Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Sporty SUV offers performance, luxury and seven seats

8.8
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 14 reviews
  • Brilliant all-rounder
  • Luxurious interior
  • Great to drive
  • Expensive
  • Drinks fuel
  • Little else
 

£59,700 - £88,780 Price range

 

5 - 7 Seats

 

22 - 45 MPG

Review

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport costs around £15,000 less than the standard Range Rover, but shares its combination of luxury and off-road ability. Its competes with a host of posh SUVs including models such as the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and the Volvo XC90.

It starts from £59,700 and you can buy it via carwow and save an average of £3,520

In 2015 the car was given more kit, a new infotainment system and a revised 3.0-litre diesel engine.

The Range Rover Sport may be huge, but it’s surprisingly agile in corners, with remarkably little body lean and huge levels of grip courtesy of its massive tyres. Despite its name, though, the Sport is better suited to comfortable cruising, where its suspension irons out bumps beautifully. 

While it may not be sports-car nimble, the Sport is quick. Even the entry-level 3.0-litre diesel can get from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and return fuel economy of just over 40mpg. The supercharged 5.0-litre petrol SVR rockets from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds, but costs a fortune to run.

There are a few big off-roaders out there that don’t offer roomy cabins, despite their size, but thankfully the Range Rover isn’t one of them. It has has space for five adults and a pair of kids’ seats that fold out from the car’s massive boot.

Standard kit includes a powerful stereo, climate control, leather seats, plus front and rear parking sensors.

Land Rover is preparing to launch a fourth Range Rover model – a coupe SUV that could be called the Velar. Read our Range Rover Sport Coupe article for full details and photos of the prototype.

You can find detailed information about the Range Rover Sport dimensions and available colours using our quick guides.

Land Rover has announced the Range Rover Sport will be available with a new 2.0-litre diesel engine and a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 – borrowed from the F-Type – from 2017. Read our dedicated guide for full details on these new engines and find out what other upgrades the new car will receive.

Cheapest to buy:  3.0-litre SDV6 HSE diesel

Cheapest to run: 3.0-litre SDV6 HSE diesel

Fastest model: 5.0-litre SVR petrol

Most popular: 3.0-litre SDV6 HSE diesel

Inside, it’s just as luxurious as the Range Rover, but a little more sporty. The tall transmission tunnel that runs in between the two front seats gives the interior a cocoon-like feel – similar to a sports car, albeit a very tall one. The trim colours are also more vibrant than the sombre ones used in the Sport’s bigger brother. 

Changes made in 2015 mean the car car now be opened via a smartphone app, courtesy of the new infotainment system, but the clarity of its graphics, and the speed with which is reacts, still fall behind the ones found in the likes of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7.

Range Rover Sport passenger space

It’s comfortable wherever you’re sitting, though in models with seven seats the rear couple are best occupied by children, rather than adults. Visibility is excellent thanks to the usual commanding Range Rover driving position, though, you sit a little lower and a little more snug in this car than the larger Range Rover.

Range Rover Sport boot space

It’s more spacious than the old car. The 489-litre boot is big enough for most people’s needs and it rises to a huge 1,761 litres with the seats down. The revised model is also available with a gesture-release tailgate, so you can open it by simply sweeping your foot under the rear bumper.

Check out our full breakdown of the Range Rover Sport’s dimensions to see if you can squeeze it into your lifestyle.

A massive 400-kilo diet over the previous car has transformed the way the Sport drives. “Sport” is still pushing it in truth as it’ll never out-handle a Porsche Boxster for example, but then the Boxster can’t carry your full family or head off-road either. For its size, the Sport is alarmingly capable. One reviewer says it handles like a car half its size, the steering is sharp and the body remains level in the bends.

Drive more sedately and it plays the luxury car game as well as a Mercedes S-Class. Refinement at speed is excellent, the ride quality is cosseting and it’s almost exactly as comfortable as its bigger brother. You’ll be pleased to learn it’s just as good off road as the Range Rover, too.

The Sport now has the same power units as the Range Rover. That’s a 3.0 SDV6 diesel, a 4.4 V8 diesel, the 3.0 diesel hybrid and the loopy supercharged V8 petrol. Not a single Sport takes longer than seven seconds to dash to from 0-60mph, so performance won’t be an issue, whatever version you pick.

Range Rover Sport diesel engines

If you’re tempted to go frugal, the smaller diesel runs around 38mpg combined, while the hybrid kicks that up to a theoretical 44mpg – though it’s a bit pricey to buy. The V8 diesel makes a much nicer noise and 32.5mpg doesn’t seem like too much of a penalty.

Range Rover Sport petrol engines

The supercharged V8 petrol’s 510hp will suck down fuel at the rate of 22mpg as it launches you at the horizon from a standstill in 5.0 seconds. Not enough? There’s a 550hp SVR version – with the same engine as found in the Jaguar XFR-S – which is half a second quicker.

At almost double the claimed economy of the V8 supercharged petrol, the diesel already has already won the battle in the UK - it'll outsell the petrol car by a huge amount.

Luckily, there are more reasons to opt for the V6 diesel than just saving money. "In reality, it delivers all the performance you'd need" says one tester, and at sub-7 seconds to 60 - on par with a typical 200 bhp hot hatch - it's not hard to see what they mean. What's more, most testers find the engine's muted hum not just unintrusive, but pleasant, and the 8-speed auto gearbox is excellent.

That it can manage 38 mpg combined and cost half that of the V8 to tax is just the icing on the cake.

If you didn't think it was possible to have fun in a couple of tons of off-roader, think again. With a 510 PS supercharged V8 under the bonnet - pinched from the Jaguar XJ Supersport - the Range Rover Sport is "breathtaking".

There's "instant grunt" from the supercharged engine, enough to sweep to 60 in five seconds flat. It's as refined as you like but creates a fantastic noise when you're accelerating hard, and the 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox is as smooth and fast here as it is in everything else.

It's a brilliant engine and drivetrain, but one that makes little sense in the UK - 22 mpg official economy, £490 per year road tax and real-world mid-teens economy see to that. For the realist, the diesel is a better bet.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

The Range Rover Sport hasn’t been specifically tested by Euro NCAP, but safety ratings can be inferred from its bigger brother. The Sport inherits quite a lot of its physical attributes and electronic jiggery-pokery from the Range Rover.

This should be a five-star car then, particularly with all of the gizmos intended to make the car more capable across variable terrain. There are eleven active safety systems to avoid an accident in the first place – advanced stability control, roll control and eight airbags.

There are two ways of looking at this. The “glass half full” way is that at £20,000 less than the equivalent “proper” Range Rover, yet offering most of its ability and the option of two extra seats, it’s an incredible bargain and a borderline essential purchase.

The other is that it’s still a fair chunk of change and a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne will get you more economy and even better handling for less money. Then again, to get a Cayenne that goes faster than the top-end Sport you have to spend over £10k more, and by the time you reach that level you could probably afford both if you desired.

Range Rover Sport equipment

Four levels of equipment are offered for the Range Rover Sport – HSE, HSE Dynamic, Autobiography Dynamic and SVR. Two trim levels stand out and those are the HSE and the SVR. There are many colour combinations for the Range Rover Sport and our colour guide might help ease the process of choosing the right combination.

Range Rover Sport HSE

HSE, being the cheapest in the Range Rover Sport range, is adequately equipped for its price – adaptive suspension, LED xenon headlights, satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors and an electric tailgate stand out from the long list.

Range Rover Sport SVR

The SVR is the most driver focused trim level in the model line-up – brembo brakes, carbon fibre styling touches, 21-inch alloy wheels and special sports seats are just a few of the performance oriented upgrades the SVR gets.  Read our full review of the Range Rover Sport SVR

Conclusion

With luxury, practicality, performance, decent economy and good looks, it’s well worth considering if you’re in the market for a new luxury SUV. The new Range Rover Sport is a brilliant vehicle. 

It has a breadth of abilities greater than almost any other car on the road, not only improving on its predecessor but almost showing up its larger Range Rover brother. And at a £20,000 saving.

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