The first time you sit in a Range Rover and casually roll over every kind of obstacle – deep snow, ice, water, muddy ravines, rocky cliffs – you will still be jaw-droopingly amazed at its muscular, easy confidence.
Yes, Range Rovers are good off road, we all know that, but it’s the car’s style that has you enthralled.
The Range Rover Vogue model is enormous, and, with its leather seats and Meridian sound system, it is beautifully finished inside. I love the calming symmetry of the dashboard, the geometric order of those switches, the armchairs, the elbow room – it’s an ambience that says ‘relax, sir, everything is under control’. So you settle back, put the gearbox into D, keep the ‘Terrain Response 2’ knob in its new Auto setting, and just let those 22-inch wheels (controlled by computer algorithms) find their way.
Along a snowy icy mountain road it never feels challenged. the Range Rover will drive through it: you can wade through waist-deep water without a care, climb a steep gravel hill without a hint of tyre scrabble, and squelch over a muddy stream as though it wasn’t there. Steep approach angles don’t seem to worry it, extreme twists and turns don’t provoke even the slightest creak, and the 4.8 V8 in our car – is barely ticking over at the kind of speeds you do off-road.
Altogether, it’s astonishingly good.