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Range Rover Sport review - Engines, performance and drive

The Range Rover Sport features a strong lineup of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, while it’s more refined than ever

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.4 out of 5

Price
£83,810 to £171,255
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​At 2.3 tonnes, the Range Rover Sport is still a sizable premium SUV, so it's pleasing that Land Rover has managed to deliver a well-judged package that is really good to drive.

The Sport offers excellent grip, while the steering is light but accurate which inspires confidence, particularly when navigating twisty B roads. If you’re prioritising the Sport’s dynamic ability, then we’d advise ticking the Stormer Handling pack on the options list. At around £5,000, it’s a relatively expensive extra, but it offers 48-volt active anti-roll control, all-wheel steering, an electronically controlled differential with torque vectoring and configurable dynamics programmes – all of which, when grouped together, help deliver a more agile and responsive feel to how the Sport drives.

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Of course, it’s equally important that a premium, luxury SUV is able to transport both the driver and any passengers in complete comfort, and the Sport doesn’t disappoint in this area. Refinement is much improved over the previous generation model, with Land Rover’s expert engineers bringing in new switchable-volume air springs and twin-valve active dampers to better manage the vehicle’s hefty weight, while other developments include active noise cancellation technology. The Sport’s MLA-Flex architecture is 35 per cent stiffer than its predecessor, too.

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Our test car rode on large 23-inch alloy wheels, but it managed to deal with the bumps, ridges and pot holes of typical UK roads with ease, all the while maintaining a serene quietness in the cabin. Rivals such as the Porsche Cayenne just can’t match the Sport’s excellent ride quality. 

Another useful feature provided by the Sport is its rear-wheel steering system. Standard on the top-spec Autobiography trim, its party piece is being able to reduce the big SUV’s turning circle from 12.53 metres to 10.95 metres, which is a figure comparable to a lot of superminis. So, if you find parking manoeuvres a bit of a torment, and can afford the extra outlay, it might be worth considering.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

For a big SUV, the Range Rover Sport offers plenty of pace with even the entry D300 model managing 0-62mph in an impressive 6.3 seconds. Upgrade to the more powerful D350 oil burner and the 345bhp diesel engine propels the Sport to 62mph in a hot-hatch-rivalling 5.6 seconds. It may be unfashionable in an age of increasing electrification, but it’s hard to argue against the D350 as a sweet spot in the Sport lineup – particularly if you regularly cover longer distances.

The petrol P400 is a shade quicker than the D350, taking 5.4 seconds to go from 0-62mph, while the P440e and P510e plug-in hybrid models need 5.5 seconds and 5.2 seconds respectively to achieve the benchmark sprint. Opting for the top-of-the-range 523bhp P530 petrol model means you’ll have a premium SUV that delivers 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds and onto a 155mph top speed.

For outright performance, the 627bhp Range Rover Sport SV offers supercar-like acceleration. Its 627bhp twin-turbocharged V8 will propel it from 0-60mph in a mere 3.6 seconds. 23-inch carbon fibre wheels, hydraulic cross-linked dampers and carbon ceramic brakes also contribute towards the SV’s ability to outperform and cosmetically stand out from any other Range Rover Sport.

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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