2019 Land Rover Range Rover PHEV first drive: London, here's your off-roader Page 2

Nothing is more important than vehicle range when it comes to exploring the world, something Land Rover takes rather seriously. Though fuel-economy figures won't be out until next summer, Land Rover assured us that the PHEV will be the thriftiest in the Range Rover lineup. We're not yet at the point where a solar panel could be attached to the roof to extend its range to near perpetual motion, but the future of off-roading is starting to come into view.

Aside from cost and complexity, the only downside to the way the automaker adapted a plug-in powertrain to a platform designed for an internal combustion engine is that its battery is located in the cargo area. Overall luggage capacity behind the second row drops from 31.8 to 28.3 cubic feet.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e PHEV

2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e PHEV

Charting the changes: ultra-luxe upgrades

My brief drive in the PHEV also highlighted a major interior renovation bestowed upon the entire Range Rover lineup for 2018 (the PHEV is scheduled for the 2019 model year).

A pair of 10.0-inch touchscreens take the place of hard buttons on the Range Rover's dash and center stack. They're cribbed from the automaker's Range Rover Velar that hit the market earlier this year and they work just as well. A quick tap and swipe pulls up myriad audio, climate, and vehicle functions, and the futuristic look suits the Range Rover's hefty price tag.

ALSO SEE: 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar first drive review: sumptuous SUV

Additionally, Land Rover redesigned both the front and rear seats, with special attention given to row two. Available power-adjustable outboard rear seats can be fitted with heating, air conditioning, and even a massage function.

Other updates for the new model year include a gesture control for the panoramic moonroof shade. Simply wave a hand backward in the rearview mirror and the shade slides back.

Land Rover hasn't priced the entire 2019 Range Rover line, but the PHEV will sticker from $96,145 in HSE guise when it goes on sale in summer. Assuming prices for the standard range don't change much, that puts it essentially on par with a V-8-powered Range Rover HSE—and the PHEV is faster and more fuel-efficient.

And you don't have to live in London to see its benefits.

Land Rover provided travel and lodging to Internet Brands Automotive to bring you this firsthand report.

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