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The Best 2020 Cars Land Rover Has to Offer

Reviewing the 2020 Land Rover Lineup

Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid front 3/4 view

The Land Rover brand seems to be the only formerly Ford-owned premium British automaker that’s finally managed to stand on its own two feet or four wheels for that matter. The traditional SUV manufacturer is keeping the JLR division solvent considering the Jaguar brand is experiencing difficulties all across the world. Or so we thought, prior to year-end sales for 2018 seeing the light of day. Let’s take a closer look at JLR’s global and U.S. sales figures for 2017 and 2018 prior to focusing on the 2019 and 2020 Land Rover lineups.

These particular figures showcase that Jaguar’s global sales have actually grown by 1.2 percent in 2018. The luxury division has marketed 178,601 vehicles in 2017 which was a 20 percent increase compared to 2016, and 180,833 cars in 2018. Land Rover, on the other hand, has actually recorded a loss of almost 7 percent in 2018. They’ve sold 442,508 SUVs in 2017 and 411,875 models in 2018.

The U.S. figures, on the other hand, are showcasing a different trend. The Land Rover brand has put 74,739 models to market in 2017 and achieved a 23 percent growth for 2018 by marketing 92,143 vehicles last year. The Jaguar division has also recorded a 20-odd percent year-to-year change between 2017 and 2018, but their record in the U.S. is negative. We’ve already covered the 2020 Jaguar lineup in a separate article.

To sum things up: after a successful, record-breaking MY 2017 when the two brands marketed exactly 621,109 vehicles worldwide, JLR’s fortunes are on a downward path once again. Their global sales totaled 592,708 cars in 2018 which is a 4.6 percent drop compared to previous year. The Land Rover division’s sales accounted to 66 and 70 percent of the JLR’s total sales respectively over the last two years which further proves its significance over Jaguar.

Since we’ve established that the U.S. market isn’t at fault for JLR’s global slump in sales for 2018, the culprit needs to be found elsewhere. That’s an easy thing to do considering the ever-increasing Chinese market’s sales went down by 21.6 percent for the entire year and a staggering 42.4 percent for December 2018, plunging both divisions into chaos from a sales perspective.

Brits will hope this is just a temporary setback which they’ll be able to fix soon. Here’s what to expect from Land Rover in 2020.

What’s Hot in the New 2020 Land Rover Lineup

05. 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Although not among the best-selling models in the U.S., the Range Rover Evoque is still an important part of the Land Rover lineup. The subcompact’s sales have dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time since its introduction back in 2012 and the British have responded by giving it a full makeover.

The second-generation Range Rover Evoque brings about a sharper design but sticks to the proven formula. It rides on the updated version of the previous model’s D8 platform dubbed the Premium Transverse Architecture which adds a meager 0.6 inches in overall length and 0.8 inches in wheelbase length. The interior borrows from other models within the Land Rover range by adopting the company’s InControl Touch infotainment system, hallmark design, and top-class materials.

New for 2020 are two high-tech camera-based systems – one up front and one around the back. The frontal ClearSight Ground View displays a video feed in front and underneath the car, while the ClearSight Rear View system displays a video feed on a rearview mirror which comes in handy when the rear window is blocked by passengers or cargo. The new model has already arrived to dealerships and its prices start from $42,600 which is around $1,000 more than what the outgoing model used to cost.

The 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque introduces a mild-hybrid system for the first time. The company’s 2.0L Ingenium turbo-four carries over in two different tunes delivering 246 hp and 296 hp respectively. The 48-volt mild-hybrid system in question is only available with the higher-output version of the engine.

Every model is paired with a modern ZF nine-speed automatic transmission and company’s all-wheel-drive system with six available driving modes to choose from. Although the new Range Rover Evoque simply represents an evolution of the outgoing model, JLR has made a first step in electrifying the Evoque and that trend is only expected to catch on as we delve deeper in the 21st century’s third decade.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque front 3/4 view

 

04. 2020 Defender

The iconic Defender nameplate wasn’t absent for long. Discontinued in 2016, the off-roading legend is back for MY 2020. The 2020 Land Rover Defender obviously borrows design cues from other models within the Land Rover range, but still differs to some extent. It sports a boxy shape with sharp edges all over and that’s practically a hallmark feature for the iconic SUV.

The next-generation model sports a fully independent suspension for improved comfort and ride quality, with air suspension being optional, but don’t fear for its off-road capabilities – they’re as legendary as ever. The new Defender also switches to the D7U aluminum unibody platform shared with the Range Rover and Discovery. Again, the Brits are assuring us there’s nothing to fear for when it comes to Landy’s off-road performance. There are two models available: the shorter 2-door Defender 90 and the longer 4-door Defender 110.

The latest technology and driving aids are another important part of the next-gen Defender which aims to distance itself from the spartan past that made it popular in the first place. A 10-inch screen dominates the center stack which is also populated by a shift lever and climate controls.

The initial U.S.-spec Defenders are powered by a familiar Ingenium 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Later on, the British will add a more powerful 3.0L turbocharged straight-six paired with a permanent-magnet electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack for combined 394 hp and 406 lb-ft. Overseas markets will also get a couple of diesel options, one of which might or might not make it stateside. What the British are also about to bring our way is the first hybrid Defender in history which, however, won’t be ready for MY 2020.

Whether a mild-hybrid or a full plug-in setup, the all-new Defender won’t be able to defend itself from the imminent electrification process. The former option might mean a shared engine with the aforementioned Range Rover Evoque, while the latter might mean the new Land Rover Defender will get the Range Rover’s 398-horsepower setup. Even a fully electrified new Defender shouldn’t come as a surprise, but we’ll probably have to wait a few more years in order to see one.

As always, the Land Rover’s epitome for off-roading sports a full 4×4 setup with a number of driving modes to choose from. The all-new model was officially revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show in September, and should come stateside within the next few months or so.

 

2020 Land Rover Defender

03. 2020 Discovery Sport

The off-road-oriented subcompact crossover has never been the most successful of Land Rover vehicles in terms of sales. Actually, it’s also been one of the most overlooked Land Rovers since its inauguration in 2015. Considering it’s always had a number of shortcomings to keep it company, maybe it was rightfully sidelined as one of the less enthusiastic Land Rover models.

That’s why the British have answered with a full-on makeover which should address some of its issues. This complete overhaul sees the Range Rover Discovery Sport sit upon a revised version of the D8 platform dubbed the LR-MS. This allows the subcompact to offer more interior space for its occupants, and more importantly, to finally adopt the next-generation of the company’s hybrid and electric powertrains.

What’s more, the new car is finally able to enjoy a full array of technology and convenience gear its more illustrious siblings have already received. Goodies such as a smart rearview mirror, the already mentioned ClearSight Ground View, and a full supplement of advanced driver assist features available at extra cost.

Speaking of hybrid powertrains, the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport starts off with the same powertrain lineup as its more road-oriented sibling, the Range Rover Evoque. This means that electrified powertrain at the moment translates to a 296-horsepower 2.0L turbo four with a mild-hybrid assist. Base models will make do with a more conventional 246-horsepower version of the same engine without any electric assists.

Further down the line, the British will introduce a full plug-in hybrid model, but we’ll probably have to wait beyond MY 2020 in order to finally see them. A 9-speed automatic gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system are mandatory across the range.

The refreshed Land Rover Discovery Sport is already available and starts from just under $38,000 prior to destination charges. The mild-hybrid-assisted models command a slightly higher price tag, however.

Land Rover Discovery Sport for MY 2020

02. 2020 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport P400e

Now that the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport lineups are seriously beginning to show their age, the British automaker has decided to pull an ace out of its sleeve. The new P400e plug-in hybrid versions of the aged SUVs are a welcome addition to an already extensive lineup of Land Rover’s flagship models.

The hybrid Range Rovers are just the beginning of the forthcoming powertrain revolution in JLR which will introduce a full EV model in the coming years. For now, however, we’ll have to be content with a low-twenties mpg when it comes to fuel economy. The conventional lineup’s turbo-diesel option is still the efficiency leader with up to 26 miles to the gallon combined.

Other than the improved economy over the remainder of the gasoline-powered lineup, the P400e Rovers don’t really add anything else. Apart from up to 558 pounds of increased weight – courtesy of their 13.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, that is. The smaller of two plug-in hybrid SUVs starts from around $79,000, while the larger Range Rover commands a $96,000 sticker.

Apart from the mentioned 13.1-kWh battery pack mounted below the floor, the P400e’s powertrain also consists of a 2.0L Ingenium turbo-four engine and a 114-hp electric motor for a combined output coming to 398 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. This goes for both the larger Range Rover and its smaller sibling Range Rover Sport.

Their electric motors are integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission. The P400e also sports a permanent all-wheel-drive system. According to the lax European NEDC cycle, the Range Rover plug-ins should be able to provide a total of 31 miles of all-electric range in ideal conditions. It’s certain that this figure will drop after the EPA gets to test the new hybrid SUVs. The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport P400e are available as of Summer 2019.

Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid front 3/4 view

 

01. 2020 Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery might not be the most practical, fuel-efficient, or even the most comfortable on-road driver in its class, but its unparalleled off-road capabilities, hallmark Land Rover refinement, and high-tech cabin more than make up for it.

Unlike the smaller Discovery Sport, the longer and larger Discovery remains virtuall unchanged for MY 2020. It gets a special Discovery Anniversary Edition to commemorate the nameplate’s 30 years of production. Sadly, this 400-unit limited run model will be sold exclusively at home in the U.K. market. Moreover, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard across the board, and so is blind-spot monitoring. Finally, the Discovery range gets expanded by the all-new Landmark trim which starts from around $59,000.

The U.S. market Discovery has thus received a few insignificant updates which is a general Land Rover’s modus operandi for models in early life cycles. The spacious off-roader starts from around $53,500 (including destination fees), while the range-topping models command a price tag closer to the $68,000 mark.

Every single Land Rover Discovery comes with a powerful V6 engine under its hood, but there’s still a choice between gasoline and diesel options. The former is a 3.0L supercharged V6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, while the latter is a 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 delivering 254 ponies and 443 lb-ft of torque.

Both powertrains are tied to the ZF 8-speed automatic which does its job splendidly. Needless to say, the Discovery has always been a 4×4 exclusive, and nothing is going to change on that part anytime soon.

The optional diesel engine costs around $2,000 more than the base petrol one but manages to return up to 23 miles to the gallon combined. Although not a particularly high figure (especially for a diesel), that’s still a lot better than what the supercharged gasoline burner returns at 18 mpg combined.

Land Rover Discovery front 3/4 view

 

What’s Not in the New 2020 Land Rover Lineup

03. 2020 Range Rover

The linchpin of the Land Rover lineup has traditionally been one of the best SUVs money can buy but there’s a genuine concern for the aging nameplate now that we’re on the verge of 21st century’s third decade. The British automaker’s flagship model hasn’t been truly updated since 2012 which is unacceptable for a modern-day crossover/SUV. With the next generation of luxury off-road SUV already confirmed for 2021, maybe it’s best to sit out on the 2020 Range Rover. Especially considering its prices won’t budge.

The least expensive Range Rover costs $92,000, while the long-wheelbase range-topping SVAutobiography grade commands an eye-watering price tag of $210,000. In spite of their hefty price tags, Range Rovers have found 19,030 new owners in the U.S. during 2018. This is their best result since wading the Atlantic decades ago. It would seem that you can’t simply put a price tag on top-class British refinement and unparalleled off-road capability these days.

Not counting the aforementioned P400e plug-in hybrids, the Largest of Land Rover cars offers three distinctive powertrain choices in no less than five separate tunes. The base models make do with a new 3.0L inline-six engine with a mild-hybrid assist (new for MY 2020) capable of putting up either 355 hp or 395 hp depending on their position within the range. The torque curve sits at 406 lb-ft regardless of the supercharged V6’s state of tune.

An optional turbo diesel 3.0L V6 provides impressive 443 pound-feet of twist but reduces the horsepower rating to 254 ponies. Finally, the range-topping models benefit from company’s powerful 5.0L supercharged V8 which cranks up either 518 hp and 461 pound-feet of torque or 557 hp and 516 lb-ft in the mentioned SVAutobiography trim.

Regardless of the engine of choice, all Range Rovers come in 4×4 configuration with a ZF 8-speed auto routing the power to all four corners. They can also tow up to 7,716 pounds – again regardless of a chosen powertrain.

Land Rover Range Rover front 3/4 view

 

02. 2020 Range Rover Sport

Much like the larger Range Rover, its smaller sibling also sports an aging design that dates back to 2013. Furthermore, it is also scheduled for a substantial makeover in either 2021 or 2022 at the latest. Its latest facelift didn’t happen that long ago, however, as the Range Rover Sport received a mid-term refresh in late 2017.

The mid-size luxury off-roader’s sales follow those of its larger sibling. With 24,282 units marketed in the U.S. in 2018, the Range Rover Sport has also achieved its best result yet. At $68,000 ($115,000 for the top SVR trim), it’s still quite expensive for most buyers and lack of any meaningful third row or cargo space don’t exactly work in its favor either.

Moreover, the intermediate SUV sports some frustrating infotainment controls despite the fact the entire system has been updated in the mentioned facelift (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are now standard). And only the optional diesel engine returns any sort of respectable fuel economy figures.

Speaking of engines, the above mentioned 3.0L turbo diesel V6 cranks up 254 ponies and impressive 440 pound-feet of rotational force. It’s also capable of returning up to 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway or 24 mpg combined.

The base 3.0L inline-six, which made its debut here, might bring more power to bear with either 355 hp or 395 hp and 406 pound-feet, but it fails in providing anything better than 20 mpg combined when it comes to fuel economy. Finally, the powerful 5.0L Supercharged V8 is rated at 16 miles to the gallon combined. It generates either 518 hp and 461 lb-ft or a whopping 575 hp and 561 lb-ft in the mentioned SVR trim. Needless to say, the remainder of the powertrain configuration is pretty much the same as in the larger Range Rover.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport front 3/4 view

 

01. 2020 Range Rover Velar

The compact luxury crossover with Range Rover’s pedigree has been available since the Summer of 2017, but has already been subjected to criticism for a number of reasons. Intended as a relatively inexpensive option for Range Rover marque buyers, the Velar does start off from around $57,000 which is affordable in the world of Land Rovers. However, the P380 R-Dynamic HSE models demand $76,000 prior to extras which can be a lot – not to mention the new-for-2020 SVAutobiography Dynamic edition which requires almost $92,000.

Atop that, the Velar doesn’t possess the refinement of its more expensive counterparts and ride quality isn’t exactly on the Range Rover level either – especially with larger wheels. The Velar’s infotainment system is contemporary but most controls are touchscreen-powered which takes getting used to. At least automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning are standard from the get-go, and so are blind-spot monitors.

The Range Rover Velar also offers three separate powertrain choices, but somewhat different than those available with the conventional Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The base engine in the compact SUV is actually a turbocharged 4-cylinder. The 2.0L four-banger is good enough for 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of twist while simultaneously returning 23 mpg combined.

Instead of a V6 turbo-diesel option, the Velar offers a 2.0L turbo-diesel with 180 horses and 317 lb-ft of torque. It’s also rated at 28 miles per gallon combined. The more performance-oriented Velars retain the company’s 3.0L supercharged V6 in a higher state of tune instead of switching to the new inline-six engine. It’s rated at 380 hp and 332 lb-ft, and returns 20 mpg combined.

Finally, the new range topper gets a 5.0L supercharged V8 with 550 ponies and 502 lb-ft of torque. As is the case with the remainder of the Land Rover models, the Range Rover Velar also sports a ZF-sourced 8-speed auto to route all those horses to the ground.

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic front 3/4 view







Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!