Actually, they’ve been here for a few years, and in Europe for much longer: 90 percent of Land Rovers sold in Europe are diesels. The engine, built for Land Rover by Ford (but not used in any Ford product) includes some high tech features:
- Graphite iron block
- Water-cooled turbocharger
- Exhaust heat exchanger
- Two stage oil pump
Of course it also includes the usual modern diesel features of low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation and a diesel particulate filter with adblue dosing. The engine is mated with a ZF supplied eight-speed automatic.
The 3.0L 60 degree V6 makes 254 HP and 440 lb-ft of torque, enough to get the 5,500 lb. Range Rovers (and the new for 2017 Discovery) to 60 MPH in 7 seconds or so. And the EPA combined fuel economy for all three vehicles is 24 MPG. Not bad given their size, weight, and off-road capability.
The V6 diesel is available in:
- Land Rover Discovery ($58,950)
- Range Rover Sport ($65,650)
- Range Rover ($87,650)
The engine is truly silent in operation. Even with the hood opened, it makes no more noise than a typical modern direct-injected gasoline engine. And inside the vehicle it’s inaudible. Torque delivery is as you’d expect, immediate and persuasive. The engine runs out of breath at about 4000 RPM, but that doesn’t seem to matter. In all driving power feels adequate, but you still know you’re hauling the better part of three tons of vehicle around.
The rest of the vehicle (we’re not sure if we should call them cars or a trucks, the rep we talked to referred to them as cars) is what you’d expect for something, with options, that costs between $75-110,000: beautiful interior finishes, great looking, feeling, and smelling leather, state of the art electronics, and a full compliment of driver aids. Many of the variations also include air suspension with ride height adjustment.
Despite their opulence, Land Rovers are true off-road vehicles, and will cover ground that would grind other SUVs to a halt. And they’re truly luxurious on road. After all, if they’re good enough for the royal family, they’re probably good enough for us.
At this price point it’s pretty clear that the diesel option isn’t there to save money. The real benefit is the low speed torque, and relaxed and quiet operation. And the 650+ mile range doesn’t hurt, either.