Road Test: Range Rover Sport SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic
SECTOR: Large SUV PRICE: £82,945 FUEL: 40.4mpg CO2: 185g/km
Yes, there are premium SUVs which don’t cost as much. And there are ones which have better fuel economy, lower emissions, more boot room, etc…
But there are few more complete premiums SUVs on the market than the Range Rover Sport. Its blend of performance, style and pedigree make it the default option in this rarefied sector of the market.
A big seller since this second generation range went on sale in 2013, the recently updated model now features some styling tweaks to bring the family look into line with the Velar – more angular LED headlights and a redesigned front grille being the main changes.
Inside the Velar continues to influence, with its Touch Pro Duo screens making their way into the Sport. As well as these two 10-inch touchscreens, there are now up to 12 power points in the cabin to keep phones and iPads charged, while the Activity Key lets you indulge in all those pre-requisite lifestyle activities without being burdened by carrying the key around.
While under-bonnet changes to the range include a new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid and a 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel borrowed from the Evoque, the 3.0-litre V6 diesel carries over unchanged. With 306bhp this smooth V6 engine offers huge dollops of creamy power – never sounding remotely stressed as it hauls the Sport’s considerable two-tonne kerbweight around. Shifting seamlessly through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, progress is serene while the raised seating position gives you confidence and, more importantly, a great view of what is happening around you.
Inside, plenty of cows have made the ultimate sacrifice, while fit and finish is top-notch – and much, much higher in terms of look and feel than the materials used in the Evoque and Velar. True, this should be a given at nigh-on £83,000, but with top-end Velars priced in this area, the Sport could be seen as something of a ‘bargain’.
A new Discovery is probably a better bet for most owners if they have families (the boot room and rear space is slightly disappointing for a car of the Sport’s exterior dimensions), but the all-round appeal is hard to beat.
What we think
Pretty much the perfect premium SUV – although you do pay for the prestige. Recent updates (and the addition of a plug-in hybrid and smaller diesel) make the range tougher to beat than ever.