Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Range Rover Sport is an expensive car, and no amount of adjusting for standard equipment or balancing out ownership costs will mitigate that fact. It’s a good 10-20% pricier in the showroom than many like-for-like rivals – and that turns out to be a good rule of thumb for other costs, too, with contract hire and monthly PCP bills all putting the car at a similar premium.
Real-world fuel economy is closer to that of the Range Rover Sport’s rivals, but official CO2 emissions figures are still higher than its competitors; the smallest 3.0-litre diesel emits slightly more CO2 than the equivalent 50 TDI engine in the Audi Q7, for example. Meanwhile, Land Rover claims economy figured for the P400 petrol that virtually match its BMW X5 40i rival.
Those who can make use of the P400e plug-in hybrid’s all-electric range (you’ll need to keep its battery pack charged up to do so) can unlock seriously cheap running costs. Company car users will also enjoy its low rate of Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax. However, when the battery is too flat for the electric motor to function, you should expect no more than about 25mpg at best. If you make relatively few slow urban journeys and cover lots of motorway miles, a diesel engine makes far more sense.
Equipment, options and extras
Range Rover Sport trims are split into HSE, HSE Dynamic, and Autobiography Dynamic, with SVR at the top of the range, with a sporty-looking HST trim that’s only available with the P400e and P400 engines.
We’d recommend HSE, not least because the car is expensive enough in entry-level trim – HSE Dynamic and Autobiography Dynamic don’t really add enough to justify the added expense. The HSE is pretty well equipped, anyway – it has 20in alloy wheels, air suspension, electrically adjustable leather seats, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry and an electrically operated tailgate.
To that, we’d add the on/off-road pack, body-coloured side sills and bumper corners, and the Meridian surround-sound system (for optimal resale values, as much as anything). Adding the adaptive cruise control would help make long-distance cruising that bit easier, too.
The Range Rover Sport got a pretty poor rating from owners in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey; it finished 21st out of 25 large and luxury SUVs scrutinised. Things are no better for the Land Rover brand, either; it achieved below-average marks to finish 30th out of the 31 manufacturers tested.
The standard three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty should provide some peace of mind, especially because it covers the car for towing as well as normal usage. After it expires, you can continue cover with an extended warranty to cover the Range Rover Sport until it reaches ten years of age, but a 100,000-mile limit applies.
Three years' worth of breakdown cover also comes with the car, including the cost of recovery to the nearest Land Rover dealer and onward transport or overnight accommodation. That, too, can be extended at extra cost.
Safety and security
Every model has front, side and curtain airbags, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and a sophisticated stability control system that includes trailer stability assistance. Blindspot monitoring, lane departure warning and cross traffic alert are standard on HST and above. An emergency SOS feature is standard. This notifies the emergency services of your location if sensors detect a crash or the airbags are deployed. The Range Rover Sport itself hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but all other models in the Range Rover line-up all gained the full five stars.
Most models come with a space-saver spare wheel, so we’d add the optional full-sized one, especially if you plan to use your car to tow or drive off road. The SVR model makes do with a tyre repair kit as standard, with the space-saver spare wheel available as a no-cost optional extra. Because the P400e's battery pack occupies the space where a spare wheel would usually go, you get a tyre repair kit instead.
An alarm and an engine immobiliser are on hand to fend off thieves. However, if your Range Rover Sport is stolen, a feature called Incontrol Secure tracks the car to increase the chances of a speedy recovery. Security expert Thatcham Research awarded the car top marks for resisting being driven away and four out of five for guarding against being broken into.