On the Road: Few mechanical makeovers are as emphatic as that of the 2007 Range Rover, but there's a big price hike

The last thing the much-vilified Chelsea tractor set needs right now, you'd think, is the temptation of a new behemoth with more power, more performance and a bigger engine. But that's just what Land Rover is offering in the 2007 Range Rover. If this seems ecologically insensitive, at least the engine is a diesel, and it's as economical as the unit it replaces. The V6 2.7 turbodiesel struggled with the vehicle's great bulk.

by Richard Bremner

The new engine is a V8 of 3.6 litres, 272 bhp and a substantial 474 lb ft of torque that bestows effortlessness on the Range Rover. This less stressed powerplant achieves an official 25.1 mpg and, Land Rover reckons, about 27 mpg in use.

Pretty good for a 2.7-tonne vehicle that's one of the world's best off-roaders besides being a superb five-seater estate - which is mainly what your tractoriste is buying the car for. The versatile interior has a folding rear bench, the high position of which is liked by kids because they can see out and owners because they feel more secure. And it keeps all its occupants out of range of militant city cyclists who slap protest stickers on off-roaders that never go off-road.

No question that the TDV8 is the best Range Rover yet and the finest interpretation of a vehicle that has been around for 36 years. The lofty seating, glassy cabin and fine fittings have always conferred an imperious aura on occupants, and this diesel V8 now has the performance to match but without a wallet-savaging at the pumps.

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