The supercharged SUV class is one that is busy with movement from Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz all making waves. All have a high view of the road up ahead and capitalize on sportiness by keeping utility to a minimum. So it only makes sense that Land Rover would gun for a piece of the action, which it does quite effectively with the supercharged Range Rover Sport.
Although it shares its name and much of its styling with the flagship Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport actually shares its mechanical underpinnings with the less expensive Land Rover LR4. Unlike other SUVs in its class, the Range Rover actually has all of the aforementioned sport and utility. While the Range Rover Sport is known for its street performance it's just as formidable off-road.
Body style: SUV
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 5.0-liter supercharged V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: HSE, HSE LUX, Supercharged
The Range Rover Sport enters 2012 with minimal tweaks both inside and out. Last year saw the introduction of more leather and some minor changes made to packages offered.
Five people can fit comfortably in the Range Rover Sport, which is available in HSE and Supercharged models. The HSE rolls on 19-inch wheels and comes with features such as a sunroof, fog lights, and adjustable air suspension. An optional luxury package offers an array of heated features such as a windshield and washer jets. Other features include 20-inch wheels, shift paddles and Brembo brakes mounted on the front rotors. The Range Rover Sport comes in two models with HSE and Supercharged being the options. The HSE model offers 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a front and rear parking sensors, and a rear view camera. The HSE Luxury package tacks on 20-inch wheels, upgraded leather, and heated and cooled seats.
Both the driver and both front and rear passengers sit on raised stadium-style seating, giving all occupants the same view of the road. High quality leather upholstery lines the cabin but that can't hide the fact that headroom is limited in back for taller passengers. While old school luxury has faded from the Range Rover Sport, new contemporary accents have taken its place. However while the Range Rover Sport is a class leader in many categories cargo space is not one of them. The slanted rear window can also be a nuisance when carrying bigger items.
Performance & Handling
Land Rover finally received the same 5.0-liter V-8 engine its siblings in the Jaguar stable got three years ago. Three years later the same engine is still delivering 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque powering Range Rover Sport both on and off-road. The HSE version is treated to a heftier number of ponies to the tune of 510. A six-speed automatic transmission is mated to both engines with three modes, Normal, Sport, and Manual. Full-time four-wheel-drive is standard on all Range Rover Sport models with Terrain Response. The Range Rover Sport can two 7700 pounds when equipped right.
The Range Rover features standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes (Brembo brakes on the Supercharged model), front-seat side airbags, and hill-descent control. Other standard safety features include traction and stability control with rollover protection, parking sensors both up front and in the rear, a rearview camera, and side-curtain airbags. Supercharged models that are outfitted with adaptive cruise control also come with a collision mitigation system. Optional safety features include blind-spot monitoring, multi-camera parking assist, and adaptive front lighting.
EPA Fuel Economy
HSE: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway
Supercharged: 12 mpg city/17 mpg highway
- Supercharged version
- Off-road capability
You Won't Like
- Bulky body feel
- Fuel economy
- Twitchy ride
Less sporty than competition, but more capable
If You Like This Vehicle
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