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Range Rover Sport 2009 review

We try diesel version of revised luxury SUV.

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

The Range Rover Sport may be a big, bling SUV, but sit in the impressive cabin and sample the super-refined engine and chassis set-up, and you’ll realise it delivers a feelgood factor that very few other cars can offer.

We've already been blown away by revised versions of the Discovery and Range Rover, but does the perennial footballer’s favourite continue the trend?

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The Range Rover Sport now looks less aggressive – a slimmer two-bar grille and simplified front bumper help soften the bluff appearance.

Land Rover has completely redesigned the Sport’s insides, too. There’s better-looking materials, lots of soft-touch surfaces and a 50 per cent fewer buttons. The Harman Kardon stereo is a highlight.

The Sport gains the new, cleaner twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel V6 also found in the Jaguar XF S. The engine is 29 per cent more powerful and has 36 per cent more torque than its 2.7-litre forebear. So, despite the car’s 2,535kg bulk, this pulling power means you never struggle for pace, while the ZF six-speed auto gearbox ensures smooth progress.

Despite the Sport’s on-road prowess, it remains a capable off-roader, too. The low range box and Terrain Response system allow you to overcome all manner of obstacles.

Thanks to an extra dose of luxury and a new powerful but efficient engine, the best sports SUV on the market just got a whole lot better.

Rival: Porsche Cayenne Diesel A diesel Porsche is big news. Performance is still strong from its 3.0-litre V6 TDI, but the oil-burning Cayenne costs £2,603 more than base petrol model.

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