Range Rover Sport review
If you can afford to run it, the Range Rover Sport is a hugely capable SUV which combines luxury, performance, and unbeaten off-road ability
We are big fans of the Range Rover Sport. It’s one of the most popular premium SUVs currently available, and deservedly so: the Sport is great to drive and fully lives up to its name with strong performance and size-defying handling prowess. The seriously potent SVR version, meanwhile, is a genuine sports car on stilts, but even the SDV6 has ample power.
It’s as luxurious as you’d expect a big car wearing the Range Rover badge to be, and although not cheap to buy, it’s such an accomplished and impressive machine that it still earns a full five-star rating. There’s little to fault and a lot to like: with owners telling us they’re equally delighted, we’re happy to recommend it.
The Range Rover Sport was first introduced in 2005 as a trendier, more accessible alternative to the full-sized Range Rover. This allowed the bigger model to move further upmarket, while the Sport competed with cars like the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5.
The current model, launched in 2013, is the second generation of Range Rover Sport. While the original model was based on the same platform as the Land Rover Discovery, and was massively heavy as a result, this model is all-aluminium and significantly lighter. That pays dividends on and off-road, and the Sport is an amazingly capable vehicle wherever you take it, given its size.
Land Rover sells the Range Rover Sport in a single five-door bodystyle, with this generation introducing the option of third-row seats in the rear. That makes this the first seven-seat Range Rover, as not even its bigger brother seats more than five. The arrival of a three-row version was partly in response to customer demand.
The range is built around Land Rover’s best-selling engine, a 3.0-litre SDV6 turbodiesel. It’s joined by a 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel, 2.0-litre, 3.0-litre four-cylinder and 5.0-litre V8 petrols and a 2.0-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid.
Another intriguing addition to the range is the SVR version, using a more highly tuned version of the V8 petrol motor.
There are five trim levels to choose from: HSE, HSE Dynamic, HST and Autobiography Dynamic, plus the aforementioned SVR.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIf you can afford to run it, the Range Rover Sport is a hugely capable SUV which combines luxury, performance, and unbeaten off-road ability
- 2Engines, performance and driveSerious performance despite its size, plus a seriously capable drive that is sporty, comfortable and peerless off road
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe V6 diesel isn’t bad on fuel economy, in contrast to the thirsty petrols. Running costs will still be high, though – it is a Range Rover, after all.
- 4Interior, design and technologyA wonderful interior, more than worthy of the Range Rover badge, that's packed with technology - although it's not quite latest-generation stuff
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA roomy, well-planned interior is very comfortable and feel-good; the boot's flexible and handy too
- 6Reliability and SafetyLand Rover has a poor reputation for reliability, but the Range Rover Sport is disproving this. Safety is strong, too