SPOT THE BALL
The Range Rover Sport first appeared over three years ago and in automotive terms, that’s one hell of a long time, especially when you consider how many refreshed alternatives have arrived since that time. First shown at the Geneva motor show early last year, Land Rover unveiled a very subtle reworking of the footballers favourite – so subtle, that only Land Rover enthusiasts would probably notice. For the eagle eyed amongst us, there’s new rear lamp clusters with a clear lens where it was once orange, alongside body coloured rear tailgate trim. In addition, three new colours join the colour charts, Santorini Black, Galway Green and Bournville, which is obviously named after the chocolate, as it is described as black, with a hint of brown.
Inside, there’s a new metalised finish to the centre console sides and air vent bezels and the front side windows are now laminated, to reduce wind and road noise. Satellite navigation is also made standard across the entire Range Rover Sport model range for the first time. Elsewhere, it is business as usual. It’s still as purposeful as ever with a strong sporting stance. The sheer size of the Rangie dwarfs most other cars on the road, yet seems to shrink around the driver, not feeling bulky and unwieldy like an Audi Q7 does, for instance. The growl from the smooth V8 is intoxicating, but making it vocal will mean that you will pay the price at the pumps, with under 20’s fuel economy. In comparison to BMW’s X5 or X6, emissions are quite high at 294g/km, however, I’m not sure that a buyer who has over £50k to shell out on a new car like this is going to be particularly concerned about this aspect.
What sets the Q7’s and X5’s from the Range Rover Sport is its ability off-road. All of its rivals are biased towards onroad prowess with most of them ever only tackling a muddy school-run car park, at worst. The Range Rover Sport offers real mud-plugging potential, along with decent on-road manners. The way it feels isn’t sporty, despite its Sport moniker, but it is safe and secure, offering a comfortable ride.
At £53,932, it’s pricier than all of its rivals, but equipment levels are high and the HSE offers things like satellite navigation as standard, where you would need to look to the options list on most of its rivals. Residual values are decent, while running costs are high, as you would expect for a car of this nature.
RIVALS: AUDI Q7 4.2 TDI QUATTRO S LINE, BMW X5 xDRIVE35d M SPORT, VW TOUAREG ALTITUDE 5.0 V10 TDI
- Engine: 3628cc, V8, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
- Max Power: 272bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 472lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 3,500kg
- Combined Consumption: 25.5mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 294g/km (G)
- 0-62mph: 9.2secs
- Max speed: 130mph
- Insurance Group: 16