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Long-term review

Range Rover Sport D350 Autobiography - long-term review

£102,540 / as tested £117,385 / PCM £1474
Published: 14 May 2024
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Range Rover Sport D350 Autobiography

  • ENGINE

    2997cc

  • BHP

    344.6bhp

  • 0-62

    5.9s

Our long-term RRS has been stretching its legs this month, but would a Discovery be a better buy?

After a sheltered life of school runs, the Range Sport has stretched its legs this month to the tune of over 2,000 miles. It’s been from the south coast up to Merseyside three times, and to London just as often.

Mostly it’s just been me flying solo, podcast on, cranking through the miles, in which scenario the Range Sport is a fine long-distance tool. Supremely comfy seats (complete with massage function for a little pick-me-up), a good sound system, and a promised range of over 600 miles on a full tank are ideal travel companions.

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But introduce my wife and children, and a more critical gaze is cast over the red Rangie. Then you notice more the wing-mirror wind noise on motorways when instructions are being sent in from the back seats – though to the Range Sport’s credit the volume of white noise outside never rises much as speeds increase.

Two children onboard also highlights the elephant in the room, the optional Rear Seat Entertainment package that features two 11.4in high-definition screens. The system won’t work with the kids’ iPad (which they only use sparingly!) and while it plugs‘n’plays with my phone, it either presents a portrait view on one third of the screens, or in landscape mode fills the screens but crops crassly.

I’ve given up, and now the screens are locked, unloved and just in the way. Because when you’re the height of Reacher (not the prime specimen on Prime, but the taller one in the books) you must slide your seat way back. And given the screens protrude six inches from the rear of the front seats, it’s a squash and a squeeze for even little ones to then clamber into the back. At least my children no longer crack their heads on the screens, which was their modus operandi for the first few days after the Range Sport arrived. 

Thus specified, the Range Sport doesn’t seem that spacious. And I’m not 100% convinced by the boot either, given the exterior dimensions; my yardstick for luggage space is a battered old rubber mat from a Skoda Enyaq, and the Sport’s boot is no deeper and only a few inches wider. So, in the fleeting moment when the Sport wasn’t traversing the country this month, I borrowed the more practical Land Rover Discovery for a bit of compare and contrast.

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This one had no screens, so the sensation of additional space was instant, but while the Disco’s sliding rear seats seem a good idea, once you’ve cracked your knee on one of the runners, the appeal is over. And while I appreciated the Disco’s bigger boot, it’s nowhere near as dynamic as the Range Sport, and wobbles you side-to-side far too much on our rubbish local roads. To the extent my wife felt sick whenever she was in it.

Range Sport it is then – without the £3700 screens ideally. And on the bright side, I’ll now while away my next long solo journey thinking about fanciful ways to spend that money instead. A leggy Mk5 Golf GTI perhaps? Maybe golf clubs? And golf lessons of course. Even an iPad holder for the kids…

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