Prior to the Evoque, the Range Rover Sport was technically the baby of the Range Rover err, range but climbing up into the drivers seat youll still be very aware of its size.
In fact, it doesnt feel a great deal smaller than the regular Range Rover, and shares the high, commanding driving position. Many of the engines available are similar to those in the full-fat Range Rover too. So why exactly should you buy the Sport?
It might be for the looks. The Sport is a little lower and sleeker – if such a term can be used on 2.5 tonnes of off-roader – and rounds off a few of the traditional Range Rover corners. Interior space hasnt suffered greatly, and you still get good visibility from the large windows.
The dash is more car-like than the cliff face youll find in the regular Range Rover, but quality is still top-class. All the trim feels (and is) expensive with soft leather, polished surfaces, and aluminium trim. Nor is comfort ever in doubt.
With the 3.0-litre TDV6 engine, it just about lives up to the Sport billing. Performance is strong, and even when youre surging down the road the engine is quiet and refined. It steers and grips well, though youre permanently aware of the cars weight so theres no incentive to really throw the Sport through corners.
Ride quality is acceptable. It never gets close to being uncomfortable, but it patters over low-speed bumps a little more than you might expect from a luxury vehicle. The only other question mark over refinement is wind noise. This is a tall, square vehicle, so the whoosh of wind is never too far away at higher speeds.
Price as tested: 67,995 (approx.)
Combined mpg: 32.1
CO2: 230 g/km
The Range Rover Sport appeals as a well-built, high-on-image off-roader, but it lacks the sense of occasion found in the regular Range Rover. In fairness, its the cheaper vehicle, but the even cheaper Range Rover Evoque makes the Sport feel a lot less sporty, too.
The Sports bigger problem is the proliferation of incredibly talented rivals – from BMW X5s to Porsche Cayennes – that all offer a more road-biased drive, at the expense of some off-road ability. And how often do Range Rover Sport owners really go off road?…
For more information, check out our full summary of the Range Rover Sport alongside reviews, photos, stats and videos!