2012 Range Rover Sport review

* Footballers' 4x4 gets a minimalistic makeover * More powerful diesel engine * Prices start at 48,795...

02 November 2011

2012 Range Rover Sport review

What is it? Land Rover has given its Range Rover Sport a range of updates for 2012 similar to those it gave to the Discovery.

So for 2012, the diesel's power has increased from 242 to 252bhp, while CO2 emissions fall from 243 to 230g/km. Fuel economy rises from 30.7 to 32.1mpg. The CO2 falls are not enough to warrant changes in company car tax, however. An eight-speed automatic gearbox replaces the six-speeder in the old model.

Read the full Range Rover Sport review >>

What's it like to drive? Despite the Sport weighing the best part of two-and-a-half tonnes, the engine gets the car up to speed with ease.

It's quiet while cruising and the new gearbox is rarely unsettled. You can use the paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear manually, but the automatic 'box always seems to be in the right one, so there's little need. Just sit back, relax and let this big car do the work for you.

As befitting a car with 'Sport' in its name, the Range Rover Sport handles pretty well certainly better than the Discovery, which is mechanically similar. Our test car was fitted with 19-inch wheels rather than the standard 20-inchers so while the ride was pretty comfortable, it may be firmer on the standard wheels.

The training ground car park of the local Premiership football club may be the most off-roading many Range Rover Sports manage, but the car has supreme off-road abilities.

What's it like inside? The main changes to the interior focus on the entertainment system. Like the 2012 Discovery, the Sport's Harman Kardon sound system has been increased from nine speakers to 11. Output has been upgraded, too, from 240W to 340W.

With the Premium Harman Kardon Logic 7 system, the number of speakers increase from 14 to 17 and power output rises from 480W to 825W. This, says Land Rover, boosts sound quality, especially for those in the rear seats.

The 7-inch touch-screen now offers Dual-View technology, so front-seat passengers can watch a DVD while the driver sees the sat-nav map, for example.

Further upgrades include iPod and video streaming, Bluetooth audio streaming and a new hard drive music server.

Away from the sound system, interior changes are kept to a minimum, but there's now a powered tailgate as standard.

Should I buy one? The Range Rover Sport is good to drive on- and off-road, but question marks remain about