The Range Rover Sport is a luxurious SUV with space for five adults and a decent boot. It’s comfortable and relaxing to drive, but alternatives are more fun
The Range Rover Sport is a good choice if you want a posh car that’s brilliant for family life. Other models are sportier to drive but few can match the Range Rover’s luxurious cabin and impressive off-road ability.
It was launched in 2012 and updated in 2017 with revised looks, new engines and an updated infotainment system that’s easier to use and has sharper graphics.
This new screen makes the Range Rover Sport’s interior feel very modern indeed, but it still isn’t quite as intuitive as the more conventional single-screen display you get in a BMW X6.
Look past the slightly fiddly infotainment system, however, and you’ll find the Range Rover Sport’s very practical indeed. There’s acres of space in the front and enough room for two tall adults in the back. You can add a third row of seats to turn it into a seven-seater, but the rearmost seats are only really suitable for kids. It also has a boot that’s large and easy to load.
The Range Rover Sport isn’t just a big practical box on wheels, however – it also feels very upmarket thanks to its lashings of leather and numerous metal and satin-effect trims. Few alternatives can match the feel-good factor of the Range Rover Sport’s luxurious cabin.
They also struggle to match the Range Rover Sport’s comfort – especially on the motorway. Its air suspension (standard on all but basic models) smooths out most bumps and potholes and all cars come with laminated windows that keep road and wind noise to an absolute minimum. All models get an automatic gearbox that changes gear very smoothly as standard, too. It’s nowhere near as responsive as the ‘boxes you get in a BMW or Audi, but it’s so relaxing that you won’t care.
That’s not to say the Range Rover Sport isn’t quick. All models have a decent turn of speed, but you’re best off going for a 3.0-litre V6 diesel for its mixture of refinement, fuel economy and performance.
Driving the Range Rover Sport feels a bit like nipping to the shops in Windsor Castle
Whichever engine you pick, it’s worth knowing that the Range Rover Sport is – unlike most premium SUVs – very good off-road. Sure, you’ll probably never use it, but just knowing you can go places most others can’t is all part of the experience of owning a car like this.
Safety will likely take a higher precedence if you’ll be using it to carry your family though, so you’ll be pleased to hear the Range Rover Sport was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP. The only slight fly in the ointment is that the score was achieved under 2012’s less stringent test conditions, and more advanced safety systems that are standard in alternatives from Audi and Mercedes cost extra in the Range Rover.
Nonetheless, it still deserves a place on your shortlist if you’re on the hunt for a luxurious SUV that can take family life and the odd off-road jaunt in its stride. You can read more detailed and in-depth analysis of the Range Rover Sport in our following interior, driving and specifications review sections.