Range Rover Sport SUV review
“The new Sport offers so much luxury and refinement that the full-size Range Rover almost seems unnecessary”
- Unflappable refinement
- Luxurious interior
- Powerful engines
- Not quite as sporty as name suggests
- Sluggish gearbox
- More expensive than before
Verdict - Is the Range Rover Sport a good car?
The latest Range Rover Sport is sublimely comfortable and refined, with interior quality and technology that now rivals the best in a competitive class. It’s also capable of spanning an incredible range of conditions from challenging B-roads to tough off-road routes, without feeling compromised in any one area.
Range Rover Sport models, specs and alternatives
The Land Rover brand has evolved considerably over the years. The original Land Rover Series 1 was intended to be little more than a utilitarian workhorse for those in the country. Following the release of the Range Rover Classic in 1970, the British marque realised the incredible demand for luxurious 4x4s and began catering for that sector of the market.
In 2005, Land Rover released the first-ever Range Rover Sport as a smaller, more affordable version of the full-size Range Rover. That’s not to say the Sport was any less desirable than its larger sibling; it still boasted a luxurious interior, but also promised a much more dynamic driving experience.
The latest iteration of the Range Rover Sport was launched in September 2022 and comes as part of the luxury brand’s ‘Reimagine’ initiative, which aims to bring its range of gas-guzzling SUVs into the new low-emissions, electrified age.
While the new Sport is visually more of an evolution over its predecessor (slimmer lights and a less-cluttered design are the most distinct aesthetic differences), the SUV has undergone a revolution under the metal. The third-generation Sport now sits on new e ‘MLA-Flex’ underpinnings, the same as the latest full-size Range Rover.
This new platform has allowed for a greater capacity for electrification. The entry-level D300 mild-hybrid diesel is claimed to return over 34mpg, whereas both plug-in hybrid models boast a pure-electric range of nearly 70 miles – significantly more than what’s possible in the equivalent BMW X5 xDrive45e, and roughly twice as far as the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid.
Of course, if you can afford the new Range Rover Sport (prices start from over £80,000), you probably aren’t too worried about high running costs. Land Rover knows this and also offers the Sport with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine with 523bhp; a less -powerful 3.0-litre petrol model is also available.
Another huge leap has been made on the inside as the new Sport’s interior offers a much higher level of finish than its predecessor. Nearly everything you touch feels of impeccable quality, while Land Rover’s latest 13.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system is incredibly intuitive and quick to respond.
All of this, alongside a spacious boot and unmatched comfort and refinement, makes the Range Rover Sport one of the most desirable new cars on the market right now. Buyers can specify their ideal car in one of four ascending trim levels: SE, Dynamic SE, Autobiography and the limited-run ‘First Edition’.
The majority of Land Rover models hold their value well, so Sport finance deals should be competitive with rivals. Unfortunately, despite being available with several fuel-sipping engines, Range Rovers are notoriously expensive to run and insure – and we expect the Sport to be no different.
New Range Rover Sport SV arriving in 2024
High-performance Range Rover Sport SV Edition One confirmed with £170k price tag and 626bhp
Fans of truly high-performance Range Rover Sport models won’t have long to wait, thanks to the confirmation of a flagship SV model’s arrival in 2024. The launch Edition One version will get a serious price hike to £171,460, but it’s also loaded with go-faster and luxury upgrades to take on the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 M Competition.
The Range Rover Sport’s chassis has come in for serious attention, with the SV featuring a similar hydraulic setup to that found on a McLaren 720S supercar, with no need for conventional anti-roll bars. This can control how the car behaves over a wide variety of roads, firming up to improve handling when needed, before softening to boost comfort or off-road ability in the blink of an eye. The Edition One is also fitted with a set of 23-inch carbon fibre wheels that are a significant 35.6kg lighter than four of the standard forged aluminium items.
The SV’s BMW-derived 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 will produce 626bhp – a 59bhp increase on the outgoing Range Rover Sport SVR model – dropping its 0-62mph time to 3.8 seconds. To reign in this power, a new set of 440mm carbon ceramic discs are fitted that equal the biggest brakes fitted to any other new model.
Inside, the SV model will gain haptic seats with pulse generators that augment the sensations provided by the 19-speaker Meridian sound system. There will be two leather interior themes and an additional leather-free option – the latter using a newly developed textile, along with carbon-backed sports seats. From the outside, the SV will look relatively subtle, featuring new bumpers, side skirts and a carbon fibre bonnet for a less aggressive look than the old SVR.
Alongside the SV, the brand also confirmed wider changes for the Range Rover Sport range for 2024. These include the arrival of an updated plug-in hybrid P550e model with a pure electric range of up to 75 miles, replacing the P510e and boasting CO2 emissions from just 15g/km. At the other end of the scale, the P530 V8 gains mild hybrid hardware for the first time to boost its efficiency.
The updated Sport will also gain the latest version of Pivi Pro infotainment, with new sidebars and “easy-to-use sliders” for the volume and climate control, which are always present no matter what’s displayed on the 13.1-inch glass display. JLR claims 80% of tasks can be performed within two taps of the home screen.