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Large Premium SUV of the Year 2023: Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport is the 2023 Auto Express Large Premium SUV of the Year, with the BMW iX and Land Rover Defender commended

It’s another win for Land Rover and its new Range Rover brand pillar in the Large Premium SUV category. But 2023 sees last year’s winner, the Defender, nudged aside by the Range Rover Sport.

The victory is a sign of the huge optimism that the brand can feel; this is a car that has taken on the best alternatives from Germany and elsewhere, and managed to come out convincingly on top.

The previous Range Rover Sport had the big, posh SUV concept nailed, and by refining the formula across the board, the new car jumps to the top of the class. The all-aluminium monocoque gives a strong structure in which to house a range of powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid option that’s sure to please company car users.

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It’s an impressively slick system, but the brand’s core buyers haven’t been forgotten, because a smooth-yet-torquey six-cylinder diesel remains, while there’s a thunderous new turbocharged V8 at the top of the range. But whichever version you choose, ride comfort and refinement are fantastic. The car’s air suspension soothes occupants, while road noise is just a mere background whisper. The optional four-wheel steering even makes this five- metre-plus SUV highly manoeuvrable around town.

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All of this is even more impressive when you factor in that the Range Rover Sport will cover rough ground better than any other rival, and this ability can be enjoyed from the very lofty position of one of the most luxurious cabins of any car on sale today.

Our choice

Range Rover Sport P460e Dynamic SE (£92,980)

A combination of 454bhp and an all-electric range of 75 miles from its 3.0-litre six-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain gives the Sport an unmatched mix of performance and zero-emissions potential.

Commended

BMW iX

Although an electric powertrain limits its versatility when compared with the Range Rover Sport, the BMW iX is more
than a match for our winner in terms of luxury and refinement. The in-car tech is brilliant, too, and the BMW’s on-road agility is almost shocking, considering its size.

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Land Rover Defender

Ceding the winning spot to its stablemate doesn’t make the Defender any less appealing. Its distinctive style will still be enough to win over many buyers, and those looks are backed up by impressive comfort, a smart cabin and incredible off-road ability.

You’ll find all the information on our New Car Awards 2023 winners and the reasons why we chose them on these pages. Just follow the links below to read more…

New Car Awards 2023: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,787

For the full New Car Awards experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2023 New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

You can buy individual issues of Auto Express or subscribe for even bigger discounts on the print magazine cover price. You can currently subscribe or download individual issues of our digital edition direct to your desktop, phone or tablet as well.

Stay right up to date with the latest from the world of cars in 2023 and beyond, subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us on social media...

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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