Testing out a new car for a few hours is just fine to get a decent driving impression, but sometimes we need a lot longer with a vehicle to really appreciate what the latest model has to offer.
The Range Rover has been gracing our roads for 50 years and the arrival of the fifth-generation version this year was the perfect example of a car that needed our full attention over a number of days.
Available with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid5 powertrains, plus the highly anticipated arrival of a fully electrified version in 2024, new Range Rover is on sale with a choice of four, five or seven-seat interiors with Standard or Long wheelbase designs.
Trim levels called SE, HSE and Autobiography make up line-up with a First Edition model available during the first year of production.
And it was the model, powered by an Ingenium 3.0-litre, six-cylinder 350hp turbocharged diesel mild hybrid engine with all-wheel drive, that we tested.
It costs £127,000 (£138,500 with options) and boasts all the performance capabilities associated with the Range Rover with a 0-60mph sprint time of just 6.1 seconds and maximum speed 145mph - that's not bad for a vehicle that weighs in at 2.5 tonnes. And nor are the official day-to-day running costs with a WLTP-tested combined 35.2mpg.
It has all the off-roading ability that Land Rover is famed for. So, if anyone should ever dare take this previous model away from the safety of the Tarmac, it can wade through rivers up to 900mm deep and cross the roughest terrain while tilting at dramatic angles. Possibly, a more common use however will be its towing ability - it can pull a trailer or caravan weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.
But we wanted to delve a little deeper into some of the on-board technology that we often read about, but don't actually explore in full detail.
Firstly, the seats which were 24-way power-adjustable, could be heated, colled and offered a massage function. Crafted from perforated semi-aniline leather and coloured in a light cream shade - or Perlino to give it its official title. these were perfect during our hottest days on record with three levels of seat cooling working perfectly with the Max AC settings cool the cabin to a nice chilled temperature.
Not only do these seats offer supreme comfort levels with a headrest that resembles your favourite pillow, but the massage programme needs to be investigated to maximise its full potential. There are massage types from wave to pulse and pulse duo to combination. The direction can be rolling, up, down, upper back and lower back and there are five intensity levels to choose from. It took me almost 20 minutes to try out each option and that was whilst stationary!
Another area often glanced over is the rear seat comfort and facilities. This is a vitally important department for the Range Rover as many owners will be chauffeured and expect not only superb ride and comfort levels, but also a host of on-board technology.
Sitting in the back of the new Range Rover is a delight with individually power-adjustable seats and memory settings. There is a separate air con set-up for the back of the car, along with automatic window blinds for added privacy or to keep out the glare. These work very effectively, but do rather obscure the driver's over-the-shoulder view.
There is also a button to open or close the sunroof blind from the back seats and numerous speakers will mean occupants are treated to the very best sound possible from the high-end Meridian system.
A powred central armrest is lowered to reveal and extra storage cubby with two USB-C ports and two HDMI connectors. There is also an eight-inch touchscreen in this armrest to automatically control the seats, climate, lighting, blinds and rear infotainment screens. Push an icon that resembles a cup and the armrest extends to reveal a couple of cup holders.
And the rear screen set-up is impressive in its own rights with two 11.4-inch HD touchscreens mounted on the rear of the front seatbacks. These can be operated independently and support most devices with an HDMI port, while making full use of the Wi-Fi hotspot capability means rear-seat passengers can even enjoy smart TV entertainment on the move too. And for added convenience, the headsets can be stored safely away in the lower of the car's two gloveboxes.
The doors feature new technology and are power-assisted with integrated hazard detection and anti-pinch safety features. If you fail to close the door properly, the Soft Door Close set-up is activated and the car will finish the job for you. The advanced hazard detection system means the doors can be paused briefly until a sweep has been done to make sure it is safe and clear to open or close them.
At the back of the car, the split-tailgate is a feature we have become well accustomed to on Range Rovers since 1970, but it has been given quite an upgrade on the new vehicle. Everything is now power-operated and the lower section folds out to make a handy picnic bench.
The floor has a pull-up partition sections to help contain smaller items and you will also spot controls to lower the split-folding rear seats. I did find these a little hit and miss to be truthful. I decided to lowered and I began to lift the ladder, did they start to raise back up again. As it began to rain, it was quite comical, but I was wishing it had and the simpler manual controls.
Ambient lighting is another area we never really consider in too much detail, but there is a host of colours to choose from to suit every possible mood. I particularly liked the Dynamic Red, Forest Green, Sunset Orange and Ocean Blue shades.
These are just a few of the features inside the new Range Rover. Of course, there are all manner of ways to influence the driving performance with adjustable chassis control, a range of on and off-road drive modes and even ride heights.
On the road, it handles beautifully - it feels huge when fizzing down country lanes but the elevated seating position offers a perfect view across the hedgerows. The power is instant and relentless and it would be fair to say the new Range Rover has raised the bar to a whole new level with a wealth of new technology.
In fact, there is so much new kit inside the new Range Rover that Land Rover has filed no fewer than 125 patents.
To be honest, right up until the car was collected, we were still unearthing a new function or feature that we hadn't previously noticed. Maybe a week behind the wheel simply ins't long enough either