Motoring: Supercharged up for summer

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: RANGE ROVER.
I look inside the 2013 Range Rover.

Over the last few years, whenever anyone would ask me about my favourite SUV, I would without hesitation say the big Range Rover Supercharged.

No other SUV felt as good as the Range Rover Supercharged, nothing looked better, and nothing came even close to matching its interior.

In short, it is the ultimate truck, and it may even be the ultimate luxury vehicle. However, it does have a rather bad reputation for reliability.

When Land Rover started work on the 2013 model of the Range Rover, the first thing they say they tackled was its reliability issues. I hope they have accomplished this, and I hope this new vehicle will never be found on the side of the road, with steam spewing from its owner's ears.

I lived with this new Range Rover Supercharged for a week, a week that saw me put roughly 1,300 kms on it, and thankfully nothing broke or stopped working. So maybe this new Range Rover is as reliable as its maker suggests it is.

The other issue people had with the Range Rover, especially ones equipped with the supercharged motor, was with its fuel economy. The reason for its thirst was not only its massive 5.0-litre supercharged V8 motor (which produces 510hp and 461lb/ft of torque), but also its weight. So Land Rover went about to make their behemoth lighter. Now the Range Rover has a new aluminum chassis, which, along with other weight-saving measures, has reduced its weight by 318kg over the old model (its curb weight, however, is still a hefty 2,330kg). Lighter weight equals less strain on the motor, which means it works less hard and drinks less fuel. Add to that a new eight-speed automatic transmission (previously was a six-speed box), and that should help save some fuel as well. I averaged 14.2 litres/100km, which is quite incredible for a vehicle like this. However, it will only drink premium fuel, and since I had to do a lot of driving, it was really thirsty, which meant that I was left almost bankrupt.

At least I was travelling in style.

The Range Rover has always been a classy and elegant vehicle to travel in, and the new one is no exception. It is still as impressive to behold as it always was, and the sleek new design might even win some new fans.

Step inside, and while the interior is not radically new, it does have some neat new features, such as the flush centre console and a rotating knob for selecting gears (which first appeared in sister company Jaguar's products back in 2010).

The best feature in this interior is the seats. Very few vehicles have seats as good as the ones in the Range Rover. I had spent a long day just driving this vehicle, and the seats never gave me any discomfort. If you spend a lot of time on the road, this is the vehicle for you.

If you like your SUV to also act like a hot rod, then again, you will like this truck. Thanks to its supercharged motor, the Range Rover accelerates like a sports car. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h takes just 5.4 seconds, and when equipped with the 22-inch wheel and tire sport package, the top speed for this vehicle is 250 km/h (225 km/h in standard trim).

The ultimate SUV remains the ultimate, at least in my books. If you want one as much as I do, then I hope your bank account is healthier than mine. Base price for the Range Rover Supercharged is $114,750.