If you’re in the market for a premium SUV, then it’s likely that you’ve arrived at the Range Rover Sport. For most, this is the quintessential symbol of luxury motoring and while the brand carries a certain prestige, there’s good reason why this car has established its name.
When you step into a Range Rover Sport, you're comforted with a great sense of appreciation because, weirdly, it just feels right. There’s an inexplicable charm to the Range Rover Sport that you just don’t get from other premium SUVs – many of which are very, very good. But the Range Rover Sport sets the bar because it has something that is untouchable, established deep in the core of the brand’s name.
That’s not to say that what makes this car special is its name alone. There are plenty of features that you can feel that not only heighten the sense of luxury, they also enhance the driving experience.
Range Rover have come a long way since their first-generation model. It was heavy, thirsty and developed a bad name for reliability. Today, however, modern engineering has taken it to new levels, shown in particular by the Range Rover Sport’s flagship model - the SVR. Drive one of these and you’ll have a greater sense of where Range Rover has come from, particularly when you are outpacing some supercars.
But it isn’t all just about speed. The Range Rover Sport is supremely good at covering large distances. The seats, even on the more basic models, are amazingly comfortable, providing plenty of adjustment to fit most needs. Additionally, the air suspension, which again is fitted to all models, does a great job of smoothing out the road. Plus, if you're concerned that a fairly bulky car is going to create a lot of wind noise down the motorway, then think again. The Range Rover Sport isn’t the quietest of the premium SUVs, but wind noise certainly isn’t a contributing factor.
As you’d expect with any product made by Range Rover, the interior is exceptional. Every surface is covered by luxurious leather which leaves little room for cheap looking plastics. The centre console is functional and intuitive. But if there is one area where the Range Rover Sport slips up, it’s that by comparison, the area looks a little dated when you look at other premium SUVs. Where a lot of its competitors offer more encompassing digital speedometers and touch screen interfaces, this Range Rover Sport is slightly lacking. Arguably, the new Range Rover Velar will bridge that gap though, given that the interior in that range is possibly the best in the market (we wrote about it earlier in the week). But, in any case, that’s where the Range Rover Sport’s shortcomings stop. There’s plenty of room for 4 adults to sit comfortably and there’s enough boot space to fit another small vehicle, let alone a pram or a few sets of golf clubs.
But what’s great is despite clearly being a fairly large vehicle, the Range Rover Sport is more than easy to drive. As with most SUVs now, all Sport models have proximity sensors and a reversing camera as standard. But putting those toys aside, there is plenty of visibility to gauge the size of the car whilst town driving or parking. The steering feels super light and accurate too, which when coupled with the 8-speed standard gearbox, it takes on most journeys with ease.
Overall, the Range Rover Sport lives up the hype that it’s been accredited for maybe the past ten years. While there are serious contenders for the title, namely the new Volvo XC-90 and the BMW X5, there’s no getting around the fact that this car has a greater sense of occasion and class. There’s defiantly a lure that the Range Rover poses and it seems to overshadow its slight inefficiencies. The best compliment I can pay it is that despite all of the hype, you won’t be disappointed.