Range Rover [L405] (2017-2021)

Models Covered

5dr Luxury SUV (2.0 petrol PHEV, 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel, 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel, 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel, 5.0-litre V8 petrol [Vogue, Vogue SE, Autobiography, SVAutobiography])


So many cars claim to be unique but the Range Rover really is, a car that continued to set the standard in the super-luxury SUV sector in its fourth generation form. Launched in 2012, then substantially improved in 2018 to create the model we’re going to look at here, this aluminium-bodied ‘L405’-series design offered the option of Plug-in hybrid power and, in all its guises, claimed to be able to properly combine the imperious qualities of a top luxury saloon with off piste abilities that would be limited only by the skills of its driver. There’s nothing quite like it.

The History

Sometimes, being the best just isn’t good enough. Take the Range Rover. With a pedigree over four distinct generations going all the way back to 1970, it’s always been, without question, the ‘finest 4x4xfar’. Yet the challenges remain. How to remain the world’s leading luxury SUV while appearing credibly eco-centric? This improved fourth generation model was tasked with doing all this – and much more.

This ‘L405’-series MK4 model, first launched back in 2012, offered an insight into how the Solihull maker planned to reinterpret the Range Rover formula for a fresh generation of buyers and deal with those challenges.

Like the Seventies original, it was clearly revolutionary, a lightweight aluminium body structure set Spencer King’s very first Range Rover apart over half a century ago and this plutocratic SUV model’s adoption of much the same thing gave this car a credible shot at all its stated goals. The lighter bodyweight meant it could be larger, faster and more responsive at the same time as being more efficient, cheaper to run and better equipped. The Range Rover pioneered this rarified segment, but by the 21st century’s second decade, it no longer had it to itself, following fresh class arrivals from Bentley, Lamborghini and Mercedes.

In response, Land Rover significantly updated this iconic model for the 2018 year with an all-new interior, extra safety and infotainment technology and, perhaps most importantly, the option of a Plug-in petrol/electric powertrain. As a result, this flagship Range Rover model line could claim a lighter eco-footprint, a properly limousine-like rear cabin and performance that, with the right engineering package, could even approach that of a super-saloon. And yes, it’ll be even better if you’re setting off across the Serengeti or exploring the Amazon. It sold until the arrival of the fifth generation model in late 2021.

What You Get

This is every inch a Range Rover. You’d know it as such even without a glance at the elegant badge work. Which is as it should be. Seated commandingly up-front amongst the beautiful leathers, polished metal, deep pile carpet and glossy surfacing, you’ll find yourself in a cabin that looks as classy and cosseting as you’d want. This post-2018 model featured clean, elegant controls, wider re-designed leather seats and the improved ‘Touch Pro Duo’ infotainment system we first saw on the Velar, complete with its two high-definition 10-inch central touchscreens. Anything that Panasonic-developed set-up can’t tell you will almost certainly be covered off by the digitally customisable 12.3-inch so-called ‘Interactive Driver Display’ you view through the imposing four-spoke stitched multi-function wheel.

And the rear? Well this was an important area for Land Rover to get right in this car, hence the 42mm of extra wheelbase length added into this fourth generation model. Even in the short wheelbase model, it’s easy to get comfortable once inside, with heated upholstery and a powered reclining backrest for longer journeys.. As usual with a Range Rover, there’s a classic split tailgate, which is power-operated and gesture-controlled with a wave of your foot beneath the bumper.

What To Look For

Most of the serious problems with the ‘L405’-series fourth generation Range Rover were restricted to early pre-2015 models. These issues tended to be in the electrical and body fit areas. We have come across issues though, across the available engines with things like EGR valves and turbos that have exhibited breather oil leaks. Getting a new modified breather pipe fitted could cost you up to £850. One owner reported exhaust fumes entering the cabin when the air conditioning was put into auto mode. Plus we’ve heard of fuel tank sensor faults. Overall, though, the engines seem to be decently reliable.

On The Road

On the move in a Range Rover, luxury, comfort, refinement, craftsmanship and outright performance all fuse together as part of this car’s imperious progress, whether that be on-turf or on-tarmac. All the available powertrains offer exemplary refinement, but should you select one that adds in electrified assistance, then as you might imagine, this car is particularly quiet. We’re referring here to the petrol/electric hybrid engine used in the P400e variant. This version may only have four cylinders, but it boasts a combined power output of 404hp, a claimed all-electric driving range of 31 miles and running cost figures that are better than a Toyota Prius.

Never fear: if you don’t feel the need to make some sort of corporate responsibility statement, then more conventional powerplants are still available. Most buyers select one of the diesels, either the base 258hp TDV6 or the 339hp SDV8. There’s also a couple of minority-interest supercharged petrol models, either a 340hp 3.0 V6 or a 5.0-litre V8 developing either 525 or 565hp. Whatever your choice of engine, you might find yourself surprised by how adeptly this car tackles tarmac turns at speed – but of course the 2.5-tonne kerb weight has to tell somewhere. Intelligent 4WD, a low ratio gearbox and Land Rover’s peerless ‘Terrain Response’ driving modes system all combine to preserve this model’s reputation for Serengeti superiority. No other vehicle takes this much pride in going where it probably shouldn’t.


Drive this car through a river, drive it to the opera: it’s as happy either way, beautifully built, gorgeously finished and - with the right engine - astonishingly quick. True, this improved fourth generation Range Rover is never quite going to be all things to all people, but it has perhaps moved as close to fulfilling that remit as any modern car is ever likely to get. Makes you proud to be British doesn’t it.