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2006 Land Rover Range Rover Full-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle

New Car Review Of The 2006 Land Rover Range Rover Full-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle

Base MSRP Range: $74,950 - $89,950

Base Invoice Range: $67,599 - $81,249

MSRP As Tested: $22,845

Versions: 4.4-liter V8, 4.2-liter supercharged V8.

Vehicle Category: Full-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle

Engine Location: Front Engine

Drive Wheels: All-Wheel Drive .

Standard Engine: 4.4-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, 32-valves, V-8,305 - horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 325 lb-ft torque at 4,000 rpm.

Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 14/18.

Optional Engine: 4.2-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, Supercharged V8, 32 valves, 400 -horsepower at 5,750 rpm, 420 lb.-ft. torque at 3,500 rpm.

Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 13/18.

Transmission: Five-speed automatic,

Standard Safety Features: Dynamic Stability Control System, "> Anti-Lock Braking System, Four-wheel electronic traction control, Hill Descent Control, Electronically-controlled center differential, New anti-roll Bars, Eight airbag Supplemental Restraint System, Side-impact beams, Front crumple zones, Three-point safety belts for all five passengers, Including pre-tensioners for front belts, Height-adjustable safety restraints, Child seat tethers, LATCH child seats, Bi-xenon headlights, Automatic headlights, Power headlight washers and Wipers, Heated front windshield with rain sensor and heated rear window, front and rear fog lamps, LED center high-mount stop lamp, Vehicle security system and engine immobilization, Front and rear Park Distance Control.

Competition: Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX56, Lexus LX 470.


The most powerful Land Rover Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) ever, is also the most luxurious. At an MSRP of $74,950, it had better be.

The 2006 Rover boasts a 4.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 305 horses. They’re distributed through a host of high-tech mechanical and electronic components that provide the most efficient use of the SUV’s power in any situation. Or, for $89,950, choose the supercharged 4.2-liter V8 that adds 95 ponies to the base model.

However, when speaking of a Range Rover, the term "base" seems an undeserving adjective to what is heralded as the world's most recognizable vehicle for its "go-anywhere" technology.

The '06 Rover is new in several ways, with its updated grille and side vents, high-quality leather seating options, electronic appliances and mechanical revisions. Through improved chassis structure, laminated front side glass and modified A-post profile, this year's Rover promises a much quieter ride. Break that silence with the Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio system, a 15-speaker digital surround sound experience that will leave a disbelieving grin on the countenance of even the most critical music aficionados.

The only problems with Ranger Rover ownership are the vehicle's price and reliability ratings, as the performance, styling, handling and sex appeal are off-the-charts fantastic. But bear this in mind: the Range Rover is a high-tech, limited-production product, there are lots of things that can break, and all of them are expensive to fix. Land Rover is owned by Ford - a company in serious financial trouble. And the engines are made by another Ford division, Jaguar.

To drive this point, yet again, most third-party warrantee companies won't cover Land Rover products. Repairs are expensive, the SUVs break often, and its a really good idea to have another car to drive when your Range Rover is in the shop. Because, it is likely to be there on a regular basis - the price one pays for extreme luxury.


Sophisticated, lithe and muscular, the 2006 Range Rover personifies style with a purpose, blending its rich heritage and innovative features into one gorgeous machine. New bi-xenon adaptive headlights provide a cleaner, shinier look that goes well with the updated bumper and Bentleyesque grill and side vents. Door handles are streamlined and minimalist. The split tailgate - which allows access through the rear-window or by lifting the gate -- gives maximum access to the SUV's 62 cubic feet of cargo space (with rear seats folded 60/40).

Wheels are 19 inches of aluminum alloy, with 255/55HR19 mud/snow tires that go anywhere (a full-size spare comes standard). They can be kept properly inflated with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) - as improperly-inflated tires drop the fuel efficiency from the already-low 18.3 miles per gallon to much less. TPMS tells you when the tires are getting low, and should be inflated.

Rain-sensing windshield wipers automatically adjust to the amount of rainfall the car is experiencing -one less thing to worry about. Heading for the highlands? Don't worry - the front windshield, rear window and windshield washer jets are all electronically heated, as are the exterior's fully-adjustable power rear-view mirrors.

And to make sure weather - or, for that matter, anything else - doesn't get in the way, opt for the genuine Land Rover Vehicle Kit, made of the same super-strong, super-high quality parts used in the Range Rover itself. Accessories abound for Range Rover and include ski and snowboard racks, wrap-around brush bars and lamp guards, steel camping platforms that ride on the roof, 20-inch wheels, and much, much more.

Pull all of this beauty together with one of nine paint choices, gives the car a look that compliments the unparalleled performance lying beneath the hood.


Ranger Rover has always offered sumptuous interior accommodations, and the 2006 model is no exception. In fact, it has been upgraded with countless small features vastly improving the overall ambiance of the interior: choose from five carpet colors, six leather combinations and American Cherry or Burled Walnut Wood accents. Also providing a sophisticated edge are the touches of brushed metal that pulse through the vehicle.

Both front seats feature dual armrests that can be pushed back. The leather-wrapped steering wheel comes complete with a host of dials and knobs, giving the driver free reign over most of the vehicle's interior controls (such as audio and cruise control, to name a few).

Automatic, triple-zone climate control allow the driver, front passenger and rear passengers to each choose different settings without interfering with one another, and the pollen filter allows for a allergy-free environment inside, regardless of the buds blooming on the other side of the door.

An outside temperature display, one-touch sunroof, 12-way adjustable driver’s seat and conveniently-located dash controls give the driver the luxury of not having to fight with her electronics to get the job done. She'll get the job done comfortably, too, with plush seating that features a headrest for every passenger.

And if you don't know where you're going, have no fear - the DVD-based, off-road-enhanced navigation system will not only tell you where you are, but senses when you're getting low on fuel and lets you know where the next gas station is located. Preprogram your route into the computer, or access maps of the entire country without leaving your seat. And if you're navigating through unknown back country, the computer sets way points that allow you to backtrack once your adventure has come to an end.

But one of the coolest features of this year's Rover is its Personal Telephone Integration System, complete with Bluetooth capability. It creates a docking station for just about any cell phone, allowing the user to access hands-free and touch-screen dialing via the color screen DVD-based navigation system. And leave that Bluetooth in your pocket or purse, because the Rover will pick up the signal and provide you with the ability to control it through the color DVD screen, as well.

Want a little sun? Open up the sunroof, which - like all the glass except the windshield - is deep tinted for both privacy and keeping those rays off your face - and new leather seats.

And that sound system! The 15 speakers pump 710 watts of high-quality digital surround sound into the car. Its all powered by Harman Kardon's Logic 7, which converts a two-channel system into seven channels, creating an unparalleled experience where you hear everything the artist originally intended.

While you're rocking out, enjoy the interior's most practical components - five cupholders, overhead sunglass holder, center console storage bin and many grab-handles.


With 305 horsepower (at 5,750 RPM) and 325 lb.-ft. or torque (at 4,000 RPM), the 32-valve 4.4-liter V8 engine is tuned to make the most of each and every one of its ponies, and translate it into the permanent four-wheel-drive system.

Move those wheels with the Rover's automatic five-speed transmission, which can be left in "drive" for convenience, or into "sport" mode to allow the driver freedom to change the gears as she pleases. Or choose CommandShift, which gives you manual control, both in Low and High modes. That switch, when activated at High mode, will make 10 gears out of five, optimizing the gearbox's potential.

This third generation Rover extends its off-road power even further than previous models with features like Hill Descent Control. This restricts the vehicle's speed to slow it to a safe rate when traveling down a steep gradient.

With a high level of towing capacity, the '06 Rover can tug along 7,700 pounds of your stuff, and can yank up to 12,000 pounds of just about anything (including your buddy's ancient four-by-four) out of the mud. That's thanks, in large part, to its incredibly strong yet light-weight frame, created with steel monocoque technology. The integrated unitized chassis and three steel subframes - which, along with a double skinned transmission tunnel -- also make the vehicle even quieter than before. Aluminum-alloy front quarter panels, hood and doors, along with a zinc-coated steel roof and rear quarter panels, ensure a durable - not to mention amazingly safe - vehicle.

Ride and Handling

Speaking of "better," the suspension on the 2006 Rover is definitely that - much better. The enhanced Electronic Air Suspension (EAS) system features an auto-leveling feature that provides a constant ride height regardless of where or how heavy your load may be. The EAS also has four modes: Standard, Highway (which lowers ride height .79 inches for increased aerodynamics), Access (lowers ride height 1.57 inches for easy entry and exit from the vehicle), and Off-Road (raises front 2.36 inches, and the rear 1.97 inches, for better ground clearance over uneven terrain). Oh- and that suspension is fully independent, too.

Along with the EAS, the SUV's Terrain Recognition Software activates the cross-link valve, which makes one wheel's actions directly affect the others for increased traction in rough terrain.

MacPherson struts in the front boast double-pivot lower arms, while the rear suspension is double-wishbone complete with that computer-controlled cross-link valve.

A waterproof starter and electronic throttle mean that, while you cannot control the weather, you can certainly handle what it throws your way.

And with its all-terrain capabilities, the temptation to go farther and push the vehicle even more will be hard to resist. That's where Land Rover's extensive adventure and class list comes into play. Try Land Rover Adventures and Wheels Events, which take you on expeditions to great off-roading locales like Moab, Utah. After a day of roughing it in America's heartland, you'll retire to an upscale resort for some serious pampering - and maybe even a polo match. But you've got to learn to use everything in your new Range Rover to fully appreciate it, and Land Rover Experience Driving Schools can definitely help there. Professional drivers teach you one-on-one how to get the most out of your SUV, depending on your needs and desires. Schools are located in The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., and in Quebec, Canada, at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello.

But once you own a Range Rover, there are perks that come don't at an additional price. Take for example the Land Rover Concierge service, which is with you 24/7 to help you with just about anything - whether it be getting a certain recipe, making hotel reservations or calling a tow truck.

Safety Features

There's a whole lot of technology wrapped up in this 5,500-pound (approximately) machine. But all that technology plays nice together, making your driving experience as fun and painless as possible.

Keep yourself protected from the unknown with a full-on vehicle security system, which offers central locking of all doors and tailgate, keyless entry and an engine immobilization feature that will stop the vehicle if someone tries to make off with your new favorite toy.

Of course, Range Rover comes with an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), which is both a four-channel, all-terrain convenience and safety feature. Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) works with the Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), balancing the work done by the front and rear, based on where and how much of a payload you're carrying and which wheels need it the most.

The four-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC) system detects wheel spin and automatically sends the engine’s power to the appropriate wheels to keep the Rover in control, should the need arise. The all-terrain Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) keeps those wheels on the ground, detecting when a corner-induced skid is occurring and braking each wheel individually as needed. This helps in a myriad of situations - wet or dry pavement, off-road or in an emergency lane change. And the Cornering Brake Control (CBC) keeps your traction up and panic down while going around corners, regardless of how hard your foot hits the brake pedal.

The '06 Rover features front crumple zones, which keep passengers out of harm's way as these zones absorb the energy transfer that occurs in a collision. Side-door impact beams are positioned in the front and rear doors, and they, along with a collapsible steering column and anti-roll bars, work together to push the passenger cabin as far out of harm's way as possible.

Kids will be safe, too, with the LATCH ( Lower Anchor and Tether for Children) and child seat anchors that grace the rear seats. The LATCH system, combined with child door and window locks, keeps kids where they're supposed to be - in their seats and away from tempting little buttons that could spell disaster otherwise.

And for us adults, there are three-point restraint safety belts (provided for every passenger). Front passengers have pre-tensioners and force limiters that keep you in place for proper airbag deployment. The eight airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) positions airbags all over the car: front and side airbags are provided for front passengers, and both front and rear passengers get head-protection airbags, as well.

A collision-activated inertia switch tells the engine when you’ve been in an accident, and wisely shuts down the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and turns on the hazard lights - a priceless addition when one considers that the danger's not over after the impact.

Have no idea how to use these marvels of vehicular technology? Don't worry - this SUV is a smart one, especially when you're backing up. Front and Rear Park Distance Control (PCD) will automatically give an audible warning when you're getting to close to outside obstacles. But the beauty of the Rover is that its plethora of safety features come into play only when the extensive computer sensors detect an out-of-the-ordinary situation is occurring. And even then, all you'll see is an indicator in the in-dash message center that lets you know these features are being deployed. All you'll feel is a vehicle under better control than you could have hoped.

In Conclusion

And then there's the complimentary scheduled maintenance that comes with every Range Rover. The four-year/50,000-mile warranty comes with three scheduled maintenance dates, so that all you have to do is drive your Rover to the shop and pick it up, better than ever - without spending a dime.

All of these things make the Range Rover, as always, a tantalizing choice. If you can afford it, there are few vehicles on the market that are capable of going where the '06 Rover can take you. You'll see it in the African savannahs, the streets of Europe, the Rocky Mountains and everywhere in between, thanks to a great blend of luxury, technology and quality construction.

Pros: Fantastic ride and handling make for wonderful everyday use. Huge acceleration is huge fun. Classic styling with modern nuance.

Cons: Cost of ownership is enormous. But if you can handle the price, who cares!

Ratings (1-10)

  • Style: 10
  • Performance: 8
  • Price: 7
  • Handling: 9
  • Ride: 9
  • Comfort: 10
  • Quality: 9
  • Overall: 8.9

More Data

Where Built: England

Major Options: Heated Accessories Package, Luxury Interior Package. Rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Satellite radio, Special wood interior trim, All-terrain tires.

Seating: 5.

Number of Rows: 2.

Length in Inches: 19507

Warranties: 4 years/50,000 miles Bumper to bumper, 6 years/unlimited miles Corrosion protection, 4 years/50,000 miles Free roadside assistance, 4 years/50,000 miles Free scheduled maintenance.

Weight in Pounds: 5474 lbs.

Cargo Capacity in Pounds: Not available.

Gross Maximum Vehicle Weight in Pounds: Not available.

Towing Capacity in Pounds: 1653 lbs. with unbraked trailer, 7716 lbs. with braked trailer.

Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 27.6

Destination Charge: $665