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Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
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The up-sized Range Rover that's designed to suit drivers

Land Rover Range Rover Sport (13 on) - rated 4.3 out of 5
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PROS

  • Luxurious and rapid in all forms
  • Agile handling is a real surprise
  • More effcient than ever

CONS

  • It's far from cheap and options are dear
  • The rest of the range looks very similar
  • Reliability and quality lag behind German rivals

PROS

  • Luxurious and rapid in all forms
  • Agile handling is a real surprise
  • More effcient than ever

CONS

  • It's far from cheap and options are dear
  • The rest of the range looks very similar
  • Reliability and quality lag behind German rivals

Verdict

It's easy to understand why Land Rover is so popular in the premium SUV market. Its cars look good, drive well, and still have an enviable image that its upstart German rivals would kill for. The Range Rover Sport has been on sale since 2013, and in a way that's typical for Land Rover, it still looks desirable, up-to date, and boasts an interior ambiance that's unmatched at this price point.

In terms of positioning in the range, it slots in between the full-fat Rangie and the Range Rover Velar – although it's most closely based on the 2013 Range Rover. However, because it's shorter, lower and weighs 45kg less, it feels a whole lot more weildy on the road. Compared to the old Sport, it was up to 420kg lighter, which explains why it feels so much lighter on its feet.

There are some very impressive rivals that the Range Rover Sport needs to see off, not least the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5, both of which have been thoroughly re-engineered since its launch.

What engines to you get in the Range Rover Sport?

There's a wide range of power units to choose from, so we won't go into too much detail here. Click on the link above to find out more. Needless to say, the 5.0-litre V8 supercharged found in the SVR model is the sporting star of the range, but the majority of buyers will be interested in the other engines.

There are three diesels, with the range starting at the 2.0-litre SD4 (240hp) and maxing out at the including a 3.0-litre TDV6 (340hp). The older V8 4.4-litre V8 diesel has been phased out, leaving the oil-burning range primarily V6 powered. The petrol engined models follow a similar path, spanning the 300hp Si4, via the 340hp V6 petrol (which was in the process of being phased out from the spring of 2019) and culminating with the aforementioned V8 SVR with 570hp.

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.

Range Rover Sport: excellent on- and off-road

The Sport is fitted with a sophisticated 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.

Staying on the pace in terms of tech and spec

Range Rover Sport 2019

Not only is the Sport spacious inside but 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 deployable 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.

Updated for 2019: new six-cylinder makes its debut

The biggest news in the 2019 model updates was the announcement that the old V6 petrol engines were being replaced by an all-new 400hp straight-six engine to replace it. The new power unit is a development of Jaguar Land Rover's modular Ingenium engine family, and in time, all of the Ford-sourced V6s will make way for variations of this engine.

The new 3.0-litre unit is a mild-hybrid running 48v electrics that will allow it to coast and run more efficiently – its power will be supplemented by an electronic supercharger. The new engine delivers a claimed 30.5mpg compared with the 23mpg claimed from the outgoing V6 petrol. Land Rover claims a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds.

The Parkers VerdictShould you buy a Range Rover Sport?

If you enjoy driving and appreciate great off-road performance, the Range Rover Sport should still be near the top of your list. This is an impressive achievement considering that it's been with us since 2013, and some very impressive rivals have been launched during the intervening years. But what makes the Sport unique in its class is that it's a highly impressive all-rounder that will turn its hand to anything you throw at it.

What truly sets the Sport apart is theway it drives – forget its size, because it's agile and steers with all the feel and poise of a sports saloon, and does so while you're sat head and shoulders above everyone else. We'd fight shy of unreservedly recommending it, though, as there are some quality and reliability concerns that continue to dog the Sport. And some of the infotainment functions are bafflingly off the pace.

But overall, this likeable and engaging SUV still has lots to recommend it – even if it's far from being the logical choice in this market sector. It's impressive nevertheless, and still manages to make the driver feel special even on the shortest run.

Range Rover Sport 2019

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