Range Rover Sport review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
A roomy, well-planned interior is very comfortable and feel-good; the boot's flexible and handy too
Although the Range Rover Sport isn’t quite as large as the flagship Range Rover, the interior is still highly flexible and family-friendly. It makes a great everyday car that will swallow up to seven without fuss – indeed, this practicality is something that Land Rover prioritised from the off.
What stands out even more, though, is the sheer comfort and luxuriousness of the Range Rover Sport. It has a beautifully finished cabin that’s lavished in leather, even in standard HSE trim, with decent quality, fit and finish for good measure.
Even with the car set up in seven-seat guise, the boot is practical, and the fold-flat rear seats mean it's easy to extend. The Sport doesn’t have the famous split tailgate of the large Range Rover, but it makes up for this with a ‘gesture control’ automatic boot-opening function.
The Range Rover Sport is a big machine, even if it's not as big as a full-size Range Rover. It is 4,850mm long, a hefty 2,073mm wide and 1,780mm tall: there aren’t many cars on the road more than two metres wide and nearly 1.8 metres tall.
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- Range Rover Sport SVR 2015 review
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To put it into context, a BMW X5 is 4,886mm long, 1,938mm wide and 1,762mm tall (with a 650-litre boot) and a Porsche Cayenne is a near-identical 4,885mm long, 1,939mm wide and 1,705mm tall (with a 618-litre boot).
Despite this size, though, owners find the Sport easy to drive, probably because Land Rover has designed such accurate steering, given the Sport such panoramic visibility, and fitted front and rear parking sensors as standard.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The big Range Rover Sport is an accommodating machine for passengers. Occupants step up high into it (the air suspension can be lowered by 50mm to help entry and exit) and, once there, they enjoy a great view out that’s extremely commanding and confidence-inspiring.
The famous ‘Command’ driving position has been made sportier. But, although you have the sensation of sitting ‘within’ the car, you still feel like the king of the castle, looking down on other cars thanks to the excellent view to the front and out through the big, deep side windows. Needless to say, the driving position is roomy and fully adjustable: owners rate it extremely highly.
Rear seat passengers are just as well off. The high-mounted seats are firm, supportive and spacious – great for long journeys if you’re lucky enough to be in the outer two pews (the middle chair is a bit less comfortable). Leg and headroom are ample, even in Autobiography Dynamic models, which come with a standard panoramic roof.
The third row is, typically, a bit tricky to access and, once you're there, it’s clear why Land Rover calls this a 5+2 rather than a genuine seven-seater, like the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Admittedly, space isn’t so bad, even if you’re a lanky teenager, but it’s not a place you’d like to sit in for long journeys. Treat them as emergency chairs only, perfect for the school run.
The SVR is even more comfortable for two people in the rear, courtesy of their sculpted chairs that are a bit like racing buckets. The middle passenger is even worse off, though, left feeling decidedly perched, and the SVR doesn’t offer a seven-seat option, either.
Traditionalists will miss the split tailgate of the larger Range Rover, but otherwise there’s little to fault with the Range Rover Sport’s boot.
It'll take a vast 784 litres in five-seat guise, which stretches to 1,761 litres with the middle-row seats folded. However, it’s much smaller in seven-seat mode.
Do also note that the seven-seat version doesn’t get a full-size spare wheel, as there’s simply no space for it beneath the rear seats. It's something to be aware of, if you’re intending to take your Sport off-road, where tyres can be more at risk of punctures.
Most regular Range Rover Sport models have an ample 3,500kg towing capacity, but the hybrid is limited to 2,500kg while the 2.0-litre P300 and performance SVR models are dialled back to 3,000kg. Worth bearing in mind if you have a heavy caravan, horsebox or speedboat to tow.
In this review
- 1Range Rover Sport reviewIf 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 CostsMild and plug-in hybrid tech helps improve efficiency, but running costs will still be high – 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 space - currently readingA 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