Range Rover Sport long-term test: report 3

This luxury SUV aims to blend the opulence of the latest Range Rover with a sharper drive, but does it succeed? We're living with a nearly new example to find out...

Range Rover Sport LT crossing a ford

The car Used Range Rover Sport D350 Autobiography Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it’s here To see if the full-sized Range Rover's sportier sister feels as special as it should during everyday use

Needs to Offer the comfort, refinement and general wow factor that you'd expect from a £100k luxury SUV, while mixing in the driving fun you wouldn't

Mileage on arrival 6200 Mileage now 7800 List price when new (2022) £99,245 Price new with options £100,790 Value on arrival £100,186 Test economy 28.8mpg Official economy 36.7mpg

25 September 2023 - Surprising strengths (and weaknesses)

“Isn’t it difficult to drive such a big car? Don’t you find it a nightmare to park?” I've been asked these things a lot since I took delivery of my Range Rover Sport (most recently by the father of one of the other students in my daughter’s ballet class). However, while you can become acutely aware of the Sport’s width when the road or parking bay is particularly narrow, in most situations the honest answer to both questions is: “No, not at all.”

Range Rover Sport LT with previous-generation car

It helps that you sit high enough to look HGV drivers in the eye, so can see a long way down the road, even when traffic is heavy. Plus, it’s very easy to judge the extremities of the car when manoeuvring in tight spaces, because the bonnet stretches straight out in front of you instead of dropping away out of sight, and pretty much no bodywork extends beyond the big rear window.

True, the pillar between the front and rear doors is on the chunky side, so can restrict over-the-shoulder visibility – not ideal, when changing lanes on the motorway. Fortunately, though, big door mirrors and the standard blindspot monitoring system compensate for this.

In fact, the car is positively stuffed with driver aids. More obvious items on the list include all-round parking sensors and a 360-degree surround-view camera. Then there’s the fancier tech, such as a rear collision monitor that can stop you reversing into the path of other vehicles, and a rear-view mirror that, at the flick of a switch, becomes a digital screen showing a feed from the back of the car.

Range Rover Sport parking camera display

My Range Rover Sport is even surprisingly manoeuvrable, thanks to its four-wheel steering system, which allows the rear wheels to turn in the opposite direction to the fronts at low speeds. This results in a turning circle of just 10.95 metres, which is about the same as you get with a Volkswagen Golf; Sport's without four-wheel steering require 12.53 metres.

That’s the good news, but I’m afraid I also have bad news to report: the Sport didn’t cope very well recently when traversing a ford. I was there with What Car?’s chief photographer John Bradshaw so he could take some pretty pictures of my car doing the sort of thing you'd expect it to be good at. But while his Cupra Leon Estate was able to make it to the other side unscathed, the Sport emerged with its front undertray hanging off.

It turns out that while this is screwed in at the back, it’s held in place at the front by rather flimsy plastic clips, with the pressure of the water enough to dislodge them. And although I was able to clip the tray back into place at the front, it’s still hanging down slightly because being dragged beneath the car tore it away from one of the rear screws.

Range Rover Sport LT with broken undertray

More worryingly, on the drive back to the What Car? office, the warning ‘Suspension fault detected’ flashed up in the instrument panel. I’m relieved to say that a few days later, just before the car was due to be looked at by Land Rover – and presumably once it had fully dried out – the fault remedied itself. But it’s still disappointing that a shallow stream could cause such problems.

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