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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It's sharper than your average Land Rover on-road, but it's still superb in the mud

Against Even so, the way it drives still doesn't live up to the Sport tag

Verdict The image is good, but it’s expensive

Go for… 4.2 V8 Supercharged

Avoid… 2.7 TDV6 HSE

Land Rover Range Rover Sport 4x4
  • 1. It's a sharper drive on-road than a standard Range Rover, but it's still no match for a BMW X5
  • 2. The space inside is at least as good as an X5's, with room for four, and even five at a pinch
  • 3. Although the car sits a little lower than the standard Range Rover, it still has a commanding driving position
  • 4. The boot is a good size and access is good
  • 5. The shape of the rear doors can make getting in and out a little difficult
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Land Rover Range Rover Sport 4x4 full review with expert trade views

Don't be fooled by the 'Sport' name. Although there's no denying this is a sharper drive on-road than a standard Range Rover, it's still no match for a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne.

On the other hand, it's every bit as good as you'd expect of a Land Rover off-road, with a bewildering, but very effective, array of electronic aids to get the best out of it.

Although the car sits a little lower than the standard Range Rover, you still have a commanding, high driving position, and the centre console is angled towards the driver to give a more sporty feel.

The space inside is at least as good as an X5's, with room for four, and even five at a pinch. Although the shape of the rear doors does make getting in and out rather awkward, there are no complaints about the size of the boot.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Rock-solid image. Holds its value better than Range Rover

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The Range Rover Sport is so big and heavy that even the 295bhp 4.4 V8 petrol struggles, and needs working very hard, which is difficult because the standard automatic transmission often sits in too high a gear.

Instead, our favourite is the supercharged 4.2 V8, the most powerful engine in the range, but the only one to give you something approaching sporty performance - albeit with a hefty price to pay at the fuel pumps.

For better economy you could plump for the 2.7 TDV6 diesel, but performance is sluggish. The TDV8, found in the Range Rover, was a late addition to the Sport range, and is extremely rare on the used market.

Whichever trim you go for, you'll get plenty of equipment. The 'basic' S is anything but, and includes plenty of safety and luxury equipment. However, we'd be tempted to upgrade to SE or HSE, which add equipment such as metallic paint and sat-nav.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Quite a few around now, 4.4 V8 HSE can be good value

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Buying and running a Range Rover Sport is a costly business. It's expensive as a new car and, because of its relative youth, there aren't many used examples around. Most of them are still at Land Rover dealers, as well, so it's an expensive used buy.

To keep costs as low as possible, you have to go for a diesel version although, as we've said, it's hardly sporty. Not only are the diesels the cheapest to buy, they also have the best fuel economy and the lowest insurance groups. Also, it is the only engine available with the most basic S trim.

The Sport is at least cheaper to buy and run than a Porsche Cayenne. However, next to a BMW X5, the fuel economy of the Sport looks very poor, as do average repair costs and labour rates at Land Rover dealers.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Rock-solid image. Holds its value better than Range Rover

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The Sport has already been subject to three recalls: in cars built before February 2006, there was a potential problem with the brake hose and pad sensor, leading to chafing on the wheel weights; cars built between August and September 2005 had a potential problem with the 'park' function of the automatic transmission; and, also in September 2005, some cars had a rear belt buckle that could malfunction in an accident.

Other than that, though, we have heard of no major problems with this car. For the time being, all models are still covered by the new-car warranty.

That will give welcome peace of mind to people worried by Land Rover's poor performance in customer satisfaction surveys. However, in the company's defence, the latest models like the Sport are yet to figure in the results, and early signs are that they are much better than older Land Rovers.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Quite a few around now, 4.4 V8 HSE can be good value

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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