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Drive

The Range Rover Sport

One of the world’s greatest new cars, if you don’t have that ‘perfect partner’, you may as well buy a Sport
Available from launch with a 3.0 litre V6 diesel and various reiteration to the big (and best in our view) 5.0 litre V8 petrol you’ll get more than enough real world road oomph with any option you choose

We’d heard so much about ‘how good’ the new Range Rover Sport was long before we’d actually driven it, so expectations were high. Wow factor news kept dripping through the motoring press as more and more of us got behind the wheel. We at OX and HC reserved judgement until such time as it landed outside the office. By the time we returned it to its owner we were raving about it like excited kids. Like the perfect partner it suits your every need, so if you don’t have that ‘perfect partner’, you may as well buy a Range Rover Sport.


 

The Range Rover Sport is a far cry from being simply a performance version of the new car. It’s more than that by quite a margin. It’s lighter by a staggering 420kg. Disguishable from the standard Range Rover by a more compact and sporting grille. It also sits lower than its cousin. Available from launch with a 3.0 litre V6 diesel and various reiteration to the big (and best in our view) 5.0 litre V8 petrol (see spec below) you’ll get more than enough real world road oomph with any option you choose. Side by side with the standard car, the Sport certainly cuts more of a dash without any hint of bling or flash – it’s just, well…cool.

Inside, the far improved redesigned dash drives home just how much a new and fresh approach was needed, but by far the greatest improvement is the rear seating space. Relatively poor rear seat room was always a drawback in the Range Rover, but now being seated at the rear is properly comfortable, with an impressive extra 24 mm of seating space. It can turn 7 seater too if you opt for the occasional extra two seat option – and they lie flat in repose with no loss of bootspace as a result. What’s more, the quality of fit and finish all round is absolutely fit for purpose, with better quality look and feel to all interior finish options over its predecessor.

Top ride

Both 3.0 litre Diesel and 5.0 litre petrol deliver an excellent ride – the former is the ‘Sport for the People’ in terms of cost and performance, whilst the 5.0 litre petrol is the Supercar version for Arab Sheiks in the open desert – and of course for the likes of you and I who share the love of sheer pace, a fantastic V8 brawl, combined with hard core performance and big-time practicality to boot. The 5.0 litre is totally illogical in common sense terms in Britain, but totally logical for the petrol heads amongst us, plus the Americans, the Arabs, the Russians and the Chinese. Be assured, all can climb Everest.

Speaking of which, there are the whole gambit of terrain options open to those who want to go Rambo 5 Star. Here’s the trick – you don’t need to use them – whilst you can toggle and twist at leisure, latest Range Rover technology enables the car to automatically adapt terrain options to suit.

It is often said that there are hardly any poor new cars on the market these days. That’s an arguable point, but excellent ones are few and far between. To us, the Range Rover Sport can credibly be referred to as ‘excellent’.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic 5dr

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds. Top Speed: 138mph. MPG: 37.7mpg. CO2: 199g/km. Price: £74,995.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 HSE 5dr

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds. Top Speed: 130mph. MPG: 37.7mpg. CO2: 199g/km. Price: £59,995.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 HSE Dynamic 5dr

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds. Top Speed: 138mph. MPG: 37.7mpg. CO2: 199g/km. Price: £64,995.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 TDV6 SE 5dr

0-62mph: 7.1 seconds. Top Speed: 130mph. MPG: 38.7mpg. CO2: 199g/km. Price: £51,550.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography Dynamic 5dr

0-62mph: 5 seconds. Top Speed: 155mph. MPG: 22.1mpg. CO2: 298g/km. Price: £81,550.

 

- Kevin Haggarthy