The Range Rover Sport is a luxurious SUV with space for five adults and a big boot. It’s extremely comfortable but alternative models are more fun to drive
The Range Rover Sport is a fantastic 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 comfort.
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.
The new screen brings the Sport’s interior up to date, but the rest of the interior didn’t need changing – it’s still very practical with plenty of space in the front and enough room for two 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.
Despite the Sport’s practicality, it’s also feels very upmarket thanks to soft leather seats and leather on large parts of the dash. Factor in expensive-looking trim pieces and a minimalist look afforded by the high-tech new infotainment system and few alternatives can match the feel-good factor of the Range Rover’s cabin.
They also struggle to match the Range Rover Sport’s comfort. Its air suspension (standard on all but basic models) smooths out bumpy roads 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 incredibly smoothly – so relaxing you’re unlikely to care that a Porsche Cayenne is slightly more fun to drive.
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 with the 3.0-litre V6 diesel for its mixture of refinement, fuel economy and performance is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel.
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, and is packed with tech to help you get as far as possible across tricky terrain. 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 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 on more-recently launched alternatives cost extra in the Range Rover.
Nonetheless, it should be at the top of 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.