While many manufacturers claim title to creating the Sport Utility Vehicle category, few can provide the kind of evidence in support
|Land Rover created the luxury off-road segment with its Range Rover, and after 35 years it's still the most capable, most luxurious vehicle in its class. (Photo: Land Rover Canada)|
Lost in the patchouli-scented mists of the Sixties is the fact that the then-British owned automaker conceived and created a vehicle that personified what the company's marketing department of the day defined as "tough luxury."
The idea, according to Land Rover lore, was "to build a vehicle that combined saloon car levels of performance, handling, ride comfort and refinement, with all the ruggedness and off-road ability of a Land Rover." Hmmm... sounds awfully like the 21st century SUV sales pitch to me.
And just what was that new vehicle's name? Range Rover, a vehicle that redefined the off-road segment by defining the luxury off-road segment, and by so doing sparking a long string of imitators that continues to this day,
|This week's tester is the base 2006 Range Rover HSE, but with a near six-figure sticker price it is a little hard not to choke a little on the words "entry-level". (Photo: Land Rover Canada)|
Model year 2006 marks the 35th anniversary of so-called tough luxury, and the past three-and-a-half decades have seen Range Roves just get tougher and more luxurious with each passing year.
This week's tester is the base 2006 Range Rover HSE, but with a near six-figure sticker price it is a little hard not to choke a little on the words "entry-level". In addition to the HSE, Land Rover showrooms are filling with new supercharged HSEs, 35th Anniversary Limited Edition models, and inspired Ranger Rover Sports (more on that in a future column) for the new model year.