Best of the Best 2013: SUVs: Range Rover Autobiography

Land Rover presents the 2013 Range Rover Autobiography as the pinnacle of its Range Rover line. This is a lofty rank, considering the quality craftsmanship and the off-roading prowess of the standard-issue Range Rover models. Autobiography refers to the various ways in which an owner can personalize his or her Range Rover, or at least differentiate it from most others. The Roussillon Red, Otago Stone, and Santorini Black exterior color options are exclusive to the Autobiography edition, as are the optional 22-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels.

The interiors of the HSE and Supercharged versions of the Range Rover are among the best in the luxury-SUV class, and Land Rover improves upon them for the $131,000 Autobiography edition. The cabin abounds in Kalahari wood and leather. The optional Executive Class rear-seats package includes a chiller box in the rear console.

The Autobiography edition is equipped with Land Rover’s top-rated engine: a supercharged 5-liter V-8 that churns out 510 hp. It is the same engine that powers the Supercharged Range Rover, and it is mated to an exceptionally smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. Like the other new Range Rover models, the Autobiography has an all-aluminum monocoque construction that makes the vehicle about 700 pounds lighter than the previous-generation Range Rover. The combination of high power and low weight enables the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, which is about a second faster than the previous-generation Range Rover and even quicker off the blocks than the Porsche Cayenne GTS. Top speed is 140 mph.

When traveling off-road or in inclement weather, drivers will appreciate the Range Rover’s new Dynamic Response system, which reduces the vehicle’s body lean, and the second-generation Terrain Response system, which adjusts the suspension setting and the ground clearance according to the road conditions and road surface.

Land Rover, www.landrover.com