The Range Rover Sport is a big car. However, the addition of sport to the model designation should not be taken too seriously.
With the third generation Range Rover Sport, the British focus more than ever on cool design, flawless craftsmanship and a high level of comfort. The once proud British car industry has now shrunk to a handful of brands that are Indian (Land Rover, Jaguar) or German (Mini) owned. There are also some Japanese manufacturers.
Of the British brands, Land Rover/Range Rover is certainly the most representative of its country of origin, as Jaguar is currently in transition and finding its way, and Mini has become a more or less casual lifestyle brand with little connection to its British origins and in its pale internationality could come from virtually any country.
Few corners and edges
But we finally get our tweed jacket out of the closet and get into the test car – a Range Rover Sport. The recently available third generation of the smaller series impresses with a very elegant design that may even have too few rough edges for brand purists.
The high-quality body is cool and manages without a flashy appearance. You could rather call it almost discreet if it weren’t for the sheer dimensions of the vehicle, which is 4.95 meters long and 2.04 meters wide even with the side mirrors folded in.
Inside, the designers also choose restrained comfort with the highest processing quality. From his high-quality seat, the driver looks at large displays and a razor-sharp head-up display. Apart from a few small things, the operation is not a mystery.
But the speech recognition for a car with a basic price of almost 100,000 euros is too hard of hearing. On the other hand, we found the many assistance systems good, mainly because they are as unobtrusive as the entire vehicle and do not abuse the driver with constant, overly cautious beeps or similar warning tones.
From these first impressions, it is already clear: the addition of “sport” should not be taken too literally with this Range Rover. First of all, this version is 10 centimeters shorter than the full-size original, the roofline slopes slightly to the rear and therefore feels just that little bit less airy. But we found it quite comfortable because the interior is still spacious but ultimately looks a little more comfortable. There is still plenty of space for luggage. Are you going on a skiing holiday in St. Moritz as a couple, you can take almost 1,900 liters of skis and champagne with you. Have fun and be well.
Diesel engine with 300 hp
The engine we have chosen matches the sublime appearance and the same level of seating comfort: the name 300d already indicates the horsepower, the maximum torque of 650 Newton meters, which is already available at 1,500 revolutions, discreetly educates the driver to a relaxed driving style, especially when the diesel itself is almost inaudible.
Cover long distances smoothly, if possible not over 180 km/h – because then the wind noise increases significantly – which suits the vehicle, the gentle eight-speed automatic gearbox and is at the same time easy on the wallet. With around 10 liters of diesel per 100 kilometres, certainly also thanks to the mild hybrid support, we were very satisfied, especially since with a little more restraint you can also achieve values between 8 and 9 litres. Not bad for a vehicle that weighs 2.5 tonnes.
Quite agile on the move
The sport on the roads is also surprisingly dynamic considering the volume. At least compared to the big Range Rover, it’s downright agile, takes turns with its four-wheel drive with confidence and, thanks to body roll control, always stays upright in a stomach-friendly way.
We’ll take the tweed off again and sum up: While the Range Rover now seems to go beyond any SUV dimension in size and price, while the Evoque and Velar meanwhile are getting a bit old, the bottom line is that the Range Rover Sport is inside the row cosmos must be the currently best combination of modernity, tradition and common sense. As far as you have to talk about sense at all with these models, their costs, their dimensions and their consumption. (SP-X)