Highlight: The Range Rover Sport is a five passenger midsize SUV.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $82,105 (Base Model: $67,745)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; traction control; roll stability control; hill descent control; a rearview camera; heated rear windows; electric parking brake; a tire pressure monitoring system; a spare tire; a trailer assist stability system; an emergency braking system; a lane departure warning system; a radar activated cruise control system; a blindspot monitoring system with a rear cross traffic alert system; a lane departure warning system; and power wash headlights
Base SE Standard Features: 19-inch wheels; an 8-speed transmission; a 10-inch infotainment screen; leather seats; signature LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights; 14-way power seats with memory control; rear and front parking aids; a two zone automatic climate control system; touch pro duo infotainment system; a navigation system; power heated folding mirrors; a lockable glove box; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; a leather steering wheel; a push button ignition starter system; a keyless entry system; power tailgate/trunk lid; a power gesture tailgate; and a cargo space cover
HSE Luxury Standard Features: 20-inch wheels; a heated rear window; a fixed panoramic roof; rain sensing windshield wipers; approach lights; heated front seats; power operated tilt steering wheel; non smokers package; blind spot monitor; a 11-speaker audio system; and a perimeter alarm
Vision & Convenience Package: customer configurable mood lighting; soft door close and surround camera system
Driver Pro Package: blind spot assist with reverse traffic detection; driver condition monitor; adaptive cruise control; queue assist and intelligent emergency braking; lane keep assist; and traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed limiter
Luxury Climate Comfort & Visibility Package: adaptive headlight with high beam assist; heated and cooled front seats; 16 way power seats; a heated steering wheel; a four zone climate control system; 60/40 split folding rear seats with load through; heated and cooled climate rear seats; twin blade sunvisors; and auto dimming exterior mirrors
Fullsize spare tire; and 19-speaker subwoofer
Standard Audio System: an 8-speaker/250-watt HD satellite audio system
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Charging Port: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/ 245-horsepower
Towing Capability: 3,500 lbs
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 16-city/21-hwy (Source: Fueleconomy.gov)
What’s New: The Range Rover Sport adds a new fuel efficient diesel powertrain as well as the latest self-driving aids.
Why: The Range Rover Sport, with its optional two tone exterior color, is available with a choice of a gasoline or a diesel powertrain packaged with the 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder engine. However, the diesel engine can only be packaged with the 6-cylinder powertrain.
The luxurious five-seater Ranger Rover Sport, which offers a more contemporary exterior design theme, has a full-time, four-wheel drive suspension system that allows the vehicle to navigate any weather condition, no matter if it is on-or-off road. Unlike many of its competitors, which tout its massive size to transport (both people and cargo) and tow everything, well almost everything, the Range Rover Sport is capable of climbing mountains or tracking through mud.
Added to that, depending upon the trim, the SUV can be outfitted with a crawl control feature known as the All-Terrain Progress Control system. This semi- autonomous driving feature automatically powers the vehicle at a set speed, when the driver is treading rough terrains. Yes, this is a true on-off road vehicle.
Moreover, while road adaptable the midsize luxury SUV, with its progressively executed gauges, is not as large in terms of the overall dimensions, as the British brand’s three-row flagship, it is still just as capable and luxurious -- as its larger sibling.
Furthermore, for those not opting for the more fuel efficient diesel engine, there is no reason to fret. The Range Rover Sport is outfitted with a system that automatically lowers the suspension system, at highway speeds up to 65-mph. This system reduces aerodynamic drag, while simultaneously improving the miles per gallon.
And for those seeking more of an engaging driving experience, they can opt for the vehicle’s Dynamic Program. This feature tunes the suspension to be more responsive in handling aggressive roads.
Besides the aforementioned features, a third row power passenger seat can be added on most trims, 22-inch wheels and an 8-cylinder engine capable of pumping out 510-horsepower.
Lastly, the Range Rover Sport now includes as standard equipment for the 2017 model year, the latest high-tech safety driving aids: an automatic braking system, a blind spot monitoring system with rear traffic cross alert and a lane departure warning system with a keep assist system.
Why Not: The touchscreen infotainment system in this British built vehicle has a delayed response system. Like with some smartphones, it might take a moment before the system responds to the user request.
Moreover, the third row seating isn’t suitable for road trips. While other vehicles in this segment can accommodate three in the third row, this isn’t the case for the Sport.
Oh yes, and for the life of us we can’t understand the rationale behind the interior designer (s) offering both an armrest attached to the front seats as well as a center console. In our opinion, the interior design team should opt for just one well executed armrest.
Verdict: The luxurious midsize SUV fits in a category of one. Being that it’s a five seater midsize SUV, with an optional third-row passenger seat, the higher end Jeep Grand Cherokees are the Sport’s nearest competitor. As far the size, the overall ride and handling capabilities and the interior layout, bar none, this SUV seems to be in a class by itself, especially, when compared to the Jeep.
So, while the third row seats are optional and available on all but one of the trims, for those seeking a true third row luxurious SUV, they can turn to the flagship vehicles from Cadillac, GMC, Lincoln or Infiniti. Unfortunately, those vehicles lack the on-and-off road attributes that can only be found in a Land Rover.