Range Rover Sport Review — The Most Dynamic SUV Of Them All!

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport — the 'mid-level' luxury SUV from the iconic British car manufacturer — was first launched in India back in 2017. The 'mid-level' luxury SUV received a mid-cycle update later in 2018, and is now offered with a starting price of Rs 1.03 crore, ex-showroom (India).

Slotted between the Range Rover Velar and the top-spec Range Rover, it is available in both petrol and diesel variants. This includes four engine options — supercharged V6 and V8 petrol; a turbo-diesel V8 and the base turbo-diesel V6.

We got a chance to drive the Range Rover Sport HSE TDV6 variant (with the base turbo-diesel V6) to see how the diesel-powered luxury SUV lives up to its 'Sport' moniker.

The Range Rover Sport combines luxury with some serious off-roading ability. It offers sporty handling and excellent on-road performance, that challenges even a full-blown sport sedan. Combine this with Land Rover's extreme Off-road capabilities and you've got yourself a winner!

Or have you? Let's find out.

Design & Style

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport looked jaw-dropping good even before the update. The British brand has now gone and accentuated and tweaked it further, making it look even sharper and better — if that's even possible.

Changes to the exterior now provides the Range Rover Sport with a much sharper and cleaner look. Land Rover has added a new front grille, inspired from the one seen on the Velar. The sleek honeycomb grille, with the 'RANGE ROVER' badge on the bonnet, adds more to the aesthetics at the front. On either side of the grille are the Matrix-LED headlamps with signature LED DRLs. The top-spec variants get Pixel-Laser LED headlamps, again, with the signature LED DRLs.

Land Rover has also updated the bumper at the front and rear. Both the front and rear bumpers are integrated with fog lights at both ends while the front bumper also features large air-vents, improving air flow for cooling.

The side profile, however, is what makes you get a true understanding at what you are driving. At almost five-metres in length, the Range Rover Sport offers immense road presence, with quite a few heads turning for a second look while driving around the city. The large 21-inch 'diamond-turned' alloy wheels further adds to the drama. So does the dual-tone black top above the shoulder line.The rear also features LED tail lights with dynamic turn indicators, similar to the headlamps. It also gets a spoiler integrated on the top-section of the tail gate, to further justify the 'Sport' badge.

Interiors, Features & Practicality

Stepping inside the Range Rover Sport, we are instantly greeted with a large multi-function steering wheel with a fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument console behind it. The instrument screen is clean and easy to read with various graphic transitions. The steering now comes with Velar-inspired touch sensitive controls in high gloss-black finish mounted on either sides. The start-stop button for the Sport is tucked neatly on the side of the instrument cluster, within easy reach.

The dashboard comes with nice soft-touch materials and misses out on the wooden trims offered on the much larger Range Rover model. The dual-tone dash is wide and immediately makes you realise the size of the SUV you will be driving.

The dashboard is finished in Expresso/Almond interiors with Expresso Brown seats, giving it that extra bit of premium-ness as well. The large windows, along with the panoramic sunroof makes the cabin feel airy. The leather wrapped interiors adds to the premium feel, which is further accentuated by the smooth metallic elements all around as well.

The driver seat is positioned to offer a commanding view of the road ahead.The plush seats offer a heightened sense of confidence and control of the SUV. The Range Rover Sport seems to have all its features and equipment positioned perfectly. None of them feel out of place in the cabin or a last minute addition.

Moving past the steering and the instrument cluster, the Range Rover Sport comes with two 10-inch screens on the central console. The two screens, dubbed the 'InControl Touch Pro Duo', are large, and well integrated onto the dashboard. Both screens are finished in gloss black panels with the top screen slightly tilted to avoid any glare.

The two screen get rid of all the buttons and knobs, which would have polluted the otherwise clean and simple layout at the centre. Both screens also offer a number of functionalities for the passengers, each controlling different elements. The top screen controls — music, navigations, phone connectivity, in-built apps and general infotainment settings.

The bottom screen, on the other hand is dedicated to climate control, seat heatings and other vehicle settings. The bottom screen also controls the various driver modes available on the Range Rover Sport, including the brand's patented All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) system.

The touch itself however, could have been more responsive while navigating through the large number of features. However, the screens offer a crisp and clear HD display, which is easy to read even on the move.

Land Rover has also failed to equip the Range Rover Sport with the basic connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A feature quite common in most cars in the market today.

The Sport also offers a range of customisable ambient lighting all around the car. The central console also features a strip of ambient light running down its entire length. This adds to the luxurious character on the inside.

Comfort & Boot Space

The cabin of the Range Rover Sport is quite a luxurious space to be in. The seats are extremely well cushioned, with plenty of space for both the front and rear passengers. The five-seater luxury SUV offers plenty of luxurious features, to ensure passenger comfort is at its optimal.

The rich leather seats, offer plenty of side bolstering and under-thigh support. The front passengers get 16-way adjustable electric seats, with the controls placed at its base. Both seats also receive seat heaters as standard, while the massaging and cooling functions are optional extras.

The rear seats also offer excellent all-round support, with recline adjustability as well. The seats are flat, yet, offer little to no lateral movement. There is also a central armrest for the rear passengers, further improving comfort levels in the second row.

The Range Rover Sport also offers plenty of storage compartments all around the cabin. These include a glove compartment, an additional compartment above the glove box and a number of other small storage spaces in the centre console, doors and below the front and rear armrests as well.

The Range Rover Sport also comes with electronic air suspension, with three modes — access height, normal height and off-road height. The access height brings the car lower to the ground, making it easy for passengers to get in and out of the car. The normal height is used for standard on-road driving while the off-road height, as the name suggests offers good ground clearance, improving the capabilities of the SUV.

Other features such as a four-zone climate control and customisable ambient lighting are also available as standard. The Range Rover Sport also comes with a 19-speaker 825W Meridian Surround Sound System as well.

Moving to the back, the five-seater luxury SUV offers a massive 780-litres of boot space; this is with all the seats positioned upright. The rear seats further fold down in a 60:40 ratio expanding the boot space up to 1,686-litres. The Range Rover Sport comes with electronically-powered tailgate, which closes with the touch of a button.

Here is the overall dimensions of the Range Rover Sport:

Dimensions  Value
 Length (mm) 4,879 
 Width (mm) 2,220 
 Height (mm) 1,803 
 Wheelbase (mm) 2,923 
 Boot Space (litres) 780 

Engine Performance & Driving Impressions

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is available with a number of engine options to choose from. Among them, we tested out the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine, producing 260bhp and 600Nm of torque. The engine further comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. From a standstill, the Range Rover Sport HSE records a 0 to 100km/h time of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 209km/h.

Although, being equipped with the base engine spec, the Range Rover Sport we drove never felt inadequate. The power was available across the low and mid-rev range, with one slight dab on the accelerator enough to keep the SUV moving in city traffic. The 600Nm of torque is available from as low as 1,750rpm.

However, we can't exactly call the Range Rover Sport, 'Sporty'. At low and mid-range, the power delivery is still a bit linear and relaxed and there is a slight noticeable lag from the turbo. The transmission though is quick and smooth, but definitely not the fastest. Steering as well is lightweight, making city driving an easy task.

Floor the throttle and the character of the SUV changes completely. The silent and relaxed engine roars into life, offering brisk performance and putting a big smile on your face. At higher speeds, the steering also weighs up well giving enough confidence to push the SUV even harder.

The steering also offers good response keeping the SUV tidy around the corners, although you wouldn't want to push it too hard into a turn. This isn't anything to do with its performance, rather its sheer size and weight. Although the two-tonne SUV offers very little body roll, it is still noticeable.

In a straight-line though, the Range Rover Sport is extremely stable and silent. The NVH-levels on the SUV are top-notch with little to no engine noise creeping in. The Sport cruises easily on highways without much effort at speed above 100km/h. The air suspension has been set up a bit firm, however, it does manage to do a good job absorbing all the undulations of the roads. The Range Rover Sport gives a lot of confidence to the driver, offering good stability; further complimented by the large brakes which offer excellent bite, bringing the massive SUV to a halt.

Being a part of the Land Rover family, the Range Rover Sport also offers excellent off-roading capabilities; something we expect from all the products in the brand. With the off-road height mode selected, the Range Rover Sport easily sails through any and all obstacles with ease.

The already impressive off-road capabilities are further enhanced by using the various drive modes available on the Range Rover Sport. Off-road driving modes on the SUV include Mud, Rain, Gravel, Snow and Sand.

Apart from these, the Range Rover Sport also comes with a number of driver aids, these include:

  • Cruise Control & Speed Limiter
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Power-Assisted Steering
  • Roll Stability Control
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution

Specifications Overview

Engine
2993cc Diesel
No. Of Cylinders
6
Power (bhp)
260
Torque (Nm)
600
Transmission
8-speed
Top Speed (km/h)
209
Weight (kg)
2143

Variants & Pricing

The Range Rover Sport we drove was the mid-spec HSE variant. Apart from that the SUV is available in a choice of six trim levels - S, SE, HSE, HSE with Dynamic Pack, Autobiography with Dynamic Pack and SVR.

Each of these trims are further available with a choice of four engine options: three petrol and two diesel. The petrol engine options on the Range Rover Sport include a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and a 5.0-litre supercharged V8. The diesel engine options, on the other hand include a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 and a 4.4-litre supercharged V8. All engine options on the Range Rover Sport are mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

Prices for the Range Rover Sport varies from Rs 1.03 crore for the base 'S' diesel variant to Rs 2.05 crore for the range-topping SVR. The variant we tested as mentioned in the beginning was the Range Rover Sport HSE TDV6, priced at Rs 1.37 crore. All prices are ex-showroom (India).

Here are the power figures for each of the engine options available on the Range Rover Sport:

Engine Power (bhp)  Torque (Nm) 
 3.0-litre V6 Diesel 260
600
 4.4-litre V8 Diesel  355  740
 3.0-litre V6 Petrol  296  450
 5.0-litre V8 Petrol  517/553  625/700

Safety Features

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes packed with features and safety equipment, something expected from a car of its price.

Some of the key safety features on the Range Rover Sport:

  • Driver & Passenger Airbags
  • Roll Stability Control
  • Cornering Brake Control
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Intrusion Sensor
  • Gradient Acceleration Control
  • Hill Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist

Competition & Fact Check!

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport in the Indian market rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 and the Mercede-Benz GLS.

Here is a quick look at the starting price and power outputs of the different models, compared to the Range Rover Sport:

Model  Power/Torque (bhp/Nm) Starting Price (in Rs) 
 Range Rover Sport 260/600  1.02 Crore 
 Porsche Cayenne 340/450  1.19 Crore 
 Maserati Levante 271/600  1.45 Crore 

Rahul Nagaraj Thinks!

With the 2018 update, the Range Rover Sport has become better than before. Land Rover has updated the design to offer a much cleaner and sharper looking SUV, both inside and out. The Range Rover Sport offers a good mix of on-road performance and off-road capabilities, while also offering a smooth and refined engine.

What We Like

  • Off-road capabilities
  • Smooth refined engine
  • Feature-packed interiors

What We Didn't Like

  • Absence of a seven-seater configuration
(Writing by Rahul Nagaraj; Photography By Rahul TS)
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Article Published On: Thursday, April 25, 2019, 19:39 [IST]

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