The Range Rover did the same, it’s Adaptive Dynamics system constantly monitoring road conditions and responding appropriately. That system is complemented by a full suite of abbreviations like DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), RSC (Roll Stability Control), EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), and may more. Make no mistake: the money you’re shelling out when buying a Range Rover isn’t just going towards Oxford Leather and a pretty exterior. These vehicles are more capable and safer than ever, and now thanks to the addition of a turbo diesel engine to the American lineup, they have an MPG figure that isn’t shameful.

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The 3.0-litre V6 oil burner churns out a respectable 254-horsepower and a whopping 443 lb-ft of torque, all while delivering an EPA-rated 22mpg city and 29mpg highway. Rarely do I ever see real-world mileage reflect the EPA’s figures, probably something to do with my lead foot, but despite my propensity to mash the go pedal on the highway, and all the stop and go driving in the city, the HSE Td6 turned in really impressive fuel economy.

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Between driving out to Montauk and back to Manhattan, and then driving around the city for two days, I averaged 27.5mpg, besting the EPA’s combined figure of 25mpg. In this segment, that’s nothing short of a game-changer. The 0-60 acceleration drops to 7.4 seconds compared to the 7.0 of the gas-powered 3.0-liter supercharged V6, but that’s a non-issue – the diesel still feels faster thanks to all that torque coming on at 2,000rpm, especially if you select the sport transmission setting. The 8-speed automatic transmission rifles off shifts smoothly, and you even have the option of choosing your own adventure by using the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Yes, a diesel Range Rover with paddle shifters, you read that correctly. A bit ridiculous? Definitely, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer a bit of extra entertainment when merging onto the Westside Highway, for instance.


And before you ask, no, it doesn’t sound like a tractor. This motor has been continuously refined over years of use in foreign markets, and it reaches our shores in its best form yet. Additional padding has been added to the firewall and the glass is acoustically laminated, so there’s no trace of diesel clatter, not that you wouldn’t be able to drown it out by cranking up the stereo if there were. A true testament to how much of a non-issue the diesel sound is, not a single one of my friends that I drove around over the course of the weekend remarked on the idle noise, or lack thereof. Perhaps they were too wrapped up in the softness of the leather or the massive sliding panoramic roof to care about the engine sound anyway.


Still, people love a good parlour trick more than solid engineering, so the biggest hit with all passengers was the 360 surround view camera system. Forget the 35.4” wading depth, 34.7-degree approach angle, and 7,716 gross towing capability, the people want to see what’s happening around the vehicle while it’s in motion.

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And Range Rover is happy to oblige, there are multiple camera views to choose from through the infotainment screen, and unlike virtually every other automaker that utilizes stereoscopic technology, you can bring them up at any time. Want to see if the person behind you is texting and might rear-end you? Select the rear view camera and you can do exactly that. Not confident that you can fit the 196.8” body into a parking spot? Use the bird’s eye view to get your maneuver started, and finish with the curb view so you don’t scratch those rims. In all, there are five views to choose from, and you can choose to do so in a full-screen image, or put two of them side by side.


This system was developed to make tricky off-road maneuvers easier, but is mighty useful in everyday driving situations as well, such as when you’re looking for a parking spot in Manhattan and you see one, but you’re not 100% sure a Range Rover will fit. The surround camera system takes the guesswork out of the situation, and at times will make you feel like a parallel parking master.


So who buys this surprisingly economical, highly capable, and low-key luxurious vehicle? People who know how to spend a substantial amount of money well, that’s who. If you’re going in for a status symbol, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged or Range Rover Autobiography is the more likely choice. The Range Rover HSE Td6, on the other hand, is the restrained choice, still a Range Rover, still an SUV that can be optioned up over $100k, but a restrained choice nonetheless.

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Many of the high-dollar vehicles I drive I find myself uncomfortable in, with people’s judgemental gaze weighing heavily upon me. This isn’t the case with the Range Rover HSE Td6, it manages to blend in just enough to not be ostentatious, but still stand out enough to get a nod from anyone with an eye for great design. For that, and the many other reasons mentioned above, I believe it is the perfect daily driver for anyone who wants exceptional capability out of their SUV, and appreciates top notch design, provided they can afford the $94,945 cost of entry, of course. That may sound familiar, and it should, because that’s the same type of person that I believe would wear the Zenith El Primero Range Rover, which is priced at $7,700. landrover.com | zenith-watches.com

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