2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Reviewers are impressed by the Range Rover Sport’s performance both on-road and off. They agree that both engines have ample power for everyday use, and that the power contained in the supercharged trim is downright wicked.
The auto press is unanimous in its praise for the Range Rover Sport’s handling on the pavement, where it exhibits a surprising lack of body lean. And even though the Range Rover Sport is more road-tuned than its siblings, it’s still a Land Rover, which means that it’s more than capable of wading through streams, snow and sand.
- "The wheelbase is 5 inches less than the Range Rover, which adds nimbleness to the handling but doesn't much affect the ride quality, the suspension is so good anyhow. And its 7 inches less overall length makes parking easier.” -- New Car Test Drive
- "The 5.0-liter V8 is a smooth, torque-rich mill that is happy to rev, and brings the Range Rover Sport's performance within striking distance of the competition.” -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
The 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers two engine options, depending on the trim. The base HSE and HSE Lux come standard with a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 that makes 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. Upgrading to the $75,395 Supercharged trim gets you a devastating 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, which rockets the Range Rover Sport from zero to 60 in 5.1 seconds. Reviewers love to drool over the excessive amount of power that the Supercharged engine has to offer, but they concede that the naturally-aspirated engine provides more than enough power for everyday use.
The EPA rates the HSE’s normally-aspirated engine at 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, and the turbocharged engine at 12/17 mpg city/highway. While these numbers may sound dismal in the midst of the national discussion about alternative fuels and rising gas prices, they are about average for the Range Rover Sport’s class of luxury large SUVs.
- "Range Rover Sport HSE has potent acceleration, never feeling taxed in daily driving. The Supercharged model is impressively strong and quick. In either model, the smooth automatic transmission shrewdly matches power delivery to demand.” -- Consumer Guide
- "It makes 375 horsepower and 375 foot-pounds of torque, which we found to be plenty during our test drive of the Range Rover HSE.” -- New Car Test Drive
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say that the 2011 Range Rover Sport handles surprisingly well for such a large SUV. Nearly every writer mentions the lack of body roll during turns, a problem that usually plagues large SUVS.
- "In Edmunds brake testing, a Range Rover Sport Supercharged slowed from 60 mph to zero in 123 feet, an impressive result for an SUV that weighs nearly 6,000 pounds.” -- Edmunds
- "Range Rover Sports are secure, balanced, and grippy. Body lean is well controlled, and cornering speeds can be satisfyingly quick in either model.” -- Consumer Guide
- "SUVs of this height and heft are not supposed to handle this well in the curves, and with so little body roll. There are limits, of course; but they're higher than one has a right to expect.” -- New Car Test Drive
Although the Range Rover Sport is tuned for better on-road performance compared to other members of the Land Rover family, it’s still a supremely capable off-road vehicle. It includes Land Rover’s standard Terrain Response System, which automatically adjusts power and braking when the driver selects one of five options: Highway, Mud and Ruts, Sand, Grass/Gravel/Snow, and Rock Crawl).
The Range Rover Sport also comes with Hill Descent Control, which is sort of like cruise control for low gears, and Hill Start Assist, which keeps the vehicle from rolling while the driver moves their foot from the brake to the throttle. These high-tech assist features, combined with a maximum wading depth of 27.6 inches and a maximum ground clearance of 8.9 inches, make the Range Rover Sport a formidable off-road machine.
- “Even if Range Rover Sport owners never go off-road, the Sport is more willing to dirty its boots than most of its competitors.” -- Edmunds
- "Its off-road capability is unsurpassed, which means flexibility and safety in winter.” -- New Car Test Drive
- "The Terrain Response system boasts a series of improvements, including improved performance when tackling challenging terrain like sand or large rocks. For soft sand conditions, a ‘sand launch control’ mode makes for noticeably easier drive-away.” -- Left Lane News