Range Rover Sport
With blistering handling credentials and looks to die for, the Range Rover Sport is always on any style guru’s wish-list. There is a new plug-in hybrid version that could be the perfect choice for drivers with short day-to-day commutes but who enjoy getting away to the countryside at the weekend. It is also awesome off-road.
The goodBeautiful handling and dynamics
The badOwners too scared to test it out off road - awesome!
Range Rover Sport SDV6 3.0 HSE Dynamic
When you get behind the wheel of one of Land Rovers premium models you naturally take it for granted that it will be dripping with elegant and luxurious features, offer outstanding comfort levels, be exceptionally good off-road and get plenty of envious glances from onlookers.
What you don’t always account for are the awesome driving dynamics on road and that’s one of the first factors that should spring to mind when you climb aboard the latest Range Rover Sport.
Similarly to its larger Range Rover sibling, the Sport model has been on a strict diet and shed the pounds. The aluminium platform along with some other weight-saving measures has resulted in a car that is 420kgs lighter than its predecessor and that is excellent news on the driving, performance and efficiency front.
Buyers can select from four generously-equipped trim levels and the Range Rover Sport is priced from £64,085 for the entry level HSE model rising to £101,145 for the mighty 5.0-litre V8 Supercharged SVR. Owners can also choose between five or seven seat versions, along with a range of efficient powertrains.
We tested the Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic model powered by a SDV6 3.0-litre, 306hp, 700Nm Turbodiesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It was priced at £70,445 (£78,095 with options) and could sprint to 60mph from a standing start in a very impressive 6.8 seconds and maxed out at 140mph. According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 185g/km.
But it’s the manner in which it reacts and behaves on the road that cannot fail to impress. Despite its larger-than-life dimensions and still quite hefty 2.2-tonne weight, the Range Rover Sport is exquisitely nimble. Out on the open road, it is perfectly balanced and glides through sweeping bends without any sign of body sway. The road holding is excellent and the acceleration through the gears is as rapid as you want it to be. There are steering wheel-mounted paddles if you want to take extra control over gear changes.
On fast-moving motorways, the Range Rover Sport quickly reaches the national speed limit. However there is still plenty of power on offer, so keep a watchful eye on the speedo. Then in busy town centres, it proved agile and easy to manoeuvre with the parking sensors and rear-view camera making light work of parking. The great all-round visibility is another plus factor.
The Range Rover Sport is beautifully designed both inside and out with plenty of head-turning design cues. Our model was supplied in a stunning Firenze Red colour with a black contrast roof, along with body-coloured sills and bumper corners, privacy glass, a gloss black tailgate, a fixed panoramic roof and 21-inch gloss black alloy wheels.
Move inside and the interior is kitted out with the finest lavish materials and fittings with the likes of Windsor leather upholstery, piano black finishes and lots of soft touch surfaces. Techno treats are plentiful although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will not be available until 2019.
Nevertheless, creature comforts are plentiful and include the company’s impressive Touch Pro Duo set-up that combines two 10-inch touchscreens offering the likes of a pitch perfect Meridian sound system, a premium sat nav system, rearview camera, WiFi setting, Bluetooth connectivity and plenty more besides. The top screen is where all the infotainment systems are located and the bottom screen is responsible for climate control matters.
Our test model was designed for five occupants but customers can opt for seven seats if required. The cabin is spacious and there is ideally room for two backs seat passengers to travel in complete comfort – introduce a third and it gets a little cosy. Rear seat occupants are treated to heated seats along with their very own eight-inch entertainment system with screens in the back of the front headrests so they can watch a movie on the go. They also have their own USB and HDMI ports.
Being an SUV, storage options need to be good and they are. The boot area is accessed via a powered gesture tailgate and it boasts a capacity that ranges from 522 to 1,686 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there is a centre console with armrest, a lockable double glovebox, front and rear cup holders, a rear centre armrest, door pockets and some handy trays. There are also lashing points in the boot to secure items if necessary.
Although we didn’t venture off road on this occasion, the Range Rover Sport is very capable away from the Tarmac where it can wade through water up to 850mm deep, clamber over rocks and obstacles with ample ground clearance, lean at nerve-racking angles and it can also tow a caravan, trailer or horsebox weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.
And when you factor in the multitude of safety specifications and driver aids, the Range Rover Sport is a brilliant all-rounder that has scooped numerous awards and continues to go from strength to strength.
Range Rover Sport Si4 P400e PHEV
Boasting clever hybrid technology, the latest Range Rover Sport could be the perfect vehicle for anyone looking for a powerful go-anywhere 4×4 that is also exceptionally economical to run on short daily commutes.
That’s because the Range Rover Sport PHEV – or P400e as its officially known – is powered by a2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine that works in tandem with an 85kW electric motor to produce a combined 404hp and 640Nm of torque.
The vehicle can clock up to 31 miles in EV-only mode at speeds up to 85mph and the addition of the combustion engine means there will never be any range anxiety.
However, this hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport won’t be for everyone. It costs about £5k more than the standard model, so the running cost figures need to stack up to make it a viable choice. It would be ideal for anyone who has a relatively short commute to work where the vehicle could be put on charge again ready for the journey home. Basically, it would need to cover lots of EV miles to make financial sense.
But that doesn’t mean it is restricted to city life or short journeys because the punchy petrol engine cuts in effortlessly when needed and that means long day trips for all the family are easily accomplished.
The Range Rover Sport P400e is available in three generously-equipped trim levels called HSE, HSE Dynamicand Autobiography Dynamic. We tested the HSE Dynamic model priced at £73,800 (£74,860with options).It could sprint from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds and maxed out at 137mph.
According to official figures, it can deliver combined mileage of 101mpg which, like all hybrid vehicle mpg estimations, is pretty much pie in the sky. In reality,you can expect to see low to mid-30s if driven with a little respect. However, one figure that is without question is the carbon emissions rating of 64g/km and that will result in great financial rewards with a Benefit in Kind rate of just 13 per cent.
The Range Rover Sport has always been a fabulous vehicle to drive with its imposing presence on the road combined with excellent handling capabilities and adding the hybrid technology hasn’t affected the performance. Admittedly, if you slam the accelerator down hard the transition from EV-only mode to hybrid power is noticeable, but if driven ‘normally’ you will barely notice the petrol engine cutting in. It is also quite eerie pulling away in complete silence – EV charge limit permitting.
The car has a beautifully timed eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles for manually changing gears. The acceleration through the gearbox is smooth and responsive with a constant stream of power on tap for short bursts of pace to pass slower moving vehicles. The road-holding is confident and assured with minimal body movement into tight bends.
Although we stuck strictly to the Tarmac on this occasion, the Range Rover Sport P400eis more than capable when faced with an obstacle course of rough terrain, rivers, boulders, sand or mud. It features Land Rover’s impressive Terrain Response system which means it has go-anywhere capabilities – even in EV-only mode. It can wade through water up to 850mm deep, clear obstacles of 213mm and lean at precariously dangerous side angles. Different surfaces won’t faze the car either as it can switch through various terrain settings called Eco, Comfort, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Ruts and Sand.
And when it comes to styling, the hybrid is a real head turner and features the latest design tweaks to the Range Rover Sport line-up. It boasts strong muscular styling with a black grille and side vents, Matrix headlights with signature daytime running lights, privacy glass, 21-inch alloys with red brake calipers and a panoramic sunroof.
Move inside and the interior is equally as impressive with a modern, upmarket and sophisticated feel to it. The Windsor leather seats have 16-way power adjustment and can be heated. The leather multi-function steering wheel can also be heated and there are satin chrome gearshift paddles.
And there is a wealth of on-board technology to explore too, including a Touch Pro Duo system that combines two 10-inch touchscreens and offers the likes of a premium navigation system, pitch perfect sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, Pro Services with 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, a rear-view camera, two-zone climate control and lots more besides. Noticeable by its absence though, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto even as an optional extra.
The comfort levels within the car are excellent with ample space for up to five occupants. Up front the seat controls have been moved to the side doors freeing up some extra space for slightly wider seats. And the high roofline means back seat passengers never feel claustrophobic.
The introduction of the highly efficient hybrid technology has eaten into the vehicle’s storage space a little. With all seats in an upright position, the boot has a 446–litre limit compared to 522 litres on a standard Range Rover Sport and with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat that capacity increases to 1,236 litres (1,313 litres on a standard car). The other compromise is the full-sized spare wheel is replaced by a repair kit to free up extra space.
When it comes to charging the car, the plug-in charge point is cleverly hidden behind a panel on the grille and it can be charged in 7.5 hours using a domestic plug socket or 2.45 hours on a fast charger.
And the Range Rover Sport PHEV is a safe choice too as it carries the same maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating as the non-hybrid version.
So, all in all, the Range Rover Sport P400e is a wonderful addition to the premium marque’s extensive line-up. It’s perfect for lots of day-to-day EV-only driving during the week and then is the ideal vehicle to escape to the countryside in at the weekend.
Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 HSE Dynamic
It never fails to amaze me that a car the size of the Range Rover Sport can deliver such outstanding and agile driving dynamics. After all it weighs more than two tonnes, can carry up to seven people, boasts all the off-roading capabilities associated with the Land Rover name, yet it can complete a 0-60mph dash in a very brisk 6.8 seconds.
And of course, it looks pretty awesome too thanks to its upright yet athletic stance. Eye-catching features include 21-inch alloys, a sliding panoramic roof, front fog lamps, sweeping light clusters with xenon headlamps, plenty of unique badging, twin tailpipes and neat puddle lamps that display a mini Range Rover when the front doors are opened after dark.
Step up into the cabin and there is a wealth of technology to be explored, including all the connectivity options and latest creature comforts you could wish for. There is an eight-inch high resolution touchscreen with dual view so the passenger can watch a movie while the driver sees the usual read-outs. Also included is a Meridian sound system with radio, CD player, MP3 compatibility plus 17 speakers and subwoofer.
The all-round comfort levels are sublime with the very finest leather upholstery, heated powered seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-colour ambient mood lighting, a head-up display, two-zone climate control and plenty more besides. Another plus-point is the simple manner in which the rear seats can be raised and lowered automatically.
The elevated driving position means the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility and when it comes to performance the Range Rover Sport lives up to all the hype too. The test car was powered by a 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The car is fast out the blocks as mentioned above and has a top speed of 130mph. According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 185g/km.
Despite its large dimensions, the Range Rover Sport is beautifully agile and the ride quality is outstanding. The car features the company’s Adaptive Dynamics system which adjusts the vehicle’s air suspension according to the road conditions. The acceleration is rapid, smooth and constant and there is very little body roll, which means the car can be thrown enthusiastically into tight bends. There are steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts so the driver can change gear manually if required and all the controls and readouts are ideally positioned for ease of use.
On fast-paced motorways, the outside road and wind noise is kept to a minimum thanks to the highly efficient insulation and any engine sound is barely noticeable even when the vehicle is pushed hard.
In busy town centre traffic, the Range Rover Sport was nimble and easy to manoeuvre and parking was made simple thanks to the camera and sensors.
Storage options are good too with a boot capacity that ranges from 489 litres to 1,761 litres depending on seat positioning. There is also a number of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a generously-sized glovebox, cup holders and deep central bin.
And of course, coming from the Land Rover stable, the Range Rover Sport is a very accomplished off-roader too and is considered by many experts as the leader in its class. On-board features include automatic Terrain Response which adapts the car’s settings to the conditions, wading sensors and plenty more besides.
All in all, the Range Rover Sport really is the complete package. It looks fabulous, drives beautifully, is packed with the latest technology and will not be fazed by one of Mother Nature’s mood swings. Admittedly, it will make a considerable dent in the savings – the test car was priced at £67,150 (£80,425 with options) but some things in life are worth saving a little harder for and this is definitely one of them.
Range Rover Sport 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography Dynamic
When Land Rover introduced its all-new Range Rover Sport, it came with a bit of a claim to fame. It is the company’s fastest ever production car to date.
So it seemed only fitting to test out the daddy of the line-up – the 5.0 V8 Supercharged version in range-topping Autobiography Dynamic trim.
This is the one that can sprint to 60mph from a standing start in just five seconds and tops out at 140mph. It’s also the one that oozes class, charm and more techno treats than you can shake a stick at!
The vehicle looks drop dead gorgeous from any angle. It boasts an athletic, sporty stance with muscular lines and the test car featured a panoramic sunroof, sweeping light clusters and massive 22-inch alloy split spoke wheels.
The beautifully-crafted interior is packed to bursting with class-leading technology that befits a flagship model of this quality.
For example, the premium leather seats are electrically adjustable in 14 ways and can be heated or cooled (and that includes those in the back too), the headrests are softer than your favourite pillow, there is a dual view touchscreen so the passenger can watch a DVD whilst the driver sees only the standard information.
Elsewhere, there is a rear seat entertainment system for those in the back with individual colour screens mounted into the rear of the front seats.
The Meridian sound system is premium quality and produces pitch perfect tones with amazing clarity and to be honest, the list goes on and on… mood lighting, adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, heated steering wheel, HD navigation, a powered tailgate etc.
Admittedly, this is the king of the Range Rover Sport line-up and whilst the entry-level model can be snapped up for a mere £51,500, this one costs £81,550, plus £9,450 optional extras, so it’s not exactly cheap. But in fairness to Land Rover, nothing about this vehicle is.
And all the luxury and technical wizardry aside, the Range Rover Sport is also incredibly capable off-road too, so nothing Mother Nature has in mind will be an issue. I can personally vouch for the fact that it can wade through rivers, climb steep and muddy inclines, trample over rocks and boulders and be driven at almost unbelievable angles in its quest to get from A to B.
These challenges are achieved with the utmost confidence not only because of the years of Land Rover 4×4 know-how, but also because the latest Range Rover Sport has shed the pounds and is up to 420kgs lighter than its predecessor.
And that significant weight loss also means the car is beautifully agile when driven on more traditional surfaces. Despite its larger-than-life size, the vehicle is very responsive and easy to manoeuvre. The high-seated driving position means the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility although the trio of rear headrests can get in the way at times.
The efficiently insulated cabin means there is next-to-no engine or road surface noise no matter what speed you are travelling at, although the car always starts up with a mighty roar – a taster of what’s in store.
That’s because the 5.0-litre petrol-driven engine delivers breath-taking power which can propel you like a shot out of a gun. The driving dynamics are flawless along with the ride and if you’re feeling brave, the response can be made a little edgier by selecting the sport driving mode. There are also steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts if you want a little more control over the gear changes.
Admittedly, the Range Rover Sport is not going to make any friends within Greenpeace thanks to whopping carbon emissions of 298g/km and the less than frugal combined fuel efficiency of just 22.1mpg will mean regular visits to the petrol pumps.
But, in all honesty so what! The Range Rover Sport is an absolute peach to look at, it’s a true pleasure to drive and it features more on-board technology than most techno geeks could dream of.
Range Rover Sport (2013)
When a manufacturer claims to have produced its fastest ever road car and they are willing to put it to the test, then it’s an opportunity too good to miss.
That was the case with Land Rover when it launched its new Range Rover Sport model.
Hot on the tail of its larger Range Rover sibling, the Sport has also shed the pounds. In fact it weights 420kgs lighter and that means better handling and driving dynamics along with improved fuel efficiency and a reduction in carbon emissions.
So then begs the question of where to put this vehicle to the test and the answer was simple – RAF Kemble in the Cotswolds where there was no trace of either a speed trap or traffic cop.
I drove the 3.0-litre SDV6 model in range-topping Autobiography trim priced at £74,995 delivering 292bhp model. Despite being less powerful than the mighty 5.0-litre Supercharged petrol model, it still proved a brilliant performer. It can sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 6.8 seconds and tops out at 138mph – no slouch then!
Land Rover is incredibly confident that the Range Rover Sport is more than capable of dealing with any challenge put in its path and we tested that confidence to the full.
Firstly, we raced to 100mph before slamming on the brakes just to show how accomplished, controlled and measured the Sport can be.
The braking was so impressive you could actually take your hands off the steering wheel and it didn’t move a fraction from its perfectly straight path ahead.
Next up was the speed test which isn’t exactly for the faint-hearted. With the vehicle planted bang in the middle of the runway and accelerator floored, the Sport rapidly clocked up the 128mph target and I must say it seem to accomplish it without too much effort.
But Land Rover weren’t finished with us yet. They wanted to show just how proficient the Sport is when dealing with tricky manoeuvres in confined spaces. So what better obstacle than climbing into the deck of a Boeing 747 cargo plane and driving through the fuselage that was littered with banks, ridges and parked cars before dropping back down to terra firma along ramps at 45 degrees.
Once again, it was achieved without any fuss (well not from the car anyway!)
And a thorough testing programme would never be complete without a visit to one of the company’s main off-road testing grounds at Eastnor Castle, where the Sport climbed hills, crossed uneven tracks and waded through streams.
Once again, we could only admire the all-round capabilities of the vehicle, which now comes fitted with the Terrain Response 2 system which assesses the driving conditions and adapts the vehicle accordingly so you are always ready to tackle any obstacle put in your path.
It moves smoothly between the five settings of General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl so all that’s required of the driver is steering, accelerating and braking.
And on the latest model, there is even a camera system that can pre-warn of the depth of water ahead so you don‘t exceed the car’s maximum one-metre wading limit.
So, I think it would be fair to say the Range Rover Sport lives up to all the Land Rover hype. All too often brands talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk – not so Land Rover.
But there’s more – the Range Rover Sport looks amazing with softer lines and grounded, ready-for-action stance, it’s crammed to bursting with technology and it delivers exceptionally high comfort levels for up to five or seven occupants depending on the model.
It boasts the signature Range Rover clamshell bonnet, slimmer lights, a sloping grille, along with side vents and a floating roof design. As one might expect, the interior is finished with the finest leathers and materials imaginable and the layout is simplistic yet truly effective with all controls and read-outs perfectly positioned for ease of use.
Priced from £51,550 for the 3.0-litre diesel SE and rising to £81,550 for the supercharged V8 model in top-of-the-range Autobiography Dynamic trim, the Range Rover Sport is guaranteed to take the Land Rover brand marching forward and some experts believe it could be in as much demand as the incredibly successful Range Rover Evoque.
Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 turbocharged Autobiography
Bring on the winter weather and I’m ready for it! That’s because I’m driving the top-of-the-range Autobiography version of the Range Rover Sport.
With its roughty-toughty design and amazing off-roading capabilities this 4×4 is just begging to get dirty and boy, how it handles a challenge.
Although 99.9 per cent of drivers will seldom leave the safety of the Tarmac in their beloved pride and joy, at the turn of a dial the Range Rover Sport is transformed from a luxury model complete with fluffy carpets into a robust vehicle capable of taking on sand, snow, streams, rocks and basically anything Mother Nature throws its way.
Guaranteed to turn heads, the vehicle looks great from any angle thanks to tinted windows, massive alloy wheels and a sunroof that allows light to flood into the cabin.
But once inside, there is definitely a softer side to the model. Apart from those soft carpets, passengers are treated to the utmost in luxurious sophistication.
There is a cooler box to keep drinks chilled, a dual view touchscreen so the front seat passenger can watch a DVD while the driver sees the usual information display. There are seats made from the finest leather that can be adjusted every which way to find the perfect driving position complete with memory settings.
Back seat passengers are treated to their own DVD sets and they too can enjoy the option of heated seats as they stretch out for the journey ahead.
There is stacks of storage room in the generously-sized boot which is opened and closed at the press of a button. Split folding rear seats mean the capacity can easily be increased and there are plenty of other storage options throughout the car, including a double glove-box.
And when it comes to performance the Land Rover Sport is deceptively fast. The 3.0-litre diesel engine powers it from 0-60mph in just 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 124mph.
Acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is very smooth and responsive and the handling is impossible to find fault with.
The vehicle easily absorbs all the bumps and dips along the way, and although there is a little road surface noise inside the cabin, this really is minimal.
Land Rover has packed a comprehensive array of safety specifications into this luxury 4×4 and the added surround camera system (£715 optional extra) makes parking in tight spaces a lot easier.
Admittedly at £70k with all the trimmings, this vehicle is not exactly cheap, but one thing is certain – the Autobiography is signed and sealed and guaranteed to be a best seller.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 V6
If it’s sheer class, luxurious comfort and brilliant performance you’re looking for then the Range Rover Sport is the perfect vehicle for you and delivers on all counts.
It has rugged, just-bring-it-on looks with a really tough design and if you are brave enough to take this little beauty off the beaten track, then it boasts outstanding off-roading capabilities too.
The interior is beautifully-crafted with all dials, controls, buttons and levers perfectly positioned for ease of use. And the list of creature comforts seems almost endless.
Now, it seems this vehicle is too good to be true and there has to be a downside somewhere and to be brutally frank the only negative point is the price. At a basic starting price of £54k which increased to about £60k with all the added extras, the Range Rover is not cheap, but the quality of build, driving capabilities and level of luxury make it outstanding value compared to some rival models of comparable costs but far inferior content.
The only way to describe the comfort levels offered in the Range Rover is to compare the seats to your very favourite armchair and then increase the cosiness ten-fold – it really is that good.
And with the added bonus of very efficient seat warmers with three heat adjustments, cold, wintry mornings don’t seem quite so bad after all.
And there is that added peace of mind with our unpredictable weather patterns of knowing that your vehicle will be able to eat up anything Mother Nature throws in its path.
In and around town, the Range Rover was deceptively agile and parking was made simple thanks to the high-seated driving position and the useful parking sensors.
But it’s out on the open road that this vehicle really delivers. The 3.0 V6 turbocharged diesel-powered engine delivers awesome power and the transition through the automatic gearbox is very smooth and responsive. There is the option of paddle shifting through the gears if desired too.
What really impressed me was how smooth the ride was.
Even at higher speeds the suspension ate up every bump or dip and cabin noise remained eerily quiet… unless, of course you decided to take advantage of some of the onboard entertainment features such as the DVD twin screen rear entertainment system, excellent sound system with iPod compatibility, DAB radio and much more.
There is sufficient room for five adults to travel in style with ample leg and head room and storage options are plentiful too with a larger-than-life boot and plenty of smaller compartments throughout the cabin.
Safety features are very comprehensive and include anti-lock brakes, a tyre pressure monitoring system, gradient acceleration control, hill start assist, plenty of airbags and the list goes on.
All in all, the Range Rover Sport is a brilliant vehicle that offers a safe and comfortable environment to all its occupants and to be honest, you can’t put a price on those assurances.