Nowadays, sports utility vehicles tend to lean more toward the sport side rather than the utility side.
Don’t get me wrong, I will happily reach 100km/h in under five seconds instead of being able to climb a steep incline, but that defeats half the purpose of your vehicle.
It is for this reason that I would pick an SUV that does both sport and utility well, if I was in the market to buy one and had just scored an inheritance.
My first choice would be the Range Rover SVAutobiography Supercharged Long Wheelbase.
Range Rover is well known for making highly-capable off-road vehicles, and the SVAutobiography is no different.
It is also one of the most luxurious vehicles that the company builds, and has an engine to match its status.
If the all-conquering SVAutobiography Supercharged option is selected, you will get a 5.0-litre V8, supercharged engine that generates 416kW and 700Nm of torque.
The engine awakens the sport side of the SUV and will see this mammoth reach 100km/h in just 5.5 seconds.
An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels, a top speed of 250km/h is available, and a claimed combined fuel consumption of 12.8l/100km is not too bad considering the thirsty engine.
Standard-fitted electronic air suspension, terrain response system, and electronic centre differential are more reasons to consider this impressive SUV.
Electronic traction control, roll stability control, hill descent and launch assist, low traction launch, cornering brake control, all terrain progress control, and a twin-speed transfer box for high/low range – in order to handle any terrain thrown at it – are included, too.
A maximum ground clearance of 287mm lets the Range Rover cruise over substantial objects, an approach angle of 34.5 degrees and a departure angle of 25.4 degrees sees steep inclines being handled without breaking a sweat, and a wading depth of 900mm makes this large SUV more of a scuba diver than a land barge.
Another benefit of the large body and extended wheelbase is storage, as a maximum load space of 900 litres is available behind the rear seats.
This can be extended to 2,470 litres with the seats folded down.
At its maximum, the SVAutobiography Extended Wheelbase stands at 1,868mm tall, 2,220mm wide, and 5,200mm long – with an unladen weight of 2,598kg.
The interior of the SVAutobiography is among the most luxurious in the world, and will even give Rolls-Royce a run for their money.
Quilted, perforated leather seats, that are electrically adjustable in 24 ways, are fitted and offer massaging, heating, and cooling functionalities.
The cabin headlining is made of Cirrus leather, several soft-touch materials are used as dash finishes, and a Meridian Signature sound system provides the audio experience.
A 10-inch touch display which handles infotainment is located on the dash, accompanied by another display below it that handles features such as the four-zone climate control.
The main screen can then be controlled through voice or touch inputs, and provides support for Bluetooth, smartphone mirroring, an all terrain info centre, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and satellite navigation.
The latter works in conjunction with the navigation system to provide real-time traffic information, door-to-door routing, cloud sync of favourite routes, and sharing of your arrival time.
Land Rover has also fitted an interactive driver display in place of a gauge cluster, to keep the modern finishes going.
At the rear, there are two 10-inch infotainment displays, a centre console with controls over cabin features, and reclining seats for rear passengers.
Moreover, they are treated to electric window blinds, a refrigerator, and deployable tables with leather finishes.
Expensive SUVs usually try to look sporty or modern through the addition of plenty of angles and carbon bits – but thankfully the Ranger Rover SVAutobiography does not do this.
It has a modern design that is not tiring to stare at and that will still look great long after current fads have expired.
It is squared off with elegant corners, and has flowing lines that accentuate the sheer size of the body.
Up front are sizeable LED headlights with daytime running functionality and a headlight washer, a patterned grille, and large air intakes.
At its sides are stylish blades and 21-inch wheels, while on top is a sizeable sunroof.
Rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights with follow-me-home abilities, electrically adjustable mirrors, and a heated rear window are also standard.
Before the SVAutobiography left the factory, it had to make one last stop at the safety department.
Here it was treated to the “be as safe a possible” programme, and lane-keep assist, clear exit and traffic monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and high-speed emergency braking were all fitted.
It also gets all-round parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, and brake assist to round off the package.
The SVAutobiography, as the flagship Range Rover, is priced at R4,862,262 without any optional extras.
However, when comparing SUVs at this price point, you will usually have to make a trade-off between looks, performance, and capabilities.
This Range Rover, on the other hand, is everything an SUV should be – it is big, beautiful, powerful, fast, capable, and practical.
To complete your purchase of the best SUV ever made, a 5-year/100,000km maintenance plan with roadside assistance is included.