From its gorgeous perforated-leather upholstery to its highly responsive voice controls, all wrapped in a silent cocoon, the Land Rover Range Rover SE is an interior and user experience tour de force.
Yes, it’s $153,000 as tested, but the long-wheelbase, 7-seat 2023 model we evaluated offers a complete menu of features, starting with vehicle outline puddle lamps that illuminate before one even opens the door. Lighted metal sill plates invite entry, where the startup screen welcomes with a time-of-day-specific greeting and illuminated seat-belt buckles make easy work of strapping in.
Interior highlights include Windsor leather seats with massaging function in the first and second rows; 4-zone climate control with heated third-row seats; and a power-accessed third row.
“This thing is buttoned up really well,” says judge David Zoia, who appreciates the perforated, stitched-leather seats from a color and feel perspective, the use of wood trim, the touch of aluminum on the console, dash and steering wheel, the circular-pattern knit headliner and hidden, soft-touch cupholders. The center console alone is an intriguing mix of cubbies and hidden spaces, while providing ample storage room throughout.
Our judges applaud the Range Rover’s remarkably able UX tech and user interface. The Amazon Alexa-based Pivi Pro system delivers rapid, accurate responses, whether for communications, information or navigation. The Meridian 3-D Surround Sound System in our test car provides clear audio regardless of volume level.
“They’ve finally got the voice navigation working right and should be applauded for that,” notes one judge.
Its floating curved infotainment screen offers crisp 3D navigation displays along with intuitive haptic feedback that we welcome when navigating tiles and features on the 13.1-inch (33-cm) unit.
“This is a very easy infotainment system to suss out,” says judge Christie Schweinsberg. “The design is clean and uncluttered. I like it, more than I have ever liked a Land Rover infotainment system.”
Information in the center screen and instrument cluster is projected in the multi-color head-up display, offering navigation information and driver-assistance detail at a glance. The vehicle’s ADAS is a strong point as well, proving itself with good lane-keeping assistance and smooth full-range cruise control.
We also appreciate the vehicle’s unique use of multi-function dials for controlling cabin temperature, fan speed and seat heat.
Perhaps most stunning is the vehicle’s use of illumination, best enjoyed at night when the cabin is bathed in the color of your choice, accenting the cross-cabin trim, door panels and center console as well as providing soft lighting in footwells and door pockets.
Given the vehicle’s off-road technology such as Wade Sensing cameras that alert when water levels approach the vehicle’s maximum depth (“you don’t get that in every vehicle,” notes one judge), along with its legendary road-smoothing chassis that reduces potholes to mere annoyances, owners of this new-generation Range Rover know they’ve arrived, regardless of destination.