Not many were impressed when the Range Rover Sport was first launched back in 2005. It seemed more like a low cost variant, launched purely to bump up numbers. It did get the revered ‘Range Rover’ tag, some of its skills and a price tag that made it accessible to many more. But what it lost in the process were the things that made Range Rovers – a sense of distinction, the regal air and also some of its toughness. Now eight years later there is a new one and unlike before it has its work cut-out in what is an all-new three-car model range. It slots in between the Evoque and the all-new Range Rover, intends to offer best of both worlds and fill the price void created by the repositioning of the bigger car. We take the 2017 Range Rover Sport for a quick spin first on an open runaway and then for some more through an extreme off-road trail to find out if the new one lives up to the expectations.
EXTERIORS AND LOOK
Breaking the traditional description, the Sport chooses to look more gorgeous than anything similar to its dimension. Taking a whiff from Evoque’s lines, the Sport is more for the urban concrete jungle than being a wild life expedition tool. Also, don’t be fooled by those gorgeous lines as we have witnessed this sport of a vehicle take on rocks like none other.
Wind flow tunnel testing did loads of good by making the lines flow and stretch from the front to the rear. Old school squares and straights have been replaced by modern sleek lines with subtle contours. New face gets a twin slat mesh grille in a brushed finish, sleek headlamps with signature styled LEDs and a neatly parked Land Rover logo. Slender fog lamps try to camouflage the large air scoops on the front bumper. The matte cladding underneath looks tough. It also makes up for a strong jaw which can open wide and swallow a German hatchback for breakfast making the latter look like a pretzel.
The only line which is prominent on the silhouette is that connecting the headlights to the tail lamps. Receding styled A-Pillars followed by a tapering roofline give it an impacting presence. Add to that a strong shoulder line for no matter how gorgeous it is, still has to do justice to its SUV character. It also gets straight outta gym muscular flared wheel arches.
While the face of the Sport is fierce, the rear is calm with a voluptuous feel. It gets a bulging tail door which can be operated via a button located underneath. The tail door also sports neat and clean branding. Wish the dual pipes came with a square profile tucked inside the bumper instead of the simple round ones but I can let that one go cause the overall appeal of the rear looks too tempting to be criticised for something as vaguely small.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers a stylish space with an especially sleek look, thanks in part to the new oversize center-mounted touchscreen. The quality of the materials is excellent, including supple leather upholstery and available wood trim. While you’re in motion, road and tire noise is also subdued, something that not every large SUV can deliver.
The standard front seats are comfortable, and the available 16-way sport seats are even more supportive. The seating position is low relative to that of other Land Rover models for a more sporty impression, yet visibility is still good all around. Rear seats are adult-friendly in the outboard positions; as is often the case the center portion is considerably less accommodating. The available power-folding third-row seat is useful for young children, just as with third-row seats everywhere.
That new standard 10.2-inch touchscreen responds to smartphone-like gestures, including swipe and pinch-to-zoom, and it also features crisp graphics and rapid response times that make for easier access to settings and controls. We like the ability of the InControl App system to integrate Apple and Android-based smartphone apps right into the display.
The Range Rover Sport is shorter overall than a standard Range Rover in order to make it more responsive during driving, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it offers 27.7 cubic feet of stowage behind the second-row seats. Fold all the rear seats down and you end up with 62.2 cubic feet of space, which is less room than in some compact crossovers but on par with the space in competitors such as the Porsche Cayenne. The foot-operated power tailgate makes it easy to load cargo even with your hands full.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
As said above, this Land Rover Range Rover Sport model series is available in both petrol and diesel engine options for the buyers to choose from. Its Autobiography trim is equipped with a powerful 5.0-litre petrol engine under the hood, which comes with a displacement capacity of 4999cc. It is integrated with eight cylinders and thirty two valves. This engine can churn out a whopping power of 502.8bhp between 6000 to 6500rpm, while generating a commanding torque output of 625Nm at just 2500 to 5500rpm. On the other hand, the diesel variants are powered by a 3.0-litre, SDV6, turbocharged power plant, which comes with a displacement capacity of 2993cc. It comes with six cylinders and twenty four valves using double overhead camshaft based valve configuration. It has the ability to produce a maximum power of 212bhp at 4000rpm in combination with a commanding torque output of 600Nm at just 2000rpm. Both these engines have been mated with an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission gearbox that distributes the engine power to all four wheels. The gear box of petrol engine has twin speed transfer box, while diesel variants has single speed transfer box as well. This sophisticated gearbox not just improves the performance of the engine, but it also reduces the fuel consumption. For delivering a healthy fuel economy, both petrol and diesel mills are incorporated with a direct injection fuel supply system.
The commanding petrol mill is capable of returning a maximum fuel economy of around 10 Kmpl, when driven on bigger roads and gives nearly 6 Kmpl within the city limits. Whereas, its diesel power plant is integrated with direct injection fuel supply system, which helps in producing a mileage of approximately 14.7 Kmpl on expressways, which comes down to nearly 9 Kmpl under standard city traffic conditions.The V6 diesel engine has the ability to belt out a maximum power of 288.3bhp at 4000rpm and yields a peak torque output of 600Nm at 2000rpm, which is rather impressive. On the other hand, its petrol mill can churn out a peak power of 503bhp in the range of 6000 to 6500rpm. At the same time, it generates a maximum torque output of 625Nm that ranges between 2500 to 5500rpm that is good for Indian road conditions.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Most versions of the Range Rover Sport offer exemplary ride comfort. Particularly impressive suppleness at high speed makes this a superb car to drive on a long journey. Also, unlike in certain other luxury 4x4s, you don’t have to fiddle with numerous system preferences to get the car into a comfortable mode.The best-riding cars are at the bottom of the range – those on standard 20in wheels. Higher-spec and bigger-engined versions with 21 and 22in wheels are a little less supple over bumps, especially around town, but they’re still far from bad.The SVR version – the only Range Rover Sport offered with performance road tyres on its optional 22in wheels – has a slightly stiffer ride than other models with the same wheel size. Again, though, it’s excellent compared with the ride of most direct rivals, and it is more comfortable on the motorway than it is at lower speeds.
All Range Rover Sports offer an excellent blend of stability and relative agility. It isn’t the most athletic SUV of its kind, nor is it one that feels smaller than it actually is. Some rivals also offer more grip and tighter body control, but the Sport is an easy car to drive along a twisty road, mostly thanks to the consistency of its controls.Every model uses the same height-adjustable air suspension setup, but entry-level HSE versions don’t get all the high-tech handling and off-road aids of more expensive models. These can be added as an optional extra, and are worth having if poised handling and driving across tricky terrain are high on your list of priorities.
BRAKING AND SAFETY
Land Rover Range Rover Sport has been presented with one of the best braking systems that allow safe and sound sudden halts and quick deceleration from high speed. The brakes handle the car’s weight quite efficiently in every condition. Land Rover has been bestowed the SUV with a number of systems such as independent automatic locking hubs, central locking differential, vehicle stability control, terrain dynamic stability control, ABS, and EBD. Along with there is also a torque vectoring system that coordinates with its braking system for distributing the engine’s torque equally between all wheels. All these system keep the car stable and safe over all kind of twists and turns. Being a Land Rover vehicle, Range Rover houses a wide number of safety measures that include hill descent control, several air bags, brake assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), seat belts for front as well as rear seats row, and several others.
The Range Rover Sport finds a perfect balance between the smaller Evoque and the full-sized Range Rover. It does not look as sporty as the Evoque nor looks too stately like its elder sibling. It is also the quickest of the three and has the best overall performance both On / Off road provided it has the same electronics pack from the Range Rover. And the best part is, it has a starting price of less than Rs 1.10 crore (ex-showroom Mumbai) that makes it a lot more affordable than the Range Rover.
Looking at the competition in this segment is a little difficult; there can’t be any outright winners since most SUVs that cost over a crore will do your bidding in every situation. But each of them has a different personality; like the Toyota Land Cruiser is a Boxer, the Porsche Cayenne is a Samurai, while this one is a Hitman. And this characteristic of the Range Rover Sport works in its advantage in more ways than one– the black tuxedo also lets it mingle with the saloons!
Land Rover Range Rover Sport Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 89,44,000/- (Range Rover Sport 3.0l Diesel S) to 1,78,53,000/- (Range Rover Sport 5.0l Petrol SVR) .Land Rover Range Rover Sport has 5 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes in 25 colours, namely Mariana Black- Premium Metallic,Montalcino Red-metallic,Firenze Red-metallic,Loire Blue-metallic,Causeway Grey-premium Metallic,Havana-premium Metallic,Aruba-premium Metallic,Barossa- Premium Metallic,Havana,Nara Bronze Metallic,Aleutian Silver,Causeway Grey,Louire Blue,Barolo Black,Yulong White-metallic,Aintree Green-metallic,Santorini Black-metallic,Barolo Black-premium Metallic,Chile-premium Metallic,Ipanema Sand,Aintree Green Metallic,Mariana Blue,Luxor,Chile,Barossa.