Range Rover Sport long-term test: report 5

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 with Range Rover Velar 24MY

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 8800 List price when new (2022) £99,245 Price new with options £100,790 Value on arrival £100,186 Test economy 30.4mpg Official economy 36.7mpg

24 October 2023 - Size matters

Contrary to what you might have heard, the Great Wall of China can’t be seen from space with the naked eye. However, there are several manmade objects that can, including the Bingham Canyon Mine near Salt Lake City, the Three Gorges Dam which spans the Yangtze River, and (probably) the infotainment touchscreen in the Range Rover Sport.

Indeed, when I pulled up outside a friend’s house the other day, it was genuinely the glow from my car’s screen that alerted them to my presence, with it clearly visible through their kitchen window.

Range Rover Sport LT - using touchscreen

Okay, at 13.1in it’s not quite the biggest touchscreen you’ll find in a car; the one in the Tesla Model S measures 17in, for example, while the optional Hyperscreen setup in the Mercedes EQS brings a 17.7in unit. However, the Sport’s still impresses anyone who catches a lift with me.

Don’t think it only brings wow factor, either. At What Car? we’ve long championed old-school buttons and dials, because they can be operated by feel alone – unlike touchscreens. But if you’re going to go down the latter route, bigger really is better, because the various icons can also be bigger, making them easier to hit without taking your eyes off the road for an extended period.

Logical menus and quick responses also boost ease of use in the Sport. And I appreciate the fact that Land Rover hasn’t tried to cram too many things onto the screen; you still get separate rotary knobs for the climate control and driving modes.

Range Rover Sport LT Terrain Response control knob

The advantages that these bring were reinforced last week when we had the 2024 model year version of the Range Rover Velar in for a test drive. For while that has the same swift operating system as my Sport, it moves the climate and driving mode functionality onto the touchscreen.

True, the temperature controls are always on display at the sides, but this leaves less space for everything else, and you still have to click through to a secondary menu to adjust the strength or direction of the airflow. Meanwhile, the driving modes are relegated to another sub menu, so you can’t access them at all without first switching away from the sat-nav screen, off-road camera display or whatever else you happen to be using.

I realise why car designers remove buttons, of course; it gives the dashboard a stylish, minimalist look while saving the company money. However, personally, I much prefer the Sport’s layout.

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