Ian Lamming finds the new Range Rover D300 to be his tipple.
TAKEAWAY mocha in hand, Homes Under the Hammer on the tele, snuggling into armchair comfort, this has to be close to complete contentment.
Thing is, I’m far from home so how can this be? Well, the vehicle in hand has much to do with it as the new Range Rover D300 proves to be a home from home.
The leviathan luxury SUV has successfully transported man and boy from home to school, now there’s just the small matter of whiling away the next eight and a half hours until he is ready to be collected.
How better to do that than in such opulent surroundings as the Range Rover, with its plush cabin, leather armchairs and panoramic glass sunroof.
Touch and dab my way through the menus of the excellent infotainment centre and I reach the TV which is more than obliging enough to find BBC 1 for my 10am dose of Homes Under the Hammer.
Once that is over and the mocha quaffed I reach for the old laptop, hotspot it to my phone and the Range Rover is transformed into a very fine mobile office indeed. Luxury, pure luxury and the perfect companion for the long wait ahead.
School day over, surprisingly quickly, and the boy back in tow, I realise I have become a little chilled – there’s probably a deep vein thrombosis lurking somewhere there too as I’ve been sitting too long – but the heated seats will go a long way to thawing me out and thinning the red stuff that is coagulating in my arteries, argh bliss. It’s things like this that are so important when lifestyle dictates that you virtually live in a car.
But it’s now time for the long journey home, which is where the mind shifts to the brand new motor in the D300, from which you might guess is a 300HP diesel and, if you did, then you would be correct.
A new family of 3.0-litre straight-six Ingenium diesel engines inhabit Range Rover for the first time and to good effect.
The latest generation of smooth and efficient motors are proof that there is still life in the diesel unit yet for those who remain unconvinced by the hype and promise of electric.
As a nod to future electrification, the 48 valve engine is also a mild hybrid electric vehicle which works successfully to reduce fuel consumption and heighten refinement. It really is a great unit being both awesomely powerful and supremely smooth. The 300HP and 650Nm of torque offer tremendous performance and pulling power. It accelerates rapidly, boasts muscular mid-range, but cruises quietly at high speed. What really impresses is the fact that this heavyweight records 36mpg at one point and never drops below 31mpg.
For those concerned about melting the icecaps, Range Rover D300 is among the first full-sized luxury and performance SUVs in the world to be available with a Real Driving Emissions Step 2-certified diesel, which also governs nitrogen oxide emissions.
The highly efficient engines deliver improved responses too by harvesting and storing energy generated during deceleration and intelligently redeploying it to assist the engine when accelerating. Clever.
New Range Rover also offers a Westminster Edition, which is based on the Vogue model. Unique for the UK, it comes with privacy glass, exterior accents and 21-inch diamond turned alloy wheels. In Portofino blue it attracts many admiring glances, which is exactly what you hope for when you opt for a Range Rover. Inside, grand black veneers combine with a suede cloth headlining, a sliding panoramic roof and soft-close doors to make you feel posher still.
What is easy to forget is that the Range Rover remains one of the most accomplished off-roaders in the world with its peerless all-terrain technology. While there may be a reluctance to get something this smart dirty it is as capable of handling the rough stuff as it is being the ideal spot to enjoy your mocha and a spot of tele.
Range Rover D300 Westminster
Engine: 3.0 straight six cylinder diesel
0-60mph: 7.1 secs
Top speed: 130mph
Combined MPG: 33
Transmission: Eight speed automatic
CO2 g/km: 225