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2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Review
Classic British premium midsize SUV.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The launch of the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport saw a premium midsize SUV that changed little from the models of previous years. Although this is a slimmer and sleeker looking Range Rover, it’s actually based on the Land Rover LR3 model. The goal behind designing the Land Rover Range Rover Sport was to produce an SUV that was more suited to on-road driving than off road.
This five passenger midsize SUV comes with two trim levels and shares the same chiseled look with the full-size Land Rover Range Rover, but its suspension and steering is tuned, and it has a lower center of gravity and wheelbase height. All of these adjustments provide better performance on the road than off.
Engines: 4.4-liter V-8, 4.2-liter supercharged V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic transmission
Models: Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE, Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged
The only new addition for the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SUV was a new optional package for the Supercharged trim level. The HST Limited Edition package includes a grille that is unique to the package, a rear spoiler, and new upholstery, as well as other features for both the interior and exterior of the SUV.
The shape of the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is instantly recognizable and is reminiscent of classic Range Rovers. Compared to the Land Rover Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport is slimmer and smaller, and sits closer to the ground. A sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, and 19-inch wheels come as standard, while the Supercharged model is fitted with 20-inch wheels. All models of the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport are fitted with a grille that is unique to the trim level and package selected.
As to be expected in any Land Rover vehicle, only the highest quality of materials is used for the interior of the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. The cabin is roomy, and there is plenty of room for four adults.
The front seats are elevated to provide greater visibility for the driver and front seat passenger. The console and dash is simple, but some of the buttons look similar and may be difficult to reach for the driver. Leather upholstery, Bluetooth wireless connection, navigation system, Harman Kardon audio system, and dual-zone climate control system are all standard features for the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
Performance & Handling
Each trim level for the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is powered with a different engine. The HSE trim is fitted with a 4.2-liter V-8 engine that provides 300 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque. In the Supercharged model, a 4.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine produces 390 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both models come with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual gear shift only.
Both trim levels have permanent all-wheel drive and are fitted with Land Rover’s terrain response system. The terrain response system automatically adjusts the suspension, powertrain, and electronics systems based on five settings chosen by the driver.
The heavy weight of the 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport does affect acceleration for the HSE trim model, as well as gas mileage. The Supercharged model has plenty of power for improved acceleration, and improved handling. The ride is not as quiet as in the Land Rover Range Rover and can be bumpy over broken ground.
Anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control with sensors to alleviate rollover, front side airbags, hill descent control, and full-length side curtain airbags are all standard safety equipment. The dynamic response suspension system that is designed to counteract body lean when turning is standard for the Supercharged model, and available as an option for the HSE model. Front and rear parking sensors are also standard for all models.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Acceleration of the supercharged V-8
- On-road handling
- Comfortable and elevated driver seating position
- Well equipped and luxurious interior
You Won't Like
- Heavy weight
- Gas mileage no better than full-size Land Rover Range Rover
- Rear seating can be cramped
- Slope of rear glass can limit cargo space
Classic British premium midsize SUV.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura MDX
- Buick Enclave
- Lexus RX
- Mercedes M-Class
- BMW X5
See the New 2014 Range Rover Sport.
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