Tow Vehicle: Range Rover

By: Steve Vermeulen, Photography by: Steve Vermeulen


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The Range Rover Sport V6 diesel makes towing a caravan easy. With a 3500kg maximum tow capacity and 600Nm of torque, there’s little – or anything – this can’t handle.

Tow Vehicle: Range Rover
Tow Vehicle: Range Rover
  • One of the best appointed cabins of any luxury SUV on the market
  • Clever towing system detects swaying or oscillation
  • Impressive 227mm ground clearance
  • Massive power and torque

These days the Range Rover comes in two forms; this Sport version offers more appeal to those realistic about the amount of mud-plugging they’ll really do and focuses primarily on the well-to-do school-run crowd. But as a tow vehicle you’d be hard pressed to find something more appropriate.

With a capable V6 diesel under its slab-sided and bejewelled body work, it’s predictably handy at lugging pretty much whatever you choose to throw at it.

Engine and power

The Sport will haul around the caravan of choice effortlessly, thanks to the 3.0-litre V6’s 180kW of power and 600Nm of torque. To put that in perspective, the iconic Kiwi tow vehicle, the Toyota Prado, can only muster 410Nm.

And this V6, believe it or not, is the baby – if you really want more grunt, you can move up the range to a V8 diesel: 200kW and 640Nm. There’s also V8 and V8 supercharged petrol variants, but now we’re getting ridiculous. Really, this $134,990 entry level is all you want.

Performance and handling

Right from the get go this Range Rover is "Sporty" in name only. Yes, its rakish rear windscreen and roofline express a sense of added agility and performance over the cubist Vogue model, but doesn’t disguise the fact that this remains a 2.5-tonne behemoth that shares the relatively un-advanced chassis of the Discovery model Land Rover. Still, what does sporty matter when you boast 3.5-tonnes of maximum tow capacity? Very little I’d wager.

All the finery you’d expect to find in a Range Rover is here. The leather is thick and durable, the interior finished beautifully in Sir or Madam’s choice of Walnut or Anigre timber, and heated/electrically adjustable chairs cosset you like a comforting bear hug, while adjustable arm rests allow to just kick back on the long hauls.

Refreshingly though, all the controls have been rationalised to the barest minimum; menus within an intuitive touch screen take care of all the fiddly stuff, leaving the rest of the dash and essential items uncluttered and easy to find.

There’s ample space for the family and up to 958 litres of luggage capacity, and even at full chat the cabin remains as hushed as the local library – road and engine noise are barely perceptible.

Keep it on the tarmac and mechanical grip is excellent and the air suspension system will magically maintain a level ride height regardless of the load on the rear. There is also an electronic stability system, so when you hitch a trailer to your vehicle, the Trailer Stability Assist technology automatically detects its presence. At speeds at or over 60km/h, should the sensors detect any swaying or oscillation, the system uses selective braking of the appropriate wheels to help correct any potential problem.

The tyres seriously hinder the offroad performance – which with its fantastic electronic all-terrain selection device (select optimum drive proportioning and gear ratio for sand, snow, rocks, etc) would otherwise be brilliant. Here’s an SUV that can safely wade through 700mm of water, offers approach and departure angles of 34.6 and 29 respectively, as well as an impressive 227mm of ground clearance, yet is so well-appointed you won’t want to eat in it for fear of dropping crumbs.

There won’t be a caravan on the market this Sport version won’t comfortably haul behind it, and it’ll rival it terms of comfort while it does so.

See used Range Rovers for sale on Autotrader.

Specifications

2010 Range Rover Sport V6 TDi
Towing capacity 750kg (unbraked) 3500kg (braked)
Engine 3.0 V6 twin turbo diesel
Power 180kW @ 4000rpm
Torque 600Nm @ 2000rpm
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Fuel economy 9.2L/100km
Length/Width/Height 4783mm/2158mm/1789mm
Seating capacity Five
Luggage capacity 958 litres

 

 

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