2016 Range Rover Td6 Diesel
WHAT WE LIKE: As winter hangs over our Ann Arbor, Michigan, headquarters, our long-term Range Rover has bucked the usual seasonal slowdown in mileage accumulation, so we’re rapidly closing in on our 40,000-mile test goal. Credit the full-size SUV’s winter-conquering features, from its toasty heated seats and no-gloves-required heated steering wheel to its all-wheel-drive traction and the Pirelli Scorpion winter tires we fitted back in December. (Recent unseasonably warm weather has helped, too.)
Staff members who lack garages appreciate the Range Rover’s heated windshield, which makes snow and ice simply melt off of the tall, gigantic windscreen. The alternative, of course, is to wield a (preferably extendable) snow brush like a peasant who has no business owning a Range Rover.
In fine Michigan tradition, the roads are slowly disintegrating as spring approaches. We’re happy that we exercised restraint when ordering our Rover with the base 20-inch wheels and their relatively tall-sidewall tires. Had we splurged on fancier, larger-diameter rims with their attendant thinner-profile tires, we surely would have bent a wheel or bubbled a sidewall by now. As it is, the Rover glides over even the gnarliest potholes and cracks.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: As senior online editor Mike Sutton succinctly puts it, the Range Rover is “a remote starter away from the ultimate winter vehicle.” Okay, so the lack of remote engine-starting capability ranks fairly low on our list of complaints (think of it as headlining our wish list), but the feature would alleviate our impatience with the diesel engine’s lethargic warm-up in cold weather. It can take many minutes before the cabin starts receiving warm air, and the diesel V-6, which is quiet in regular use, is clattery until it’s up to temperature. Also during warm-up, some have complained of a diesel-exhaust scent seeping into the cabin at idle in cold weather. Mostly, though, what we don’t like is the Range Rover’s glitch-prone electronics, detailed below.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Nothing went awry enough to warrant a visit to the dealer since our last update. Still, many on our staff aren’t convinced that Jaguar Land Rover has completely shaken its reputation for building finicky cars with issues that prove elusive to diagnose. Aside from the Rover requiring repair to its air-spring suspension controls—which was covered under warranty and reported in our previous update—many drivers have encountered persnickety, intermittent electronic episodes.
Most of these issues have to do with the dashboard’s touchscreen, which can demand multiple finger stabs to register an input. Other times, the screen has locked entirely, only to return to normal later or after the engine is restarted. Senior technical editor K.C. Colwell had the infotainment system boot his Bluetooth-connected phone for no apparent reason, while others have struggled to pair their phones at all. It is worth pointing out that the Range Rover’s touchscreen is Jaguar Land Rover’s older unit; a newer, larger screen that’s allegedly more reliable and easier to use graces our long-term Jaguar XE. However, even that new system has frozen or blacked out multiple times and suffered similar issues, so this continues to be a dark area—pun intended—for JLR.
Separately, but along similar lines, this editor experienced a total blackout of the digital gauge cluster while motoring down I-94 toward Chicago at 80 mph in the dark. With the head-up display turned off at the time, we were forced to tuck in behind other traffic while pounding on the top of the dashboard in hope of reawakening the cluster. (We’d normally seek a more genteel or technical solution, but this seemed like the best option at the time.) We could have pulled over and tried cycling the engine—rebooting the electronics usually restores function when these systems wander off the reservation—but we were curious to see whether, like other electronic snafus, this one would solve itself. Sure enough, about two minutes later the digital display flickered back to life as if nothing had happened. The intermittent nature of these things is the most frustrating aspect of all, since no problem ever sticks around long enough to show it to the service technicians. We wish the screen had fizzled out entirely so that we could have the dealer take definitive action.
WHERE WE WENT: Electronic gremlins notwithstanding, the Rover’s positives—cushy ride quality, luxurious interior, and spacious cargo bay—have kept it hoofing around the country. Since our last update 10,000 miles ago, the Range Rover has journeyed to Chicago, Nashville, northwestern Indiana, Vermont, and far northern Michigan. We also visited the Land Rover dealer only once, at 31,664 miles for the Range Rover’s second routine maintenance. The visit cost $407 and included an oil change, an ECU update performed under recall, and new pollen and engine-air filters. Meanwhile, our diesel Rangie has required 11.20 gallons of diesel-exhaust fluid since our last update, which combined with the 3.63 gallons previously added brings our total DEF consumption to just under 15 gallons. That rate is well below Land Rover’s estimated consumption of 1.5 gallons per 2000 miles (which would equate to about 25 gallons total by this mileage), a feat we attribute to the Range Rover’s light-duty life on the open road.
Months in Fleet: 10 months Current Mileage: 33,632 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 26 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 23.5 gal Fuel Range: 610 miles
Service: $1183 Normal Wear: $132 Repair: $0
Urea-Solution Additions: 14.8 gal
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED: $110,006 (base price: $94,945)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel V-6, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 115.0 in
Length: 196.8 in
Width: 78.1 in Height: 72.3 in
Passenger volume: 113 cu ft
Cargo volume: 32 cu ft
Curb weight: 5515 lb
EPA city/highway driving: 22/29
C/D observed: 26 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt
4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper;
6 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
4 years/50,000 miles roadside assistance;