The Range Rover Sport’s interior has more leather and wood than the stud pen at a cattle farm, but the infotainment isn’t as easy to use as in other posh SUVs
The Range Rover Sport has an interior that feels expensive and makes you feel special.
It has loads of clever technology but the dashboard has very few buttons because most of the Range Rover’s systems are controlled via a large infotainment screen.
The only conventional buttons and knobs you’ll find are reserved for things such as the car’s ventilation system, so they’re easy to feel for as you drive down the road, and they have a solid action that makes them feel like they’ll last the life of the car.
Leather is pretty much everywhere you look and the two-tone colour options help brighten up the cabin. Where there isn’t leather, you’ll find trim pieces that look and feel expensive, although the shiny black plastics used for the centre console do show up greasy finger marks.
The frameless rear-view mirror is a nice touch, and the sun visors come with neat LED light surrounds that makes them look a little like changing-room mirrors in an antique theatre. The only hard plastics you’ll find are tucked right down by the seat controls, so you’ll barely notice them.
HSE models come with soft leather seats, have cold-to-the-touch aluminium trim pieces and cool mood lighting that gives the cabin a warm glow.
Mid-range Autobiography versions come with a panoramic glass roof that makes the Range Rover Sport‘s already capacious cabin feel absolutely vast. You can even open it and close it using gestures rather than buttons – rather like dismissing a mistreated servant.
Go for the high-spec Autobiography Dynamic version, and you get even softer aniline leather and slabs of wood veneer that give the Range Rover Sport’s interior the air of a study in a posh country house.
The Range Rover Sport’s interior is just a log fire and a gun rack away from being like the drawing room in a large country house
The top display is used for the car’s satellite navigation, and it’s controlled entirely via the touchscreen. It is quick and easy to enter postcodes into, although it’s a little trickier to use on the move than the fixed-wheel controller you get in models such as the BMW X6 or the Mercedes GLE Coupe. The Range Rover Sport’s system understands smartphone style finger gestures, such as pinch and swipe, but it can be a little laggy at times.
Land Rover’s Connect Pro system is also fitted, so the sat-nav gets real-time traffic updates, can search for places of interest online and (with the InControl app downloaded on your phone) pass directions to your phone when you park up and need to walk to your destination. On top of that, the Connect Pro system adds a 4G wifi hotspot for you and your passengers.
That leaves the bottom screen to deal with a variety of other systems. Primarily it’s used to fine-tune the ventilation system, but swiping from left to right brings up a plethora of other menus such as the Range Rover Sport’s Terrain Response off-road system. The bottom screen looks great, but it can be a fiddle to use when you’re driving – especially because it’s sunk fairly low in the cabin and its numerous menu buttons are quite small.
In addition to those two central screens, you get another 12.3-inch display that takes the place of conventional dials in the car’s instrument binnacle. This bright, colourful screen can provide phone and media information, and give you a large sat-nav display right in your eye line. It’s good enough to make upgrading to the rather expensive head-up-display option seem like a waste of money, but the Audi Q8’s similar screen still feels a cut above.