If you thought that the design of the Range Rover has not changed radically over the years you would be right. And it is entirely deliberate.

People who actually buy Range Rovers – and they start at more than £83,000 – have been crystal clear about what they want. Customers told the company: “Don’t change it, just make it better” and over the decades it has been happy to oblige.

Now approaching its half century in production, the Range Rover is in its fourth, most luxurious and desirable generation so far.

While its design has slowly evolved, the engineering sitting beneath the bodywork is changing at a rapid pace with a seemingly unstoppable move towards a future of hybrid, connected and autonomous driving.

With all this technology just around the corner, it was mildly refreshing to get behind the wheel of a luxury 4x4 with a properly old school powerplant.

The car driven here was powered by a mighty 340 horsepower, 3.0-litre, supercharged V6 engine linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift which, if driven carefully, might just reward you with fuel consumption of about 25mpg.

But if you are driving a Range Rover you won’t be watching the pennies and from the second you fire up the car’s push button starter, what you are guaranteed is a supremely quiet, cossetting ride with an ability to cover long distances in peerless comfort, both for the driver and those being driven.

The overwhelming sense of security and wellbeing pervades every aspect of Range Rover travel and the level of indulgent pampering has reached a new level on the latest generation car.

Seats are huge and almost infinitely adjustable, with heaters and coolers for those in the front and a heated row in the rear, not to mention a range of massage options.

The car lowers at the touch of a button when at a standstill to make it easier for passengers to get in and out, before raising to its normal drive height. Doors too are soft closing and the two-piece tailgate is power operated.

Connections by USB, HDMI and 12-volt are all available, along with 4G Wi-Fi hotspots for up to eight devices and convenient storage all designed for the business traveller.

Safety systems rank along with the best from traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed limiter to a blind spot monitor and traffic detection when reversing, not to mention autonomous emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

Range Rover owners like to personalise their vehicles and the list of options is both extensive and expensive. The test car carried more than £20,000 worth of extras, £5,000 of which was accounted for by the huge 21-inch wheels and a gleaming metallic paint finish.

A £2,500 10-inch rear seat entertainment system is a joy for long journeys and the £1,000 head-up display is incredibly useful for the driver, displaying not only a digital speed read-out but satellite navigation directions.

Never forget that the Range Rover was originally conceived as a car for the country set to use on the estate and then drive to the townhouse. Its off-road ability, though probably rarely tested these days, remains seriously impressive.

While the Range Rover remains a vehicle that all other manufacturers have to use as a benchmark, the family of vehicles bearing the name continues to grow with the Range Rover Evoque, Velar and Sport recently joined by the four-seater SV Coupé, of which only 999 will be built.

Auto facts

Model: Range Rover Vogue SE V6

Price: £103,780 as tested

Insurance group: 50 (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 26.4mpg

Top speed: 130mph

Length: 499.9cm/196.8in

Width: 222cm/87.4in

Luggage capacity: 19.4 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 23.1 gallons/105 litres

CO2 emissions: 248 g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 100,000 miles