It's also true that Range Rover buyers have a median annual income of $515,000, which means that when they do suffer a door dent, they probably won't be anguished.
While some owners do go off road, most are content to know that they can if they want to, to know that off-road capability has a bearing on their dealings with on-road snow and ice.
And there's the adventurous mystique that the Range Rover shares with its less costly Land Rover brethren, the romantic whiff of the safari on the drive to the country club.
Let's look at some of the features that make the 2013 Range Rover so capable:
Unlike a lot of luxury SUVs, the Range Rover has a low range, a super-low gear that is a necessity for serious off-roading. Its air suspension can be adjusted to permit a foot of ground clearance, nearly twice that of some luxury SUVs. It also has a class-leading amount of beneficial wheel travel and very large approach and departure angles, making it much less likely to bottom out on the trail.
Thanks to the mounting of the engine air intakes at hood level, the Range Rover can wade in up to 3 feet of water. Mike Gallery, the Range Rover's chief chassis engineer, told me this is often useful in rural England, where a ride down a country road often means fording a creek.
Its multiple differentials greatly increase traction. It's also equipped with a subtle computer program that tailors engine, transmission, and suspension settings to specific driving conditions, ranging from normal to mud, snow, gravel, and ruts. I drove this guy in some serious sand and mud during a recent Range Rover regional show-and-tell, and it performed flawlessly.
In addition to these off-road and bad-weather aids, the new Range Rover has received a plethora of improvements to its ride, handling, and fuel economy.
The ride and handling upgrades are courtesy of a completely redesigned independent suspension that features an ingenious antiroll system. The latter, based on a split antiroll bar, exerts an opposing force that largely negates the physics that make a vehicle heel over in a turn.
The new Range Rover retains its iconic silhouette, but not nearly as much body weight. The body is now made of aluminum, making it 400 pounds lighter. Toss in the new, virtually all-aluminum suspension, and you have a total weight savings of 700 pounds. That translates into better gas mileage and better performance. The normally aspirated 375-horsepower V-8 gets the HSE model I tested from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds. The supercharged, 510-horse Autobiography I also drove gets there in a very swift 5.1 seconds.
The redesigned car boasts a cleaner interior design and more rear legroom. Its innards are also gorgeous. The top-of-the-line Autobiography tester had an interior covered almost entirely with exotic veneers and leather. Even the headliner was cowhide.
The interior was also rigged for silent running, although I did notice a modicum of wind noise at 135 m.p.h.