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Land Rover Range Rover Sport Performance

Most automotive journalists say the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport’s base engine puts out a good amount of power, but some wish it were a bit livelier. However, they agree that either of the optional supercharged V8 engines produce superior power. Test drivers like the 2015 Range Rover Sport’s smooth, pleasant ride on the highway. It also has sharp handling and steering, they add. Reviewers are impressed with the Range Rover Sport’s excellent off-road capabilities. The Range Rover Sport earns poor fuel economy estimates for the class.

  • "Undaunted in the extremes, it was the Range Rover Sport's ease of use around town and in everyday driving that most impressed us. Comfortable yet responsive, the fact that this luxury SUV can be so adept off road without sacrificing ride comfort on road explains why the Range Rover Sport has become the darling of the landed gentry." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Range Rover Sport will get you and up to your six of your closest friends nearly anywhere in this world. Now it will do it even quicker." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "On the road, ride comfort is excellent, with a supple approach to bumps, graduated roll control, and accurate and well-weighted steering. The Range Rover Sport cossets its occupants like no other, but without compromising the handling." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 340 horsepower. A 510-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine is optional, while a 550-horsepower V8 comes with the newly available Range Rover Sport SVR. All models have an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base Range Rover Sport earns an EPA-estimated 17/22 mpg city/highway, which is poor for the class.

Most reviewers say the 2015 Range Rover Sport’s base engine produces more than enough power to please most drivers. However, a few point out that they wish it were a bit peppier. Both available V8 models earn praise for their exceptional power delivery and spirited acceleration. Some automotive journalists also point out that the transmission is slick-shifting.

  • “The added power of the V8 is nice, but we found the V6 plenty of engine for the svelte Sport." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We wouldn't mind a little more get-up-and-go from the base V6, but the V8s are downright thrilling when you give them the spurs." -- Edmunds
  • "Land Rover has taken the consistently excellent 5.0-liter supercharged V8 from the Sport Supercharged and Autobiography to the outer limit, joining the likes of the Jaguar XFR-S, XKR-S, XJR and F-Type R Coupe and allowing the Sport SVR to stampede to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 162 mph." -- Autoblog
  • "Gear engagement is polished, which is good, because the box does a lot of shuffling to make its improved EPA numbers (2 and 4 mpg combined for the V-8 and V-6 models, respectively)." -- Car and Driver (2014)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers are pleased with the 2015 Range Rover Sport's smooth, comfortable ride on the pavement. They also praise the Range Rover Sport’s sharp handling and responsive steering.

  • "It's hard to believe that such a heavy, high-riding crossover can handle this well. The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport powers down twisty roads with impressive confidence and stability. Is it as sharp as the Cayenne? No, not quite, unless perhaps you're talking about the SVR. But it's certainly close enough to be a blast through the turns." -- Edmunds
  • "More front and rear wheel travel and pneumatically cross-linked air springs simulate the kind of articulation formerly only available with solid axles, which further improves the SUV's formidable off-road capability while creating a silky-smooth ride." -- Left Lane News
  • "The steering felt much quicker and more responsive than before, with good weighting and enough feel for both on- and off-road maneuvers." -- AutoWeek (2014)
  • "Handling? Yes, there's quite a bit: With the active-roll-control system, an optional rear electronic locking differential, and a torque-vectoring unit on uplevel models, the Sport has shocking directional agility. We'd call it gecko-like, but then there'd be two zoological similes in this story." -- Car and Driver (2014)

Off-Roading

The 2015 Range Rover Sport comes with full-time four-wheel drive and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which offers drive modes for different types of terrain, including snow, mud and ruts, sand and rock. The Range Rover Sport also comes with hill descent control. Upper trims get Terrain Response 2, which automatically detects which mode is best for the conditions and adjusts automatically. Test drivers say the Range Rover Sport excels off the pavement and can tackle most terrain without issue. Still, a few critics say that although the Range Rover Sport’s off-road capabilities are impressive, they don’t quite match the capabilities of the larger Range Rover.

  • "What's most surprising about the SVR is that Land Rover hasn't completely eviscerated the SVR's off-road ability. A four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case remains in place to facilitate rock crawling, the center differential remains lockable, all-season tires are standard, the adjustable air suspension offers up to 9.3 inches of ground clearance, and wheel travel remains the same as that of the standard version." -- Car and Driver
  • "Away from civilization, the Range Rover Sport continues to impress -- it may not be as capable on tough trails as the regular Range Rover, but it should be enough for the occasional foray into the woods." -- Edmunds
  • "We also acknowledge that while most Range Rover Sports will never see anything more menacing than a Macy's parking-lot speed bump, it is, in fact, one of the most tenacious and capable 4-wheel-drive vehicles in the world." -- Kelley Blue Book
Review Last Updated: 5/15/15

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