Car Tech Spotlight: 2013 Range Rover power split tailgate
The signature split tailgate on the British-built luxury SUV can now close at the touch of a button.
Talk about First World problems. While test driving a supercharged 2012 Range Rover awhile back, my wife went to put something in the rear cargo area and asked, “Hey, why doesn’t this vehicle have the button on the tailgate like the last one we had?”
Not sure what she was referring to, I walked around to find my vertically challenged other half stretching to reach the liftgate on the big SUV -- and struggling to bring the heavy slab of metal and glass down with a tenuous grasp.
Being the gentleman I am, I rushed to help her. And being the wise guy that I am, I quickly and facetiously responded, “Well, that's the difference between a $40,000 SUV and an $80,000 SUV.” The former referred to a Jeep Grand Cherokee that had an electronic liftgate feature that was absent on the much more expensive Range Rover.
As in other vehicles, the Range Rover’s new power split tailgate feature is operated via a button on the tailgate, a remote-control key fob or near the driver’s seat. But what’s unique on the vehicle is that the Range Rover’s signature two-piece boot folds up like a clamshell.
It’s always interesting to get my wife’s perspective on the vehicles I test -- what she does and doesn’t like -- and it’s usually from a viewpoint I’d never consider, as with the unpowered liftgate on the earlier Range Rover. This may seem simple -- and a glaring omission on a luxury SUV -- but this kind of tech makes life in a Range Rover just a little easier, even if you’re tall and fortunate enough to be driving such a pricey car.
Doug,.,..... correction please!
You reference "clamshell bonnet" .... in proper English, the bonnet is the "hood" and not the item to which refer .....that would be correctly a clamshell boot lid or tailgate.
I personally find the full rear liftgate with seperate opening rear glass to be a much better configuration that the split rear liftgate. I'm disappointed that many new SUVs are getting rid of the seperate opening rear glass and going with just a full opening rear liftgate.
The lower tailgate portion on the RR makes it only that much more difficult to reach things when it is down. I think it's poor design.
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