The Range Rover Sport review: It is an SUV with a sense of occasion

The Range Rover Sport
Built mostly in aluminium, this top-of-the-line SUV is Jaguar Land Rover’s answer to the keenly contested SUV line-up that includes Audi’s Q7, BMW’s X5, and Mercedes-Benz’s GLE and the Volvo XC90. So what sets it apart?

For starters, it’s no secret the Range Rovers have a blue-blooded fan base with Queen Elizabeth II having been spotted in the originally British badge for years, and across its product range. Sitting in the Range Rover Sport is experience enough to gauge what makes it such a hot favourite. The Range Rover Sport is a car you climb into — not open and jump into, given its stance. 

Perched high and built like a tank, this is not the vehicle to use for vegetable-shopping around the corner or a quick haircut to the local salon. It is an SUV with a sense of occasion. While such old-fashioned notions may be fast becoming irrelevant, some things are still built for purpose. 

The Range Rover Sport is one such vehicle. Inside the Sport, the interiors are tricked out in high-quality leather, plastic and metal trims that are conservatively sporty. What that means is you won’t get edgy speaker grills or cutting-edge infotainment screens or futuristic car-control systems. In fact, in bits and pieces,  some of the interiors even reminded me of the Mitsubishi Montero SUV that is not entirely bad given its lack of the inessential. 

When I first heard that the Sport was powered by a 2-litre engine from the Ingenium family, I scratched my head. That’s about the same size as the engines that power Honda Civics but the Sport is a hulk of a 2,000-kg sport-ute, even with the aluminium infusion. So I was curious to see if it would feel underpowered. But this isn’t any ordinary 2-litre engine. It’s a turbocharged version that also drives the F-Type. 

Step on the gas, and the Sport gets going eagerly enough but it lacks that spirited punch you’d expect from a vehicle with the prefix Sport. There’s also a discernible level of body roll when you push it around tight corners and bends. 

More evidence that this is a sport-ute meant for the country and long wide highways. Once you do get into the country, though, the power supply is ample and its performance starts to impress. Stately, safe and elegant, the four-wheel-drive Range Rover has never had a challenge with sales and fans worldwide, but going ahead in a world of Teslas and UVs made by Lamborghini and Maserati, the addition of a little razzmatazz would build that ecosystem into an even larger following.

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