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Long-term review

Range Rover Sport D350 Autobiography - long-term review

£102,540 / as tested £117,385 / PCM £1474
Published: 17 Apr 2024
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Range Rover Sport D350 Autobiography

  • ENGINE

    2997cc

  • BHP

    344.6bhp

  • 0-62

    5.9s

What's the spec like on TG's Range Rover Sport?

The polite British man inside me wants to declare that I have severe reservations about the longevity of the white (officially Light Cloud) leather that trims the door tops, dashboard, steering wheel and seats of Top Gear’s long-term Range Rover Sport. Whereas my wife, originally from Yorkshire, is much more of a straight talker: “It’s going to get bloody grubby”.

But whether you dance around the subject or address it directly, when this Sport spends much of its life ferrying children around the Hampshire countryside, it seems only a matter of time before there’s a veneer of brown filth across the pale interior.

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Which, actually, would be a shame. I’ll be stunned if the colour can prove anything other than utterly impractical, but as is (i.e. still somehow clean) the impression is rather gorgeous. It feels concept car-esque with the big swathe of white right across the dash, and bolstered by brightwork trim that glints like a make-believe space metal from the Marvel Universe. It’s quite exotic and interesting. I’ll admit to being rather taken with it, even though if it was my own car I’d have probably chosen boring-but-practical black.

Equally fancy and futuristic is the ‘SV Bespoke Satin Forged Carbon finisher’, which is £1,460 and replaces all the standard black veneer door trims. Undoubtedly it’s utterly silly to have carbon inside your two-tonne SUV, but it sort of works. In no small part because too often JLR’s gloss black facias (e.g. on the centre console in this car) feel cheap and let down all the reductive less-is-more-ness the designers were shooting for.

Speaking of cheap, the kickplates are pants too, because they have ‘Autobiography’ emblazoned on them, in a bland font that looks like someone forgot to format.

As for the rest of RR Sport, we didn’t touch on the options in the introductory report, but I can already tell you what I would or wouldn’t have. It’s a no to the £1,130 electrically deployable tow bar as I have nothing to tow. Equally, this car has the £440 twin-speed transfer box in the name of ‘enhancing vehicle drivability in challenging off-road conditions’ – yet I reckon the online configurator shouldn’t let you select that at the same time as 23in wheels.

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But it is a money-making exercise, which is why front fog lights are a cheeky £195, the extra software that purports to make you look like a trailer reversing hero is £385, a wifi-enabled data plan is £440, and it costs £220 to turn on the configurable Terrain Response 2 tech that adjusts the engine, gearbox and chassis to suit whatever unsealed surface you’re traversing.

Beyond that, I would spend £690 on the Convenience Pack that brings a powered tailgate and manual rear side sunblinds, and £340 on the 36-month subscription to Secure Tracker Pro, because you might have heard that previous-gen Range Rover Sports have a propensity for being pinched…

The final two options (a cabin purification system, and rear-seat entertainment screens) I’ll tell you about after a trip away from the mud and into the Sport’s natural habitat: London.

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