Land Rover models currently on sale in the U.S. aren’t short on power, but they’re certainly a thirsty group. The company’s Range Rover and Range Rover Sport feature a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that won’t do drivers any favors at the pump. Still, Land Rovers have been getting more fuel efficient engine offerings, and a newer supercharged 3.0 V6 provides a little better fuel economy than previous generations.
Luckily, the automaker’s diesels, which have long been available across the pond, will finally be making their way into U.S. showrooms. These units promise gobs of low end torque–a must for towing and off-roading–as well as better fuel economy than thirsty V8 and V6 units.
Both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will soon be available with Land Rover’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, which is already on sale in Europe. These engines produce 254 horsepower and an impressive 440 pound-feet of torque. With these new engines, Land Rover says both SUVs will easily achieve 28 miles per gallon on the highway, 22 mpg in the city, and 25 mph in combined driving.
The arrival of the diesels may be somewhat poorly timed considering the recent drop in gasoline prices, but the availability of a diesel will undoubtedly appeal to a range of customers looking for improved efficiency and low end grunt. And, performance won’t be sacrificed either. The Range Rover Sport Td6 and Range Rover Td6 accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.1 and 7.4 seconds respectively, compared to 6.9 and 7.1 seconds for gasoline V6 models.
Many American buyers have yet to feel comfortable with a diesel engine, and the folks at Land Rover are well aware of this perception. Before announcing its availability, Land Rover tested the new Td6 extensively in the U.S. to better gauge expectations. During a number of test drive clinics with premium SUV buyers, customers didn’t notice any difference between the driving feel of diesel versus gasoline models. In fact, they didn’t even realize what they had been driving was an oil burner.
In addition to consumer testing, Land Rover also tested the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport diesels from sea level to altitudes of 14,000 feet during a grueling test program. To meet the unique demands of the North American climate, engineers have undertaken testing year round, from the coldest winter days in Minnesota, to summertime in the deserts of the Southwest.
With a 32 percent improvement in fuel economy over the supercharged V6, those considering a new Range Rover model now have another solid engine option to consider in the Td6. The new engine is particularly well suited to those who plan on using their Range Rover for towing heavy loads or off-roading, where reaching maximum torque at low RPM is extremely beneficial.