The Range Rover Sport could be considered the second coming of the first model, but it actually feels more like the range’s second child. While the first child stays responsible, reliable, and good in maintaining the standard, the second child Sport insists on marching to the beat of its own drummer. It’s not as practical, smaller in size, but still captivates audiences with its charm. But in terms of long-term practicality and performance, how will the Sport last in the market and in the garages of its target market?
The Sport may share the same name as its predecessor but its interior stands out to redefine this model all on its own. The design’s structure effectively combines a monocoque’s rigidity with the ladder chassis’ strength. As a result the Sport weighs twice more than the family hatchback at 2590kg. This makes the Sport much heavier than its older sibling. Adding to the strength of the Sport’s structure is the 5.0-litre V8 engine borrowed from the Jaguar. Despite its 503bhp at 6000rpm power and 461lb ft range from 2500 to 5000rpm, the V8 engine has been readjusted for the capability of a Land Rover. Then there’s the diesel engine at 242bhp at 4000rpm—don’t be fooled by its lower numbers against the powerhouse V8. The twin turbo diesel manages to be generous at 441lb ft, making it at par with the rival models of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
The Range Rover Sport still borrows notable elements from sibling models, such as the Discovery’s suspension at the wishbone for each corner and the Disco’s ability to raise or lower the car to above 10cm using the air springs. Other notable borrowed features include the Terrain Response System, the low-ratio transfer case, and hill descent control. Any of the system’s six settings lets you enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable ride by adjusting the ride height and the engine’s throttle map accordingly.
Seating is comfortable all around, particularly for the default four adults the Land Rover is meant for. Drivers and passengers alike can easily enjoy the view via the seats’ raised stadium position. Safety is guaranteed along with comfort thanks to the six airbags and their impact-absorbing properties. Drivers will have no problems reaching into the cockpit’s wraparound design as they prep for the coming journey. The slightly smaller space may take some getting used to for Range Rover loyalists, but the design and material assures every one of all around luxury.
Most seats are comfortable and appropriately elevated, but the rear bench seats tend to be too flat and firm. The load area becomes larger as soon as the rear seats are pushed forward, but the space is still limited by the Range Rover’s split tailgate. You’re better off lifting the whole tailgate assembly or the entire glass section if you need the extra space.
The Range Rover Sport’s power primarily comes from its large weight. But wen compared to the Golf GTi, the Sport’s power-to-weight ratio is not as impressive. You’ll have some difficulty taking this car through the air as the weight really does take some getting used to.
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