T3 Drives: The Range Rover 400e is just as luxurious, but now a lot greener

The Range Rover PHEV promises lower emissions and silent motoring

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We've done a lot of awesome car-related things here at T3, whether it's bombing up the side of a volcano in a Nissan, almost going bankrupt driving an Audi R8, or taking a Rolls-Royce through a McDonald's Drive-Thru, but nothing can beat the uniquely English experience of driving a Range Rover through a country estate. Everything just feels so, right.

On this occasion the experience is enhanced ever further by the fact we're silently gliding along on electric power alone, and the country estate we're driving through is Blenheim Palace, one of the most historic estates in the country.

The updates to the 2018 Range Rover 400E go much deeper than the polished exterior would suggest, because hidden underneath the boot floor is a 13.1kWh battery and 85kW electric motor.

This will provide 31 miles of electric, emission-free driving, at speeds of up to 85mph.


When a bit more oomph is required, or when then battery runs out, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine will kick in.

Combined, these powertrains deliver 398bhp and 472lb ft of torque, helping the Range Rover from 0 to 62mph in a moderately fast 6.4 seconds. Not bad for such a large, heavy SUV with plenty of technology inside, eh?

The hybrid powertrain also brings environmental benefits, with a claimed 101mpg (although, during our short test we achieved around 25mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 64g/km.

Certainly, compared to an old diesel engine, you'll feel a lot less guilty silently off-roading through the grounds of your country manor, not emitting any nasty fumes (and the same goes for driving through picturesque Cotswold villages and city centres as well).

For that reason alone, it makes the 400e our favourite Range Rover yet.

Specs

Top Speed: 137 mph
0-62: 6.4 seconds
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol + 85kW electric motor
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
Power: 398 bhp
Torque: 472 lb ft
Fuel Consumption: 101 mpg
Carbon Emissions: 64 g/km
Weight: 2509 kg

Price (tested): £105,865

Five things you need to know about the Range Rover 400e PHEV:


1. Wading depth

You may think that an electric car and water are an accident waiting to happen – but you'd be wrong. The P400e has a maximum wading depth of 900mm, the exact same capability as the ICE models.

For deep water wading, Land Rover recommend that the Ingenium petrol engine is switched on to prevent water entering the exhaust system.

2. Off-roading

Likewise, the off-roading performance of the hybrid Range Rover is uncompromised. The new Range Rover benefits from Jaguar Land Rover’s unique Low Traction Launch System, which helps the car exploit all available traction when pulling away on slippery surfaces. Hill Descent Control is fitted as standard.

When the terrain gets really tough, the car can be raised 75mm above it's usual height (conversely, when you reach 65mph, the suspension lowers the vehicle by 15mm to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency). 

3. Electric charging

The battery in the Range Rover 400e takes 2 hours 45 minutes to recharge.

There are two driving modes, 'EV' which relies on just the electric motor, and 'Parallel Hybrid' which combines the petrol and electric motor to optimise battery charge or fuel economy.

There's also a 'Save' function, which prevents the battery charge dropping below a pre-selected level.

4. Interior

You're not making any sacrifices when it comes to interior, the Range Rover 400e is just as luxurious, adaptable, and elegant as you'd expect.

The key interior feature is the Touch Pro Duo, codenamed ‘Blade’, which was first seen in the smaller Velar. This system combines two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens on the centre console. It's an intuitive system when turned on, and looks seamless and elegant when turned off.

5. Tech

Of course, the Range Rover comes with all of the technology you'd expect in a luxury SUV, including 10-inch rear seat entertainment, 17 connection points integrated discreetly throughout the cabin, and a 4G Wi-Fi connection, which ensures continuous connectivity on the move.

Of course, in 2018, a great luxury car has to have a great sound system from a top-drawer hi-fi brand. In the Land Rover 400e, Meridian delivers the goods with one of the best in-car audio systems we’ve ever heard.

Dynamic capacitive switches on the steering wheel provide full control of the instrument cluster, including media playback, phone, cruise control and heated steering wheel settings, plus a shortcut to a feature of the driver’s choosing.

There's also voice control, LR's Intelligent Seat Fold (which lets you adjust seats remotely via a smartphone app), and an Activity Key, a wearable band which allows you to lock and unlock the vehicle without using the standard fob.