Life is Just Better with a Little Serenity

Range Rover SV Long Wheelbase Serenity at Chapelton Vineyards

by Michael Satterfield | Photos by Lucas Kepner - 09/23/2022

It is hard to think of a situation where anyone really needs a $250,000 luxury SUV, but like many things the Range Rover SV Long Wheelbase Serenity isn’t built to satisfy a need, it is built to satisfy a desire. Considering that for the price of this one SV you can buy two base Range Rovers and still have enough left over to pick up BMW 2 Series convertible for the weekends, that desire must be strong. 

Everyone has a luxury SUV these days, Lexus, BMW, you can even get a Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy with Nappa leather, rear window sunshades, remote smart parking, and all the other bells and whistles for just a hair over $50,500. But the Range Rover strives to be more than just another SUV, and for a quarter of a million dollars, it has to. Slotted firmly between the Bentley Bentayga V8 and the Rolls Royce Cullinan, the SV offers all the luxury and quality, without ostentatiousness. 

Range Rover SV Long Wheelbase Serenity

While you can drive the SV, it is really a vehicle to be driven in, the four-passenger SUV when being used properly only seats three. At the push of a button, the front passenger seat slides forward and down as a footrest unfolds for the rear passenger. Simultaneously the rear passenger side seat reclines. The push of another button reveals the table hidden in the center console, perfect for your road trip charcuterie. A large screen displays all manner of information from the Range Rover, or you can stream all manner of entertainment while enjoying the noise-canceling headphones. 

After all that cheese and cured meat, you are going to be thirsty, this is where the onboard champagne chiller comes in handy, don’t worry the cup holders are designed to accommodate the chilled champagne flutes as well. Riding in the back of a vehicle, even to the grocery store, feels like you should be rounding the corner on Ave de Monte-Carlo about to stop at the Casino where a white-gloved valet awaits to make sure you never face the indignity of opening your own door. This of course is how the SV is supposed to make you feel when you are in it, but since the Texas Riviera is not quite Monaco, I opted to take the SV for a drive through wine country. Washington County, just north of Houston, is home to not just a developing wine industry but is home to one of the best new wineries in Texas, Chapelton Vineyards. The luxurious winery and hotel property is the perfect destination for our wine country road trip in a vehicle of this caliber. 

Range Rover SV Long Wheelbase Serenity

Since Land Rover only authorized me to drive, my cameraman Lucas took full advantage of the luxury accommodations in the back. While this is a vehicle designed for optimum passenger comfort, the SV is still a pleasure to drive.  The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 produces over 520 horsepower and over 550 lb.-ft of torque all channeled through an 8-speed automatic transmission.  

While it can’t be described as sporty, the handling is impressive thanks to the active anti-roll stabilization system, and being a Range Rover, it of course has all-wheel-drive, Terrain Response, Hill Descent Control, a bevy of other technology that will allow luxury to continue even when the road does not. But on the highway or the wine country roads, what impresses me most is just how quiet it is inside, not a whisper from the wind, just the faintest of sound from the tires as we make our way down the county roads. The Range Rover SV really has managed to live up to the name ‘Serenity.’

Pulling down the winding driveway of Chapelton Vineyards the Range Rover matches the property’s aesthetic, modern, but somehow still traditional. As we leave the pavement and head out into the rows of grapes the Range Rover hardly notices the change in terrain, the suspension simply absorbs all the bumps and ruts like they aren’t even there. The tight corners around the vines are easily negotiated thanks to the four-wheel steering, and the advanced camera system lets you look at the vehicle from a perspective as if you were spotting yourself on a trail. Throw in all the additional sensors and crashing the new Range Rover in a vineyard or a parking lot would require real commitment. 

Range Rover SV Long Wheelbase Serenity with Michael Satterfield at Chapelton Vineyards

As I sit on the back tailgate of the SV, as the sun sets over the vineyard, I can't help but think, “I wish this had the optional Tailgate Event Suite with leather cushions.” It would have only been another $1,200 and really if you are ordering one of these just tick all the boxes. 

This Range Rover doesn’t give me the opportunity to really get out and test it as a vehicle, there will be no sideways drifting through the mud, harrowing tests at the track, no rock-crawling adventures, it is too special for those things, plus Range Rover saw my test of the Rolls-Royce and asked me not to take it to a bog. But it is a special vehicle, reserved for people who understand the value of understated elegance, and if you are in the market for the finest luxury SUV ever made, the SV should be on your shortlist. 

Range Rover SV Long Wheelbase Serenity Chapelton Vineyards