Land Rover Range Rover Sport

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Land Rover Range Rover Sport TDV8 HSE

Road Test

Land Rover Range Rover Sport TDV8 HSE

Driven December 2009

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Range Rover is playing a dicey game. For years, this TDV8 has spearheaded the diesel range and clobbered aside the smaller V6 with vast swathes of torque. But in this latest-gen Sport range, the smaller engine has been replaced by the excellent 3-litre diesel from the Jaguar XF. This substitution poses a little problem, however.

A quick stat war summarises the issue: 442lb ft in the V6 vs 472 in the V8; 8.8secs to 60mph vs 8.6.

The two engines are so closely matched on performance that Range Rover has taken the V8 upmarket and driven a £6,000 wedge between them. For the extra money, this older, bigger engine gets a sparklier array of standard kit. So you get bigger wheels, active xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control and some exterior trim that's slightly smarter.

You also get the adaptive dynamics package as standard, which you can't get at all on the V6. Trouble is, the Sport isn't actually very sporty, so unless you really want to hammer your 2.5-tonne SUV, you won't missthe stiffer set-up at speed.

Don't get us wrong, the TDV8 is a very good engine - quick and quiet and cultured. It's just slightly emasculated by its new sibling. For the six grand saving, we'd overlook the subtle performance difference, take the V6 and enjoy some lovely Range Roverness with a slightly smugger grin than usual.

Dan Read

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