Land Rover Range-Rover-Sport Performance
Thanks to its powerful V8 engines, smooth transmission and spry handling, reviewers appreciate the Range Rover Sport’s performance abilities on- and off-road. On the downside, the Range Rover Sport has dismal fuel economy.
- "It remains massively heavy and the fuel economy is woeful, but it's still a joy to drive and ride in." -- Car and Driver
- "Being that it's more city- and luxury-focused, though, the Range Rover Sport is more at home on the highway, and in that regard, it excels." -- Edmunds
- "One may not believe a vehicle that's this capable in the rough could be smooth on the road, but the same suspension that soaks up ruts makes the Range Rover Sport very compliant on the highway and around town." -- Kelley Blue Book
Acceleration and Power
The 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has two V8 engine choices. The base HSE and HSE Lux come with a 5.0-liter V8 that generates 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that makes 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque is available on Supercharged and Autobiography Sport trims. Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode, and higher trims have steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters. The Range Rover Sport gets up to 13/18 mpg city/highway, which is bad for the class, even among other V8 rivals like the Infiniti FX50. Also, the Range Rover Sport requires premium gas. The Range Rover Sport can tow up to 7,716 pounds when properly equipped.
Reviewers praise the Range Rover Sport’s V8 power, saying that it has great acceleration off the line and plenty of passing power on the highway. Critics also note that the automatic transmission is quick, responsive and offers smooth shifts. One test driver says the engine sounds good too.
- "Power to tow, pass and just flat-out haul is provided without hesitation." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Thankfully, 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
- "As we've come to expect of Land Rover transmissions, the Range Rover Sport's six-speed automatic upshifts nearly imperceptibly and kicks down multiple gears at once. Throw the automatic into Sport mode, and it holds lower gears, providing quick, satisfying accelerator response." -- Cars.com (2012)
- "The V8 engines emit satisfying growls under acceleration, and the supercharger whines under spirited throttle input, but it is never annoying." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say the Range Rover Sport has a smooth ride on the highway, despite being an SUV geared for off-road excursions. Test drivers are impressed with how well the Range Rover Sport stays flat around corners and doesn’t exhibit much body lean. Also, critics find that the steering is precise and doesn’t wander. Supercharged and Autobiography Sport models come with a sport mode and high-performance Brembo brakes.
- "Around corners, the Range Rover Sport feels composed, exhibiting an impressive lack of body roll for a vehicle of its size and weight. …" -- Edmunds
- "On dry pavement, the Sport handles like a sedan: Get into a corner, and the nose tucks in line, the body stays flat and the steering tracks well." -- Cars.com (2012)
- "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 (2012)
With standard four-wheel drive, an 8.9-inch ground clearance and a maximum water wading depth of 27.56 inches, the Range Rover Sport is a capable off-road SUV. The Range Rover Sport also has Terrain Response, which allows the driver to select between five different surfaces (gravel, grass, snow, rocks and tarmac) to get the best performance. Critics agree that the Range Rover Sport is one of the best luxury off-road SUVs on the market, largely because of its terrain system. Despite its high-tech off-road equipment, one reviewer says it doesn’t handle the snow well.
- "Permanent 4-wheel drive and a sophisticated electronic terrain management system deserve most of the credit for the Sport's off-road prowess, but you can just tell your friends it's your impressive driving skills and no one will be the wiser." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "For the rare driver who actually needs some of these capabilities, however, the Range Rover Sport is still much more proficient off-road than pretty much anything in the luxury segment." -- Edmunds
- "Despite its elaborate technology, our Range Rover Sport underwhelmed in snow." -- Cars.com (2012)