Land Rover Adds Diesel to Boost Range Rover in U.S.

The already capable and luxurious Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs get turbodiesel V-6 power for the ’16 model year. Significant upgrades help meet stringent U.S. emissions limits.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

December 28, 2015

4 Min Read
Rock climber Range Rover Td6 tackles rough terrain
Rock climber: Range Rover Td6 tackles rough terrain.

SEDONA, AZ – The torquey prowess of the latest turbodiesel Land Rover is never more evident than when a front tire claws its way up and over an 18-in.-tall (46-cm) rock face in its path, requiring just a push of a button and 1,250 rpm to do the job.

Suffice to say, in keeping with Land Rover tradition, both the ’16 Range Rover Td6 and Range Rover Sport Td6 perform admirably when the going gets rough, whether clambering over rocks, climbing or descending steep grades or even fording streams.

But while a diesel engine is merely a tweak in Land Rover’s already legendary off-road capability, it’s the on-road competence of the new diesel models that is most surprising. An acoustic laminate windshield, dual-isolation engine mounts and a firewall designed to cut sound transfer all play a role in keeping the clatter down. No active noise cancellation is employed to offset negative engine harmonics.

Other than some low-rpm deceleration thrum, it’s nearly impossible to identify any of the annoying traits typically associated with diesels. Land Rover says in its blind tests with customers, no one identified the vehicle as a diesel.

The 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 pulls smartly off the line, offering its full 440 lb.-ft. (597 Nm) of torque at just 1,750 rpm, building to its maximum of 254 hp at 4,000 rpm, enough to push the Range Rover Sport to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds (7.4 seconds for the heavier and taller Range Rover). That’s just a few tenths slower than gasoline-powered supercharged 3.0L V-6 model, Land Rover says.

Unlike the thirstier gasoline engine, however, the diesel’s fuel economy is listed at 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined (10.5-8.0-9.4 L/100 km); we recorded 25 mpg in a mix of on- and off-road driving. The diesel’s combined fuel economy represents a 32% improvement compared to the gas-powered V-6.

All of that equates to a $450 annual fuel cost savings compared to pumping premium unleaded into a gasoline model ($800 compared to a V-8), with the diesel engine commanding only a $1,500 markup compared to the gasoline V-6, Land Rover says.

Diesel New for North America

The Td6 is new for North America and represents the brand’s first diesel in the market. But the powerplant is hardly new to Land Rover enthusiasts who know that the company has offered a version of this engine in Range Rover models in other markets for a number of years. It’s also been available in Jaguar XF and XJ models outside the U.S.

The engine features a compacted-graphite-iron block for extra strength and lighter weight compared to cast iron, an efficient 2-stage oil pump and controllable water pump and low-friction seals, cam-to-cam chain and pistons and rings. A 2-stage fuel injection process helps eliminate diesel “knock,” Land Rover says.

Modifications required to meet tougher U.S. EPA and California Air Resources Board (as well as EU6) regulations include Selective Catalyst Reduction and a low-pressure EGR system. Engineers also incorporated changes to improve engine responsiveness to better suit the higher amount of stop/start driving on American roads.

Land Rover says further improvements to the Td6 for the U.S. market include the addition of a water-cooled turbocharger and new ball bearings, vanes and nozzles to handle high temperatures and improve efficiency as much as 8%.

We spent hours lumbering up and down rock-strewn trails with the vehicle, only occasionally using the machine’s most-severe crawling and hill-descent controls. Given the harsh conditions, we were surprised at the relatively limited amount of tire and suspension noise and head toss.

Out on the highway, smooth and steady is the Range Rover Td6’s forte, providing ample acceleration whether from a full stop or when passing at 70 mph (113 km/h). The diesel pulls hard right up to its 4,000 rpm redline, offering responsive power in all speed ranges.

Peter Wright, Land Rover’s vehicle engineering manager, says the diesel models already represent 15% of Range Rover and Range Rover Sport sales, with a take-rate projected to reach 20%.

Range Rover Td6 and Range Rover Sport Td6 start at $86,450 and $66,450, respectively. Prices do not include $995 destination and handling charge.

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'16 RANGE ROVER Td6 Specifications


Vehicle type

5-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4-wheel-drive CUV


3.0L turbocharged DOHC V-6 with direct injection, compacted-graphite-iron block

Power (SAE net)

254 hp @ 4,000 rpm


440 lb.-ft. (597 Nm) @ 1,750 rpm

Bore x stroke (mm)

84 x 90

Compression ratio



8-speed automatic


115 ins. (2,922 mm)

Overall length

196.8 ins. (4,999 mm)

Overall width

78.1 ins. (1,983 mm)

Overall height

72.3 ins. (1,845 mm)

Curb weight

4,883 lbs. (2,215 kg)

Base price


Fuel economy

22/29 mpg (10.5-8.0 L/100 km) city/highway


Audi Q7, BMW X6, Porsche Cayenne Diesel, Mercedes-Benz GLE



Great low-end torque

Overpowered for most needs

Well-insulated and quiet

Minor diesel thrum

Superb fuel economy

Messy diesel fueling


About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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