A high driving position is something that has marked out a Range Rover for decades – and even though the Sport’s isn’t quite as commanding as the traditional Range Rover’s, it doesn’t disappoint.
The seat is incredibly comfortable and supportive, although the integrated head restraint of the SVR’s sports seat is set slightly too low to be comfortable for tall drivers. The large pedals line up nicely with the seat, though, and the electric steering column offers lots of reach and rake adjustment.
The Terrain Response control (which allows you to adjust the car’s dynamic settings to suit the type of surface you’re driving on) is within easy reach on the centre console, but the central infotainment screen is marginally too far away to be operated without leaning forwards.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport visibility
You climb up into the driver’s seat, which gives you an excellent view of the road ahead. You can see over hedges, walls and most other vehicles, so can easily spot potential hazards. The view also helps when trying to place the car on the road; this is especially useful, considering how much road the Range Rover Sport takes up.
Your over-the-shoulder vision is excellent, too. It’s limited a little by the central pillar if the driver’s seat is set a long way back, but not by more than in any other large SUV.
The view directly backwards and in the rearview mirror is good, although the tapering rear side windows do restrict your vision slightly.
Manoeuvring is aided by standard front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera. You can pay extra to get an all-round camera system, which includes front, rear and bird’s eye views, or a self-parking system that’ll slot the car into a space for you.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport infotainment
Standard equipment on entry-level HSE versions includes a 10in touchscreen system in the centre of the dashboard, satellite navigation and LCD instruments that can be tailored to show sat-nav, audio or trip computer information. HSE models also get an eight-speaker, 250-watt audio system with Bluetooth media streaming and a DAB tuner.
A system called Incontrol Protect is standard on all models. This allows you to remotely monitor your car’s systems via an App on your smartphone, including how much fuel is in the tank and whether all the doors and windows are closed.
There’s even a ‘commute mode’ built into the sat-nav that learns your regular routes to work and informs you which is best based on live traffic updates, and various other apps can also be downloaded.
The touchscreen can be slow to respond occasionally, but the menu layouts are fairly logical and the high-set wide screen has clear graphics and is easy to see.
The USB and aux-in sockets are inside the cubby beneath the central armrest, which keeps wires and devices neatly out of sight – but equally, where they’re easy to forget when getting out. There are also 12-volt power sockets up front, in the middle row of seats and in the boot.
An extremely expensive 1700-watt Meridian ‘Signature Reference’ audio system is available as an option, with a much cheaper 825-watt Meridian ‘Surround’ alternative looking like better value. Rear-seat multimedia screens are also available – you can choose between 8.0in or 10in screens in the back - and aren’t too costly, while a ‘dual-view’ front screen that’ll enable your front-seat passenger to see different on-screen content while you’re driving is also offered – annoyingly, at extra cost to the optional digital TV tuner.
Surprisingly, opting for high-end Autobiography Dynamic trim doesn’t get you most of this kit as standard; only the mid-range audio system is thrown in.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport build quality
The standard of the Range Rover Sport’s cabin materials and their fit and finish are exceptionally high. The dashboard and other major fittings feel suitably solid, and there’s impressive attention to detail on show, from the stitching on the leather upholstery to how the numerous pieces of trim are neatly aligned.
That leather upholstery comes as standard, and you can pay extra for extended leather that also covers the central part of the dashboard and the top of the door trim, which makes the cabin feel even more luxurious.
The metal trim around the car’s various switchgear clusters adds a note of class to their appearance, but the plasticky feel of the switches themselves isn’t great; Audi, BMW and Mercedes all have buttons and controls that feel of superior quality.