We can do off-road driving, promise modern sport utility vehicles, and provoke real SUVs to contradict. Who is right now? We went into difficult terrain – and were surprised.
Then suddenly there is silence. As is decided that the R is Rover should really through this muddy pond in off road park, chattering and laughter stopped. The range now turns and rolls quietly towards us, feeling its way into the water with its front wheels like an experienced lion. The first small waves form in front of the car when the front apron and grille are immersed. This little lake is deep, no puddle. But the Range Rover is said to be able to wade through 90 centimeters deep water without choking. Encapsulated intake through the hood, very clever.
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Chugging softly, the water penetrates into the first cavities, spills over the side skirts and the headlights, which have not been so beautiful since the last cosmetic operation. Now they are gone too. The range stops, and the stern has long been completely in the water. So also the exhaust system. Phew, the range continues, sinks deeper again. The water sloshes over the bonnet to the lower edge of the windshield. But the silver giant marches on unmoved soon climbs the bank. If water spits out of the exhaust pipes, it ripples under the joints of the body. Now stands on firm ground again and grumbles as peacefully as before. Breathe easy. Spontaneous applause. So you build off-road vehicles, everyone thinks and pulls their caps.
If we had known that, we would not have come to the off-road comparison, the other test cars think uneasily. But only with calm. That was the freestyle for the range, which even the rigid-axis representatives of pure off-road teaching, Jeep Wrangler Sahara and Mercedes G 500, probably would not have passed. Because they were written wad depths of 762 mm (Jeep) and 600 mm (Mercedes) in the papers.
The other off-road test candidates on our excursion to the Langenaltheim off-road park are the Audi Q5 3.0 TFSI Quattro and the BMW X5 xDrive 40d, Dacia Duster dCi 110 4×4, Mercedes GLA 200 CDI 4Matic, Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI 4×4 and the paint job Expedition version of the VW Rockton 2.0 TDI 4Motion that looks like road construction, which stands for even more ground clearance (plus 30 mm) and a particularly short gearbox of the all-wheel-drive transporter.
A really steep piece.
Here, in this slate quarry play paradise for big boys, we want to find out how the SUV is suitable for off-road use, which promises off-road suitability with modern chassis and electronically controlled all-wheel drive – and what real off-roaders can do better.
A steep sandhill laughs at us. You would hardly get there on foot because the 60 meters to the summit are slippery and uneven with deep washouts in the upper third. Who’s coming up there? And how? The Mercedes GLA is the first, a representative of the stylish SUV group. As a precaution, Mercedes wrote to him in the operating instructions that “due to its nature it is only suitable for easy terrain and poor distances”. We are excited.