Brand Breakdown

The Complete Land Rover Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

February 4, 2019 Buying Guides By Photo by land rover
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These days, we find ourselves constantly dreaming of having a fully restored vintage Defender in our country house garage (barn?). Aside from Jeep, there isn’t a more storied brand that is so consistently dedicated to full-on adventure and overlanding as Land Rover. Furthermore, its vehicles have become synonymous with prestige; even if an owner isn’t traversing rocky, muddy terrain on the Scottish Highlands, their fine, British SUV will look the business on Rodeo Drive. If you’re in the market for a Landy, here’s everything you need to know.

Land Rover History

Land Rover is a British company that produces luxury four-wheel drive vehicles. The Rover Company launched the Land Rover Series in 1948. Land Rover became an independent brand under successive ownerships. Current owner Tata Motors created the current company, Jaguar Land Rover based in Whitley, a suburb of Coventry, England, in 2013. The company has had a Royal Warrant for supplying vehicles to the British Royal Family since 1951. While definite luxury cars, Land Rovers maintain a reputation for off-road capability. Currently, Land Rover and Jaguar are part of the same umbrella company, Jaguar Land Rover (or JLR).

How Land Rover Names its Cars

Naming conventions for Land Rover vehicles can get complicated. There are six current models. All six models are relatively similar looking, mostly five-door SUVs. Four of the six models are referred to as “Range Rovers” instead of Land Rovers. Each of the six models has at least three trim levels. Some trim levels follow similar nomenclature to the others. Some do not. To be extra confusing, the basically-named models, i.e. the Range Rover, are the premium brands.

Land Rover Terminology

HSE: Stands for “High Specification Equipment.” This is a higher-than-standard trim level offered on most Land Rover models.
SVO and SVR: SVO stands for “Special Vehicles Operations,” the brand’s high-performance wing. The highest-performance vehicles under the SVO wing replace the O with an R, which stands for “racing.” SVO and SVR trims aren’t available across the board, but vehicles that sport the trim level are, in scientific terms, “fun as hell.”
Autobiography: This is a Range Rover trim offered on the Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport and the Evoque. This trim is fancy. It will have luxury finishes, an array of standard features and come at a significantly higher price point.
Dynamic: This is a term affixed to Range Rover trims. These cars are more aggressive and dynamic than non-dynamic trims. That can mean styling. It can also mean a more powerful engine.
Landmark: A mid-level trim on the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport meant to offer distinctive styling.
Range Rover: Land Rover has equity in “Range Rover” as a luxury brand. Thus, four of the six are “Range Rovers.” These cars tend to be referred to as just “Range Rovers” because “Land Rover Range Rover X” is a mouthful.
Sport: Smaller version. The Range Rover Sport is smaller than the Range Rover. The Discovery Sport is smaller than the Discovery.

Buying Guide

Range Rover

The Range Rover is Land Rover’s flagship, full-sized luxury SUV, first built in 1970. It defined Land Rover as a luxury brand. It recast the entire SUV segment as premium, fashionable and fit for important people. The Range Rover can have a standard or a long wheelbase with an extra 7.3 inches of rear legroom. It can be fitted with six different engine setups, including diesel and hybrid electric powertrains.

There are five trim levels, beginning with the base “Range Rover.” HSE adds another 40 horsepower, bringing the 3.0-liter V6 output to 380hp. Supercharged upgrades to the 518hp 5.0-liter V8. Autobiography takes Supercharged to another luxury level. Top-of-the-line SV Autobiography Dynamic ($177,500) offers a 557 hp from the V8 and, crucially, upgrades from the standard massaging seats to “hot stone” massaging seats.

The Diesel (254 hp) is available on the Range Rover and HSE trims. The plug-in-hybrid (398 hp) is only available in HSE. Long wheelbase versions are available in Supercharged, Autobiography and SV Autobiography (non-dynamic) trims.

Body Style: SUV

Seating: 4 or 5


• Range Rover
• Range Rover HSE
• Range Rover Supercharged
• Range Rover Autobiography
• Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic


• 3.0-liter TD6 Diesel
• 2.0-liter P400e Plug-in-hybrid
• Supercharged 3.0-liter V6
• Supercharged 5.0-liter V8

Base MSRP: $89,160

Read about am incredible, classic V-12-powered Range Rover here.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport is the midsize Range Rover. It’s smaller and, yes, a bit sportier than the flagship SUV. It can be fitted with a third row of seats. The trim levels are similar to the Range Rover but with “dynamic” tags on lower-level trims. HSE Dynamic brings the 3.0-liter V6 to 380 hp. The Supercharged Dynamic trim upgrades to the 518 hp V8. Autobiography Dynamic is the luxed out edition. Like the Range Rover, the diesel can be had with SE and HSE trims. Buyers can opt for the plug-in hybrid with HSE.

The Range Rover Sport SVR ($113,900) is Land Rover’s on-road performance vehicle. It is the most powerful Land Rover with 575 hp from the 5.0-liter V8. It is the fastest Land Rover, acceleration from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. It also has some quite sporty features, including a carbon fiber hood.

Body Style: SUV

Seating: 5 or 7


• Range Rover Sport SE
• Range Rover Sport HSE
• Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic
• Range Rover Sport Supercharged Dynamic
• Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic
• Range Rover Sport SVR


• 3.0-liter TD6 Diesel
• 2.0-liter P400e Plug-in-hybrid
• Supercharged 3.0-liter V6
• Supercharged 5.0-liter V8

Base MSRP: $67,050

Read our review of the Range Rover Sport SVR here.

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar is Land Rover’s more premium compact crossover SUV introduced in 2017. It’s sleek and aerodynamic with features such as recessed door handles. It is oriented toward on-road driving. It shares a platform with the Jaguar F-Pace. Land Rover describes the Velar as “avant-garde.”

The Velar comes in two broad styles, the Velar and the Velar R-Dynamic. The Velar comes in a base Velar and S versions. The Velar R-Dynamic has SE and HSE trims. Higher trims add luxury, tech and style features. Four and six-cylinder gasoline engines can come with any trim. The non-dynamic Velar can come with a diesel.

Body Style: Crossover SUV

Seating: 5


• Range Rover Velar
• Range Rover Velar S
• Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE
• Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE


• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four diesel
• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
• Supercharged 3.0-liter V6

Base MSRP: $49,600

Read our review of the Range Rover Velar here.

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque is a subcompact crossover. It’s the smallest Range Rover model with the cheapest base price. U.S. buyers can have it as either a five-door hard top or a three-door convertible. Every Evoque comes with a 2.0-liter I-4 Turbo. There are six hardtop trims (SE, SE Premium, Landmark, HSE, HSE Dynamic, Autobiography) and two convertible trims (SE Dynamic, HSE Dynamic). The HSE Dynamic and Autobiography trims of the hardtop get a bump from 237 hp to 286 hp.

Of Note: Victoria Beckham collaborated on a special limited edition of the Evoque in 2012. She sold her limited edition Evoque in 2016 after three years and 1,400 miles. Land Rover’s chief designer says that Mrs. Beckham overstated her involvement when she claimed to have designed the car.

Body Style: Crossover SUV, Convertible Crossover SUV

Seating: 4 or 5


• Range Rover Evoque SE
• Range Rover Evoque SE Premium
• Range Rover Evoque Landmark
• Range Rover Evoque HSE
• Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic
• Range Rover Evoque Autobiography
• Range Rover Evoque SE Dynamic Convertible
• Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic Convertible


• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

Base MSRP: $41,800

Read our review of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible here.

Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery is Land Rover’s less premium, but still quite premium midsize SUV. It is less luxury-oriented and more family-oriented than the Range Rover Sport. It’s in its fifth generation since 1989. It comes with six-cylinder diesel and gas variants. Buyers can choose from three trims (SE, HSE, HSE Luxury). A seven-seat alignment is optional on SE and HSE trims and standard on HSE Luxury.

Of Note: Car folk will occasionally refer to the Discovery as “the Disco” and express annoyance about its asymmetrical back end.

Body Style: SUV

Seating: 5 or 7


• Land Rover Discovery SE
• Land Rover Discovery HSE
• Land Rover Discover HSE Luxury


• Supercharged 3.0-liter V6
• Turbocharged 3.0-liter Diesel

Base MSRP: $52,600

Read our review of the Land Rover Discovery here.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a compact SUV. It is the entry-level Land Rover with a base price starting below $40,000. There are four trim levels (SE, HSE, Landmark and HSE Luxury). HSE and HSE Luxury trims can opt for a 286 hp version of the 2.0-liter I-4.

Body Style: SUV

Seating: 5 or 7


• Land Rover Discovery Sport SE
• Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE
• Land Rover Discovery Sport Landmark
• Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury


• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

Base MSRP: $37,795

Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is Land Rover’s original overland vehicle, the British equivalent of the Jeep Wrangler. Land Rover will debut a new version of the Defender for the 2020 model year. It will be the first time a new Defender will be sold in the U.S. since the 1997 model year. Above is an image of the forthcoming production vehicle, which Land Rover has begun to tease out.

Initially, the Defender was just known as “the Land Rover.” It was renamed “the Defender” in 1983 to differentiate it from other models. Its nearly 68-year production run ended in January 2016. It was produced with hard and soft tops, as models called 90 (93-inch wheelbase) and 110 (110-inch). Vintage Defenders have become popular and pricey. Modified custom restorations from companies such as E.C.D. Automotive Designs can stretch well past $100,000.

Body Style: SUV

Seating: 5 (likely)






Read what we know about the all-new 2020 Defender here.

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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