Land Rover Range Rover Sport
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Land Rover Range Rover Sport Overall verdict
The Range Rover Sport isn’t just a model designation, but a different car. Lower, smaller and supposedly a bit meaner, the Sport supposedly brings the price of entry into Range Rover ownership down. It does, but whether it should is another conversation entirely.
To say that the new Sport sounds promising is a bit like saying that George Best was quite good at kicking a ball about. Range Rovers have always been cool and imperious
What is it?
A slight commotion in the Range Rover world as the unruly cousin nobody mentions charges into the party with his loud friends. Wear your tweed cap back to front.
The engine sounds fantastic. The same hard-edged V8 percussion as in the Jaguar F-Type, even if it is a bit quieter. And actually there's very little tyre noise, so you get to hear the engine satisfyingly often. The power goes through the usual eight-speed transmission, which, in sport mode, is programmed to eagerly gather up the best from the engine. No worries about performance, then.
The old Range Rover Sport was a lot tidier than you'd imagine at getting itself along a snaky road. But you could always feel the effort it was having to go through. This one is vastly lighter on its feet.
There's a whole suite of tech to help it. In the first sector of a bend, the insiderear brake dabs a little to help turn the vehicle. Adaptive anti-roll bars and adaptive dampers both chime in to quell body heave and lean. Then a set of programmed centre and rear diffs make sure you're sent around and out of the curve with immense confidence. In the 'dynamic' mode you can really feel the back edge slightly outward as you depart down the next straight.
Meanwhile, the steering is well weighted and progressive, so you get just the amount of turn you expected. None of the old-school SUV slop-n-roll here then. Equally, it feels reassuringly stable as you deploy the V8 down a long straight.
Sure, in max-attack mode, the ride gets thumpy over mid-corner potholes, but when set things back to normal mode, the suspension insulates you with a lovely feathery calm. So it really can still play the luxury half of a Range Rover remit.
On the inside
it looks a lot sleeker, and a lot more athletic. You sit slightly lower, so it feels more snug and sporty around you - and yet because of the longer wheelbase, it's got usefully more space in the back. They've even managed to fit in an optional third row, so it's a 5+2 seater.
Expensive to buy, but more efficient than it's ever been. The old RRS diesel V6 did 0-60 in 8.8 seconds and 30.7mpg. The new one does 0-60 in 6.8 and yet makes 37.5mpg.
More Land Rover Range Rover Sport cars we've driven...
- Land Rover Range Rover Sport Overfinch GTS-X driven
- November 2012
- Land Rover Range Rover Sport TDV8 HSE
- December 2009
- Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE
- September 2009