Land Rover Range Rover Sport Performance
The redesigned 2014 Range Rover Sport impresses reviewers with its strong engine, agile handling, comfortable ride and poise on tough off-road courses. Its biggest drawback is its lackluster fuel economy, which is somewhat lower than that of other luxury midsize SUVs.
- "Words like ‘hot hatch’ and ‘sports car’ were used throughout the day - how often do you hear that of a 4700 pound SUV?" -- AutoWeek
- "Drive the new one, however, and you'll find that it doesn't so much triumph over physics as it traipses through a realm where physics don't apply. It feels like a hot hatch on two-lanes and an M1A1 Abrams tank on two-tracks-despite a 7.1-inch-longer wheelbase." -- Car and Driver
- "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
- "We drove the 2014 Range Rover Sport over undulating English country roads, through tightly spaced old English towns, up muddy hills, into and out of the deepest water we've ever braved, and on an active English runway at 145 mph, and it was brilliant every step of the way." -- Kelley Blue Book
Acceleration and Power
The Range Rover Sport comes standard with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. A supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque is optional. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with either engine. A V6-powered Range Rover Sport earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 17/23 mpg city/highway, while the V8 model achieves 14/19 mpg. The Range Rover's fuel economy estimates are a bit low for the class.
Reviewers are pleased with the standard V6, saying that it has plenty of power in all situations. Still, many test drivers prefer the V8 for its added power, as well as for the pleasing sound it produces. The transmission also earns reviewer praise for making the most of the engine's power.
- "Swapping the V-8 Range Rover Sport for one with the supercharged V-6 about halfway through the day, I was reminded of the Jaguar F-type. Although these vehicles have nothing in common on the surface, I found in both the Range Rover Sport and the F-type that the V-6 was perfectly adequate, but the V-8 was just that much more satisfying." -- CNET
- "And while blasting along the backroads of England and Wales, I eagerly opted for the paddle setup during long stretches of back-and-forth curves. But even when left to its own devices, the eight-speed unit is a trusty friend that will always have you exactly where you need to be in the rev range, every time." -- 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). Power from the supercharged 3.0-liter is always available but leaves us longing for the relentless, effortless whomp of the blown 5.0-liter. We expect a mid-four-second 0-to-60 time for that one." -- Car and Driver
- "Acceleration is strong with either engine, but the V8 can reach 60 mph in less than five seconds and, as we experienced on a closed runway, it can exceed 150 mph. And it sounds fantastic." -- MSN
Handling and Braking
Most reviewers are impressed with the 2014 Range Rover Sport's handling capabilities, especially since vehicles that tend to excel at off-roading are usually not very comfortable on pavement. The Range Rover Sport is praised for its great balance of ride comfort and nimble handling. Additionally, test drivers report that its brakes have plenty of stopping power, and most reviewers like its steering for its weight and accuracy.
- "The steering felt much quicker and more responsive than before, with good weighting and enough feel for both on- and off-road maneuvers." -- AutoWeek
- "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
- "The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a great leap forward from the previous-generation Range Rover Sport when it comes to ride comfort and handling. It feels lighter and more composed in normal driving situations, and its reflexes are downright athletic on twisty back roads." -- Edmunds
- "The suspension and Brembo brakes provide the sport. The binders are firm but provide excellent braking whatever the top speed, even with the optional 22-inch wheels. The electric power steering was the one piece of new Range Rover Sport technology I found less than impressive. The steering did not have much snap back to center and felt looser than I would like." -- Motor Trend
- "Performance SUVs are usually terrible on rough roads. The sharp handling apparently results from springs and dampers made of granite. But point the nose of the Range Rover Sport toward any road from a dirt trail to downtown Detroit, and the supple air suspension glides above it all with little cabin intrusion." -- Road and Track
The redesigned Range Rover Sport comes with full-time four-wheel drive and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which offers different 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, which makes it easier to go down steep grades off-road. Upper trims get Terrain Response 2, which automatically detects which mode is best for the conditions and switches accordingly, without driver input. Reviewers agree that the Range Rover Sport excels at off-roading, with impressive water-wading capability as well as the ability to tackle just about any other off-roading challenge without issue.
- "We negotiated some precarious off-road trails covered in red clay, mud, and 3-foot-deep streams. The Sport never hesitated or struggled. It's amazing how capable this new Range Rover really is, considering few owners will ever challenge it on anything rougher than the gravel road to the family's six-bedroom, six-bath ‘cabin’ in the Hamptons." -- Motor Trend
- "On rutted off-road track, the RR Sport felt solid with a comfortable ride. There was no groaning or squeaking (except from the passengers) as the vehicle traversed extreme angles that required the full use of its 21 inches of axle articulation. In fact, the RR Sport is impressively quiet on- or off-road." -- MSN
- "While that may be the case, I was suitably impressed during an off-road drive that the Range Rover Sport can handle as much as the most capable production vehicle." -- CNET
- "But no matter, if you do decide to caulk the wagon and ford the river, the Range Rover will be just fine. Do what I did, and instead of crossing the river, make a right turn and drive upstream for a little while. It can handle it. I promise." -- Autoblog
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