2022 Range Rover First Look: The Original Luxury SUV Prepares for the Electric Age

Gold 2022 Range Rover SUV driving on a coastal road with an ocean backdrop
2022 Range Rover. Maximum utility in an extravagantly posh package. Courtesy Image

It’s common knowledge that most Range Rovers will never see terrain more rugged than a pot hole-festered parkway or a loose gravel road. Few owners will ever need or even want to ford a river or climb a mountain, but there’s comfort in knowing you could if you needed. Luxury isn’t just soft materials and posh features. It’s also having more capability than you’ll likely need. That is, of course, the whole point of the Range Rover—and has been throughout its 50-year history. The new 2022 Range Rover, only the fifth design to date, is no different and continues to fulfill a Range Rover’s purpose of taking its driver anywhere they wanna go in opulent style.

This September we got a sneak peek at the new line of Range Rovers in several trim levels and wheel bases. These include SE and Autobiography models, as well as a hyper-lux First Edition that’ll only be available throughout the first production year. We haven’t had a chance to drive any of the line yet, but here are our first impressions from an in-person inspection.

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Gold 2022 Range Rover SUV parked on a rendering of a city street
Courtesy Image

New design

The brief to the team, according to Professor Gerry McGovern OBE, chief creative officer for Jaguar Land Rover, was to hew to the Range Rover’s DNA but create an utterly modern vehicle: “We have a unique heritage,” he said. “So we recognize the past, but we aren’t harnessed by it.”

On the outside, the 2022 Range Rover appears sleeker than its predecessor, despite the fact it’s three inches longer (and eight in the long wheelbase version). The new Range almost looks as if the old one spent a few minutes in a taffy pull machine down at the Brighton seaside. The result of all that stretching and pulling are longer, more elegant lines, giving the Range a more refined look and some added swagger.

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The team’s modern design philosophy, which McGovern calls reductive but not minimalist, continues in the interior. The less-is-more ethos creates a cabin you could imagine enjoying even while stuck in traffic. The environment feels clean with little to distract your focus behind the wheel. The designers also vastly improved nearly every interface, which we suppose will further enhance the driving experience.

White Range Rover side rear view with electric plug-in
Power Plan: A plug-in hybrid will be introduced in 2023; fully battery-powered in 2024. Courtesy Image

An electric on the horizon

The 2022 models won’t feature an electric as some might have predicted, but one is coming. We’ll see a fully battery-powered Range Rover in 2024. For 2023, the company plans to roll out a plug-in hybrid model with a 62-mile battery-only range and the ability to reach 87 mph without the use of a gasoline engine.

Tech

Of course, any modern luxury vehicle is going to feature loads of tech. But there were several options and enhancements to standard equipment that caught our eye—as well as our ears, fingers, and noses. First, the large 13.1-inch curved, floating screen central display used to control the car’s systems provides haptic feedback—a cool upgrade that helps keep attention focused on the road.

The new Range Rover also uses its Meridian stereo coupled with a third-generation active noise-cancellation system to reduce cabin noise with 35 speakers, including a pair mounted in each headrest.

The Range also offers Cabin Air Pro, which eliminates not only odors but viruses and bacteria.

2022 Range Rover front driver's side interior and dash
Interior tech includes a screen with haptics, a noise cancellation system, and Cabin Air Pro odor-virus-bacteria control. Courtesy Image

Performance

Out of the gate, the new Range Rover will come in two powertrains. The base motor is a mild hybrid 3.0L turbocharged inline six cylinder that kicks out 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The company will also offer a beefier 523 horsepower Twin Turbo V8.

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The new model comes standard with all-wheel steering that gives the Range a turning radius of 36 feet. An intelligent suspension monitors grip levels and driver inputs 100 times a second, optimizing traction across all four wheels for enhanced performance on and off road.

Also new, the 2022 Range Rover will finally be available with an optional third row with seating for seven. Soccer parents, rejoice!

2022 Range Rover brown interior full shot with three rows
First time for Range Rover: an optional third row. Courtesy Image

 

All in all, the 2022 Range Rover appears to be an excellent update of its 50-year conceit—maximum utility in an extravagantly posh package. We can’t wait to take it for a ride. Hopefully somewhere we can really challenge the legendary Range Rover abilities and not just for a spin down the parkway.

[From $104,000; landroverusa.com]

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