Buyers choose between a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel and a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine, and both are perfectly suited to shifting two tonnes of 4x4. So, it's simply a case of how fast you want it to be shifted, and how much you can afford to pay for the privilege. All deliver excellent torque and synchronise smoothly with the standard ZF six-speed automatic gearbox.
The Terrain Response system changes the car's set-up to suit whatever kind of road you're driving on, and this helps the car's handling. Top-trim cars also have active anti-roll bars to counteract body lean through corners. The Sport is still not the best-driving on-road car of its type, but its rivals are nowhere near as competent off-road.
Both engines are wonderfully refined, both in terms of the way they deaden unwanted sound and mesh smoothly with the automatic gearbox. The big wheels generate a fair amount of road noise, and such a big, bluff car is bound to stir up some wind noise when it gets up to speed.
A car such as this can only ever be expensive to run. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel is thirsty enough, while the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol will cost silly money to run. Resale values are poor for petrol models, too, but they're stronger on diesel. Still, that's made discounts easier to get.
The Sport's cabin looks and feels as you would expect for such a car; the materials are lavish and the assembly is generally solid. Land Rover's reliability record is improving all the time, but the Sport has not been entirely free of problems. Still, owners rated the car's reliability as excellent in the 2012 JD Power survey.
As well as the reassurance of four-wheel drive, the Sport comes with stability control to help you stay on the road in slippery conditions, and Terrain Response, which lets you optimise the car for different conditions if you wish to venture into the rough. Trailer and roll-over stability are also on hand. Deadlocks and an alarm help it fend off thieves.
The Sport has the king-of-the-road driving position that makes the Range Rover's cabin so appealing, although its sloping centre console creates a more cocooned feel. There's a good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment, and the simple switchgear is clear and more intuitive.
The Sport seats four in comfort and five at a push. However, its rear wheelarches takes a big bite out of the door openings, impeding access to the back. The boot is a good size, and a separately opening rear screen means you can drop in smaller items without having to lift the whole tailgate.
Entry-level SE cars come with electric leather seats, alloys, parking sensors, a hard disk drive navigation system, alloys and a Harmon Kardon stereo with USB and Bluetooth connections. HSE versions add additional equipment – the amount depending on the engine you choose – and you can extend your kit further with the HSE Luxury Pack. HSE Red and Autobiography Sport versions mainly add aesthetic upgrades.
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This is our favourite version as it has an engine up to the task of hauling two tonnes of luxury 4x4 around. Good on-road; brilliant off-road.