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Parkers overall rating: 5 out of 5 5.0
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PROS

  • Luxurious
  • Rapid
  • Agile
  • More effcient than ever

CONS

  • Won't be cheap
  • Looks similar to Range Rover

Verdict

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is an ultra-premium sporty 4x4 and this is the second generation model, which has been given a comprehensive redesign.

It’s closely based on the new 2013 Range Rover, but is shorter, lower and weighs 45kg less. Compared to the outgoing Sport, which is no slouch by modern standards, the new version is 420kg lighter.

That’s the equivalent of nearly five adults and delivers a performance transformation akin to Jonah Lomu morphing into Usain Bolt.

What’s more, you can really tell the difference from behind the wheel - it’s a whole lot better than the outgoing model across the board.

Leaner, faster and reduced emissions

The crash diet means the 2013 Range Rover Sport is more agile, quicker out of the blocks and uses less fuel while doing it.

In the previous version the old 5.0-litre V8 supercharged version emitted 348g/km of CO2 and managed 0-60 in 6 seconds flat. The newer version drops the emissions to 298g/km, and can hit 60mph from a standing start in just under 5 seconds.

Choice of engines and trims

While the 5.0-litre V8 supercharged is the sporting star of the range, the majority of buyers will be interested in the other engines.

There are three diesels including a 3.0-litre V6 with two power outputs (255 and 288bhp), plus a 4.4-litre V8 diesel. Later this year there will also be a hybrid diesel for sale. The V6 diesels are likely to be the star sellers, with the higher-powered version being a compelling mix of performance and efficiency.

The other petrol option will be a new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine, while further down the line a smaller four-cylinder engine will be offered.

All engines will come with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and stop/start technology as standard.

There are three main trims: SE, HSE and the range topping Autobiography with the option to add the Dynamic package which further enhances the car’s on-road performance.

On- and off-road handling

The Sport is fitted with an all new suspension set-up that is designed to maximise its performance on- and off-road.

It certainly performs off-road, handling deep wading, steep descents and gnarly, deep ruts with incredible ease - not least thanks to the Terrain Response 2 system which can automatically select the right driving mode for the conditions.

On the road the Sport impresses even more, displaying a level of agility and grip that belies its size. There is very little body roll and the car hoovers up twisty back roads with consummate ease. The Dynamic package includes such systems as Torque Vectoring Control that helps the 4x4 turn a tighter line.

New technology and equipment

Not only is the Sport more spacious inside but it comes with some firsts. There’s the option of 5+2 seating with occasional ‘plus two’ seats in the boot. The electrically operated seats can be raised when required and fold flush to leave a flat boot floor when not in use.

There’s also an electrically deployed tow bar, Wi-Fi hotspot within the car, a powered tailgate, four-zone climate control with independent regulation for the rear passengers.

Plus there is a range of kit that you would expect to find on a large premium 4x4 such as keyless entry and stop/start, soft close doors, electrically heated front windscreen and rear seats that can recline.

So has the long-time favourite of Premier League footballers and the ‘yummy mummy’ set really taken a major step forward or have its rivals like the Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5 and overtaken it? Read on for the full Range Rover Sport review to find out.

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