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Range Rover PHEV – a guilt-free 4x4

Range Rover’s new plug-in hybrid is cheap to run and will earn you fewer glares in city centres, says Sarah Moore.

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Range Rover's new plug-in hybrid is cheap to run and will earn you fewer glares in city centres, says Sarah Moore.

"There aren't too many more refined and luxurious ways to travel than in a Range Rover," says Mark Tisshaw in Autocar. "Yet there is a way of making a Range Rover more refined and luxurious: electrify it." In response to the demand for electric cars to replace diesel ones, Land Rover has now rolled out its first plug-in electric hybrid vehicle, the Range Rover PHEV.

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It's an impressive debut, says Nick Rufford in The Sunday Times. The car is rechargeable and has a petrol engine, so you don't have to worry about being stranded on the way home. If your commute is less than 15 miles each way, you won't have to recharge. On top of that, the car's official fuel economy is more than 100mpg, which is better than a Toyota Prius, Rufford notes. Essentially, "it's a Chelsea tractor without the guilt, plus it's cheap to run".

It's a hoot to drive too. The automatic gearbox feeds power to all four wheels, and a 114bhp electric motor assists the 296bhp petrol engine. "At the lights, it beats most internal combustion engines a party trick, during my test drive in California, left American drivers open-mouthed."

"Changes on the exterior are subtle, but then why mess with a design that, while arguably more at home at a Hollywood premiere than in a muddy field, has made the Range Rover one of the best-selling luxury SUVs in the world?" asks Charlie Turner in Top Gear. Inside, luxury has "taken a big step up", with wider, softer seats that are adjustable in 24 different ways and which also feature a heated massage function.

Price: £86,965. Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (296bhp) plus 85kW e-motor (398bhp). Torque: 472lb ft. Top speed: 137mph. 0-60mph: 6.4 seconds.

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