Range Rover Sport review

Category: Luxury SUV

The Range Rover Sport offers an excellent combination of luxury and off-road ability

Range Rover Sport front cornering
  • Range Rover Sport front cornering
  • Range Rover Sport rear cornering
  • Steve Huntingford test driving Range Rover Sport
  • Range Rover Sport boot open
  • Range Rover Sport interior infotainment
  • Range Rover Sport right driving
  • Range Rover Sport front right driving
  • Range Rover Sport right static
  • Range Rover Sport headlight detail
  • Range Rover Sport alloy wheel detail
  • Range Rover Sport badge detail
  • Range Rover Sport interior front seats
  • Range Rover Sport interior back seats
  • Range Rover Sport interior steering wheel detail
  • Range Rover Sport interior detail
  • Range Rover Sport interior detail
  • Range Rover Sport front cornering
  • Range Rover Sport rear cornering
  • Steve Huntingford test driving Range Rover Sport
  • Range Rover Sport boot open
  • Range Rover Sport interior infotainment
  • Range Rover Sport right driving
  • Range Rover Sport front right driving
  • Range Rover Sport right static
  • Range Rover Sport headlight detail
  • Range Rover Sport alloy wheel detail
  • Range Rover Sport badge detail
  • Range Rover Sport interior front seats
  • Range Rover Sport interior back seats
  • Range Rover Sport interior steering wheel detail
  • Range Rover Sport interior detail
  • Range Rover Sport interior detail
What Car?’s Range Rover Sport deals
New car deals
Save up to £4,771
Target Price from £75,255
Save up to £4,771
or from £685pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £74,105
Author Avatar
by
Steve Huntingford
Published23 February 2024

Introduction

What Car? says...

The clue is in the name with the Range Rover Sport. If you like the idea of a Range Rover but want a bit more sport in your SUV, Land Rover hopes this is the car for you.

It’s an alluring recipe – and a clever one, too. You see, the Range Rover Sport is based on the same platform as the Range Rover so it benefits from the bigger car’s luxurious interior, class-leading off-road tech and an impressive engine line-up that includes a fire-breathing 626bhp petrol V8, a diesel and a couple of frugal plug-in hybrids.

The Range Rover Sport has all that in a package that's more compact, more nimble and arguably more usable than its longer, taller stablemate.

So what’s the catch? Well, the biggest drawback is that the Sport is only available with five seats. But then again, has the lack of a seven-seat Porsche Cayenne hurt that model's sales? We think not.

Speaking of which, while the Range Rover Sport is quite a bit cheaper than a Range Rover, it’s still significantly more expensive than the entry-level versions of the Audi Q8, BMW X5, Lexus RX and Cayenne – but does that mean you shouldn’t buy one? This review will take you through the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.

Overview

The Range Rover Sport is a fantastic SUV that goes big on luxury, comfort and off-road ability. Other rivals are still sharper to drive, but few can pamper occupants at this level of comfort. Our favourite version is the entry-level D300 diesel engine and the mid-level Dynamic SE trim. That combination gives you a great mix of efficiency and performance, along with loads of standard kit.

  • Offers lots of Range Rover qualities for a lower price
  • Incredible ability off-road
  • Fantastic range on the PHEV model
  • Cheaper than a Range Rover, but still very expensive
  • Rivals are sharper to drive
  • Land Rover’s reliability record is a concern
New car deals
Save up to £4,771
Target Price from £75,255
Save up to £4,771
or from £685pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £74,105

Our Pick

OurPicksRRP £86,925
Land-rover Range-rover-sport 3.0 D300 Dynamic SE 5dr Auto review
What Car? Target Price
: £82,507
Save at least £4,417
Get the best price
See the full range

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Most engine options for the Range Rover Sport are 3.0-litre six-cylinder units, starting with the D300 diesel engine.

Producing 296bhp, it’ll get you from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds, so even though it’s the slowest accelerating engine in the line-up, it feels strong enough to haul along this heavyweight luxury SUV at speed. The D350 diesel brings the 0-62mph sprint down to 5.9 seconds but we’re not convinced it’s worth the extra outlay.

The P400 is the entry-level petrol option, and offers smooth and punchy acceleration (0-62mph takes just 5.7 seconds), but if it’s pace you’re after you’ll be interested in the 4.4-litre V8 in the P635. That's only fitted to the flagship performance-focused model – called the Range Rover Sport SV – and fires you up to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds, accompanied with a suitably rorty soundtrack. 

Those with an eye on efficiency will appreciate the two plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) – the P460e and a P550e – each with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine and a 31.8kWh (usable capacity) battery.

Performance is effortless in both, and we’d stick with the P460e because it doesn’t feel much slower than the P550e but increases the official electric range to 76 miles – 11 miles further than the BMW X5 xDrive50e.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Suspension and ride comfort

No matter which version you go for, the Sport impresses on the road. The air suspension is a little firmer than on the Range Rover, and you’re a bit more aware of bumps in the road as they pass beneath you, but thanks to tighter control, those obstacles are dealt with quickly, with very little aftershock. There’s less vertical body movement over undulating roads, too.

We’ve sampled the Sport on 22in and 23in alloy wheels, but the ride is likely to be even more supple on the free-to-option 20in ones. All of the Sport’s rivals are less comfortable on big alloys, including the generally smooth X5.

Range Rover Sport rear cornering

Handling

Every Range Rover Sport feels stable and relatively agile, but despite its name, we’d stop short of calling most of them athletic. The X5 and the Porsche Cayenne offer more grip and tighter body control, helping them to shrink around you when you start to pick up the pace, while the Sport always feels a little top-heavy.

The exception is the Range Rover Sport SV, which is lighter, gets bespoke suspension and has a lower ride height (you can also add carbon-ceramic brakes for great stopping power). As a result, the SV exhibits less body lean through corners than other versions. Note, though, that the similarly priced Aston Martin DBX707 and Lamborghini Urus handle just as well, if not better.

No matter which version you go for, the Sport is an easy car to drive along a twisty road. Rear-wheel steering, which is fitted as standard on the P635 and P550e, helps make the car remarkably agile at low speeds by greatly reducing the turning circle. That also helps off road, where every version of the Range Rover Sport is leagues ahead of its rivals.

Noise and vibration

There’s some wind noise on a motorway, but the disturbance is limited to a gentle flutter around the door mirrors and front pillars. On cars with an upgraded sound system, you also get an active noise-cancelling feature that uses microphones to monitor exterior noise then cancels it out with the speakers.

The D300 and D350 diesels are delightfully silken and quiet, remaining smooth even when pushed hard, but nothing in the range beats the PHEVs in electric mode for refinement. As you might expect, with their engines switched off, they’re both almost completely silent. 

The eight-speed automatic gearbox is fine at low speeds, but if you want a quick burst of pace, it does feel rather sluggish – certainly when compared with the Cayenne’s snappy auto box. We should also mention that the brake pedal in the PHEV is consistently weighted, making it easy to stop smoothly.

Driving overview

Strengths Punchy but smooth engines; SV handles well; cosseting ride comfort; hushed road manners

Weaknesses Not the most agile; automatic gearbox could respond quicker

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

The Sport seats you 20mm lower down than a full-size Range Rover but still offers a brilliant driving position and perches you high above the road.

What’s more, there’s a logical relationship between the placement of the steering wheel and pedals, and a very wide range of adjustment for the wheel and the front seats (which can be heated, ventilated and massaging depending on the spec).

The Range Rover Sport SV adds new Body and Soul front seats with built-in vibrating transducers so you can feel music the stereo through your body. Land Rover says they also help with well-being, reducing stress and increasing alertness behind the wheel.

A 13.7in digital driver display comes as standard, offering crisp and clear graphics and a useful level of customisation to choose what you want to see. It’s a bit of a shame the user-friendly physical air-con controls have been removed in an attempt to tidy up the dashboard – you now adjust the temperature on the touchscreen, as you would in a BMW X5 or Lexus RX.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The high and commanding driving position is matched by terrific visibility. Even with the seat in its lowest setting, the driver has a crystal-clear view all the way down to the nose of the car. The door mirrors are helpfully big, and a large rear window gives you a great view out of the back.

You get a 360-degree surround-view camera as standard, along with all-round parking sensors.

On Autobiography trim and above, you get a rear-view mirror that, at the flick of a switch, becomes a digital screen showing a view from the back of the car. It lets you see behind you even if the boot is loaded to the roof, and is available as an option lower down the range.

Steve Huntingford test driving Range Rover Sport

Sat nav and infotainment

Every Range Rover Sport gets a 13.1in touchscreen infotainment system that responds swiftly to inputs. Its resolution is impressive, and there are not too many sub-menus to dig through to find a particular function.

Amazon Alexa, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard so you can use your phone apps rather than the Land Rover system.

Even so, it’s a shame you don't get physical buttons or dials to help operate the touchscreen. The rotary dial controller in the X5 gives that car an advantage over touchscreen-only systems because it's much easier to use as you drive.

Quality

In terms of quality, the Sport’s interior really impresses. There’s a sturdy, high-quality feel throughout to rival the X5, and most of the materials match the more expensive Range Rover, which is great given the jump in price between the two models.

We love the attention to detail, from the stitching on the leather upholstery to the numerous chrome inlays.

Interior overview

Strengths Great driving position; brilliant visibility; feels plush

Weaknesses Air-con controls are now buried in the touchscreen

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

As you might expect given its size, the Range Rover Sport provides generous space for long-legged people up front, and there’s plenty of elbow room. There's fractionally less headroom than in a Range Rover but you’d have to be wearing a top hat to notice.

There are two cupholders on the centre console that can be covered by a sliding lid. The two gloveboxes and centre cubby are a good size (a refrigerated version of the cubby is available as an option), although the door pockets are quite slim.

Rear space

While some of the dimensions are a little smaller than the Range Rover, the distance between the front and rear wheels is the same (and greater than in the previous-generation Range Rover Sport).

That means that in the back there’s the same incredibly generous legroom as you’ll find in the Range Rover, but the reduced height of the car, the slightly sloping roofline and the panoramic glass roof mean rear headroom is lessened. It’s far from stingy, though, with even tall adults able to sit up straight with the sunroof fitted and have room to spare.

While the previous-generation Sport was available with seven seats, the latest model is a five-seater only. If you need to fit in more passengers, take a look at the Range Rover Long Wheelbase or see our guide to the best seven-seaters.

Range Rover Sport boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

The back seats recline at the press of a switch to several set positions to help passengers get comfortable and reduce the effect of the lessened rear head room. They also split and fold in a handy 40/20/40 configuration.

Like the driver, the front passenger is treated to 20-way electric seat adjustment (22-way on Autobiography models), including height and lumbar controls. Heated front and rear seats are standard, and a cooling function is available if you pay extra.

Boot space

The boot is big with no reduction in space if you opt for a PHEV model. We managed to fit in eight carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf, one less than you’ll fit in both the BMW X5 PHEV and the Lexus RX but still more than enough for a very big shopping trip.

Handily, you can raise and lower the height of the car with the air suspension using two buttons in the wall of the boot, making it easier to load in heavy objects. A powered tailgate is standard, and you can flip up part of the boot floor to make a backrest, allowing you to sit comfortably in the boot with the tailgate open.

Practicality overview

Strengths Spacious for all occupants; reclining rear backrest boosts comfort; useful boot capacity

Weaknesses Nothing major, but some rivals have even bigger boots

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

There’s no getting around it: the Range Rover Sport is an expensive car, costing a good 10-20% more in the showroom than many like-for-like luxury SUVs.

Even so, it still looks compelling next to the much more expensive Range Rover and it’ll hold its value just as well, outperforming the Audi Q8, the BMW X5 and even the Porsche Cayenne.

Fuel economy in the diesels will average around low to mid 30mpg, while the petrol P400 will hover around the mid 20s and the V8 P635 will be even less. Likewise, with a depleted battery, even the PHEVs will see fuel economy dip to the mid 20s.

The financial appeal is clearer to see for company car drivers. Thanks to the outstanding official electric range of 75-76 miles, both the plug-in hybrids are placed in the 5% benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bracket. That’s lower than the 8% band of its rivals (including the X5 and RX450h+).

The PHEV Range Rover Sports have a maximum charging speed of 50kW, so they can go from 0-80% of charge in less than an hour if you can find a quick enough charger, or 0-100% in five hours from a 7kW home charger. The PHEV X5 can charge at a much slower 7.4kW and the Lexus RX 450h+ manages 6.6kW. They both require around five hours for a full charge.

Equipment, options and extras

There are three main trim levels to choose from, SE, Dynamic SE and Autobiography. Entry-level SE gets loads of kit, including 21in wheels (which can be swapped for 20in alloys for no cost), keyless entry, two-zone climate control, a plush leather interior, adaptive cruise control and the infotainment system.

Our preferred Dynamic SE adds styling touches to the SE package, including dark grey wheels, black brake calipers, darker interior trim finishers and black roof lining.

Above that, Autobiography comes with a whole host of goodies, such as 22in wheels, heated and ventilated rear seats, an upgraded sound system and a sliding panoramic roof – but it is eye-wateringly expensive.

Likewise, the flagship Range Rover Sport SV is even more expensive (costing as much as the entry-level Lamborghini Urus S) and comes with 23in wheels, more aggressive exterior styling, bespoke suspension, and Body and Soul front seats. Carbon-ceramic brakes and carbon-fibre wheels are available as options.

Range Rover Sport interior infotainment

Reliability

It’s no secret that Land Rover has a terrible reliability record. It's one of the worst-performing manufacturers in our What Car? Reliability Survey and came 28th out of 32 car makers in the latest, 2023 results.

The latest Range Rover Sport is too new to have any reliability data for it yet, but it does come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, which can be extended at a cost. That’s par for the course and doesn’t come close to the 10-year/100,000-mile warranty you get for the Lexus RX if you service it each year at a main dealer.

Safety and security

The Sport was awarded the full five stars for safety by Euro NCAP. That matches the X5 and the Cayenne but it’s impossible to directly compare the three because all were tested in different years and the Cayenne’s rating has expired.

Regardless, the Sport scored well in all areas and comes with lots of standard safety equipment, including adaptive cruise control with steering assist, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking (AEB).

Costs overview

Strengths Well-equipped; strong residual values; PHEVs have excellent electric range; low BIK costs

Weaknesses Options can quickly drive up the price; SV is really expensive; thirsty petrol engines; questionable reliability

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

FAQs

  • While it's cheaper than a full-size Range Rover, the Sport will likely cost you 10-20% more than its rivals, including the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne.  Meanwhile, the flagship SV is vastly more expensive, costing the same as the Lamborghini Urus S

  • Yes – incredibly well, in fact. It’s predicted to hold its value better than all its rivals, including the Porsche Cayenne.

  • While Sport might be in its name, most versions are competent rather than sports-car like. That is, except the performance-focused Range Rover Sport SV model, which gets bespoke suspension and a lower ride height for better handling and control.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £4,771
Target Price from £75,255
Save up to £4,771
or from £685pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £74,105
RRP price range £75,255 - £114,050
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)5
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)diesel, petrol parallel phev
MPG range across all versions 362.2 - 39.4
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £721 / £7,468
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £1,442 / £14,936
Available colours