Are Range Rovers Good in Snow? Winter Performance Expectations

Although the Range Rover has been plagued with complaints about its reliability over the past few years, there is no denying that Range Rovers are very popular because of their strength and high performance. 

This makes them a popular option for drivers looking for a powerful SUV that can handle intense winter conditions.

But just how well does a Range Rover handle winter roads?

Ranger Rovers remain the absolute best vehicles for winter driving. All modern Range Rovers come with a sophisticated full-time 4WD system that distributes equal power to the front or rear axles on rough roads for more grip and better handling. Besides that, there are tons of other features that enhance the Range Rovers winter performance.

The Range Rover’s off-road features and technology allow for easy driving on ice and snow (at least for the first couple hundred thousand miles). 

The Euro NCAP gave Range Rovers a 5-star safety rating, the highest rating ever awarded to a full-size off-road passenger vehicle (not just SUV – the highest of any passenger vehicle).

Let’s look at an in-depth feature catalog that allows the Range Rover to perform so well on the winter roads.

What Makes Range Rovers Good In Snow?

1. Full-Time Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

Range Rover’s full-time All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system allows the engine to send enough power to all its four wheels instead of two. 

This gives the vehicle maximum traction when driving on rough terrain and slippery roads. 

This feature also allows for stable acceleration even when the road is covered in the snow without tire slippage or fishtail.

2. Active Rear Locking Differential

This standard feature is available in Autobiography models but can be added on other trim levels if the owner chooses.

It allows for the maximum transfer of power to the wheels with a better grip. 

It improves the wheel-slip, cornering stability, and better traction when oversteering on uneven surfaces.

3. Terrain Response Control

There are seven driving modes you can choose from in the Terrain Response system:

  • Dynamic
  • Eco
  • Comfort
  • Grass/Gravel/Snow
  • Mud and Ruts
  • Sand 
  • Rock Crawl

These modes are used to change the functionalities of these components:

  • Engine response
  • Suspension
  • Differentials and 4WD system
  • Transmission 
  • Stability and Traction Control
  • Suspension

The Grass/Gravel/Snow mode lowers the throttle’s sensitivity and provides the traction control that is needed to maintain the wheels at their tightest.

Depending on the situation, you can also use the auto mode and let the vehicle make the right driving choice for you.

4. All-Terrain Progress Control

This off-road, low-speed cruise control system feature is available on all-Range Rovers. 

It allows the driver to set and maintain the same speed in challenging situations such as ice and snow to focus on navigation and steering. 

The ATPC will maintain a steady pace when going up and down slopes of 1 -18 mph.

5. Low Traction Launch

This feature gives the vehicle maximum torque control when moving from stationary while also improving its capabilities on slippery roads.

6. Electronic Air Suspension

The air suspension allows the driver to raise or lower the vehicle’s ride height depending on their situation by pushing a button.

It will also automatically adjust the height when selecting different Terrain Response driving modes.

7. Two-Speed Transfer Case

The two-speed transfer case electronically gives the exact speed and control needed in challenging situations. 

It does this by providing additional gears when driving through rough terrain, snow r towing.

8. Dynamic Stability Control

This feature detects and reduces loss of traction when driving through difficult conditions. It improves the vehicle’s stability thanks to its numerous sensors. 

It calculates the vehicle’s placement in relation to the road by frequent evaluation of the following:

  • Steering wheel position
  • Vehicle direction
  • Lateral acceleration
  • Wheel speed 

Once unstable driving behavior such as oversteering and understeering is detected, it will keep the vehicle under control and going the right way by changing the engine output and applying brakes to each wheel accordingly.

9. Electronic Traction Control

It prevents wheelspin by providing the wheels with the grip they need when driving on slippery roads.

When the wheels start overspinning, the system will apply the brakes automatically and limit the engine power to the wheels.

It works best when you are trying to speed up a slippery slope or from a stationary or slow position. 

This feature can be disabled if you have tire chains or need wheelspin when you are stuck in snow or mud by pushing the DSC button.

10. Anti-Lock Braking System

If you are to drive during the winter, this feature is crucial because it prevents the locking up of the wheels and sliding when braking. 

It pumps the breaks on and off quickly multiple times a second to prevent the wheel from turning until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.

There are many other features that the Range Rover has that help the vehicle perform at a high level when driving in the winter. 

A Range Rover has in-built technological features that can benefit an owner that lives in regions like Minnesota, where temperatures are known to drop below freezing in the winter season.

How Does Range Rover Snow Mode Work?

All modern Range Rovers come fitted with the snow mode. It comes labeled as snow/gravel/grass as part of the Terrain Response System. 

You can use this mode when driving around town or on the highway during winter.

The snow mode will work in limited slippery conditions. 

Here, the snow mode limits the throttle response and turns the transmission to the second gear. 

This reduces wheelspin when the vehicle is moving from a standstill.

The CPU will frequently check on the wheel and apply the brakes when the wheels start to slip in this mode. 

This allows the wheels with more traction to continue. You will, however, have poor MPG when this mode is activated.

How Much Snow Can the Range Rovers Handle?

Compared to other vehicles in its class, the Range Rover’s ground clearance is one of the best. 

When you set the air suspension to its highest position, you can go through roughly 11 inches of snow. 

This is the safest height you can go through without causing any damage to the car’s underside.

However, it can go through deeper snow when driven very carefully and for very short distances. Otherwise, you risk getting stuck in the snow or damaging the bumper.

Thanks to its intelligent 4WD system, advanced braking systems, and stability and traction control, you can drive a Range Rover safely on ice without losing control. 

If your road is always icy, you might need winter tires and, in extreme cases, studded tires to give you extra traction.

Winter tires are essential because:

  • They have a deep tread which adds to the wheel reliability
  • Its tread pattern is made for pushing snow out of the way from beneath the tire
  • It’s made of a material that allows for a better grip of the road even in very low temperatures because it remains flexible and soft.

A Land Rover Ice Driving Academy is located in Sweden, where Range Rover owners can drive similar vehicles and test the vehicle’s true winter driving capabilities.

Best Range Rover Model Years For Snow

The best Range Rover models to drive with in the winter will be the 2006 and newer model years because of the driver aids and safety features.

This means you’ll want to look for later 3rd generation Range Rovers from 2006 to 2012 or 4th generation Range Rovers from 2012 to 2021. The 5th generation of Range Rovers premiers in 2022.

Even though many advances have been made to the current 4th generation model, including numerous upgrades to the  engine and exterior, older 4th generation models have the same winter performance capabilities the latest models have.

Even the original first generation models from 1970 have the 4WD option, which has been setting it apart from the competition in terms of winter performance ever since the beginning.

Significant changes introduced over the years that could affect the older models include:

  • 1989 – ABS was added
  • 1992 – Electronic Air Suspension and Traction Control were introduced
  • 1994 – Launch of the 2nd generation Range Rover
  • 2001 – Launch of the 3rd generation Range Rover
  • 2006 – Terrain Response was introduced in the 3rd generation Range Rover 

Driving A Range Rover In Snow

Thanks to their 4×4 capability and cutting-edge technology, Range Rovers perform extremely well on icy winter roads. 

Of all the modern SUVs currently in the market, Range Rover’s ground clearances are one of the highest today. The high ground clearance allows the vehicle to move through the snow easily without damaging any components or getting stuck.

The Air suspension is standard in all trim levels and allows the owner to adjust the car to their preferred height. 

The off-road mode allows you up to 11.7 inches of ground clearance, with the standard mode giving 8.6 inches which is excellent for most SUVs.

Range Rovers consider both comfort and performance, making them a good choice for winter driving. 

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