharged version of the V8 that makes 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque.

Unfortunately, all of this power combined with a heavy curb weight and full-time four-wheel drive results in depressingly low fuel economy ratings. The EPA estimates that both engines get 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. And if that wasn’t enough, Land Rover recommends using only premium gasoline in the Range Rover. These numbers are below what most other SUVs in its class get.

Reviewers say that the base engine provides more than enough power for everyday use, and say that the amount of power that Supercharged trims have is downright ridiculous.

  • "Though heavyweights, HSE versions have ample power for daily driving. Land Rover quotes 7.2 seconds 0-60 mph for HSE. Supercharged models are impressively stronger, and Land Rover's claim of 5.9 seconds 0-60 mph feels right. The transmission is smooth and the progressive throttle makes it easy to match power delivery to demand.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "This Rover pulls like it's drinking diesel, and even sounds a bit like it at idle. When we could pry our ears away from the sound system, we even heard the faint whine of the supercharger.” -- Autoblog
  • “The standard V8's power is immediately noticeable, with the Supercharged model's acceleration rivaling that of many sports cars.” -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Many truck-based, off-road-focused SUVs have a bumpy ride and roly-poly handling when they hit the pavement. That’s not the case with the 2012 Range Rover. Reviewers love its smooth car-like ride that tames the Range Rover’s off-road brawn.

  • "While the engine works its magic, the Range Rover Supercharged's air suspension also has a multitude of tricks up its sleeve that range from basic to brilliant." -- Autoblog
  • "There is good grip, and the small-for-its-class turning circle is a boon for close-quarters driving. Stopping performance is impressive for a big SUV.” -- Consumer Guide
  • “Driven in the civilized world, the quiet cabin and smooth ride give the Range Rover a luxury-sedan-like demeanor with an elevated view. Even though this vehicle tips the scales at nearly 3 tons, it still feels stable and offers a good amount of steering feedback.” -- Edmunds
  • "Supple ride." -- Car and Driver

Off-Roading

While many buyers may never use their Range Rover’s off-road capabilities for much more than getting the kids to school on a snowy day, Land Rover still fits the Range Rover with some of the most hardcore off-roading equipment available. The 2012 Range Rover comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive and a terrain response system, which allows the driver to select the type of surface he or she is traveling on (rock crawl, mud and ruts, sand and grass/gravel/snow), and adjusts the powertrain accordingly. It also features Land Rover’s hill descent control system, which is sort of a cruise control for downhill rock crawling. The Range Rover also comes with hill start assist, which maintains brake pressure while the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator. This means that when starting on a hill, the Range Rover won’t roll backward when you switch from the brake to the throttle.

  • "Ready to climb Kilimanjaro at a moment’s notice." -- Car and Driver
  • “Taken off-road, the … Land Rover Range Rover is even more impressive. Taking time to read the manual pays off handsomely, since climbing or descending a seemingly insurmountable summit is nearly effortless if the vehicle is properly configured. This rarely used capability is a testament to the Range Rover's decades of development, high ground clearance and wide-ranging wheel articulation.”  -- Edmunds
  • "On the brilliant end of the spectrum is Terrain Response. … It sounds gimmicky, but works wonderfully. The system controls the vehicle's braking, throttle response and engine speed to make sure the Range Rover goes exactly where you intend.” -- Autoblog

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