2019 Range Rover Sport Review
Car Tested: 2019 Range Rover Sport SE 2.0 Petrol; Road Test No. 1118; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,12,14,120/-
The Range Rover Sport offers astounding value with its sophisticated looks, outstanding comfort and pleasant ride
Range Rover is probably all the car one would ever need. It is big, imposing, luxurious, well equipped and has a become a bit of a pop culture icon in recent times. Needless to say, it can eat mountains for breakfast. The only trouble is, it is not exactly a driver's car. But Land Rover has got you covered. The Range Rover Sport is the relatively smaller, cheaper and more driver-oriented alternative to the bigger Rangie. Land Rover updated the Range Rover Sport last year and now have given it an efficient 4-pot petrol motor. Has the update and the new engine made the Range Rover Sport an even more compelling package? Let us hit the road to find out.
Motor Quest: The first generation Range Rover Sport was introduced in 2005 as a sportier alternative to the bigger Range Rover. The design of the Sport was inspired by the Range Stormer concept which debuted in 2004. The first generation model had a semi-monocoque chassis which was also found in the Discovery 3. Land Rover redesigned the Range Rover Sport for the 2013 model year and the same was launched in India in 2014. Today, the Range Rover Sport sits at a position just below the big Range Rover in the Range Rover family.
Exteriors - The Range Rover Sport looks much like a conventional SUV. It does without the swooping lines and flowing roofs. What you get is a standard and slightly boxy looking shape but the facelift has ensured it stays with the times. The headlights look sleek and the equally minimalistic grille is refreshing in today's age where car grilles seem to be getting bigger and bigger. The heightened profile accentuated by the beefy bumper gives the Sport tremendous road presence. The scoops on the bonnet show the subtle sporty nature of the car.
The Sport looks elegant, sporty and rugged and has great road presence
We love the balanced and tastefully done side profile. Nothing is excessive and nothing looks too bland. The continuous straight line from the headlight to the tail light is a nice touch. We also loved the wheels on our test car. The stand out elements on the rear are the intricately styled tail lamps and the rugged bumper. We like the old school and elegant design of the Sport. Finally, a luxury SUV that does not try too hard to look sporty!
Interiors - Range Rover cars have mastered the art of making you feel extremely special every time you enter their cabins. The interior of this SUV is quite premium with plush leather everywhere. The layout does not look dated as Land Rover have now incorporated two-touch screens on the dashboard. The one above comes out ever so slightly when you start the car to match your viewing angle. It is a neat touch and the infotainment system is an impressive effort. The graphics are crisp and the touch interface is quite responsive. It is the bottom screen that tells you the info of the climate settings and the off-road configuration. We particularly like the attention to detail and clever animations on this screen.
The dual touch-screen infotainment and climate control system gives the Range Rover Sport a polished and upmarket feel
The driving position is spot on and it is unlikely you'll find yourself wanting for better adjustment. You sit high up and the front seats are supremely comfortable. The instrument cluster is all-digital and the steering controls, which are essentially small displays, change to the setting that you are in. The quality of materials is superb with soft-touch materials adorning most visual areas. Quality of some controls and buttons could've been better, however, as a whole, the interior feels fitting to a car of this price.
There is nothing to complain about when it comes to equipment. The Sport is available in three trim levels - S, SE, and HSE. Standard equipment includes 8-way powered front seats, ambient lighting, park assist, two-zone climate control amongst others. The top-spec HSE trim gives you a premium Meridian sound system, 16-way seat adjust, three-zone climate control and plusher Windsor leather seats.
The cabin is extremely spacious and luxurious with incredible attention to detail and rich leather all around
The rear seats are as good as those in the front with thick cushioning and lots of space. Details like the touch-sensitive reading light add to the character of the back seat. That said, we found the centre seat to be a little uncomfortable and the child seat locks were difficult to access. Those aren't major shortcomings and we think you'll be happy being chauffeured in the Range Rover Sport.
Performance - The Range Rover Sport's base engine now happens to be a 2.0-litre unit, offered in the same tune as the F-Type P300, thus it produces 300 PS and 400 Nm which might seem less for an SUV that tips the scales at 2.1 tonnes but the tuning of the motor is such that performance is adequate. There is good punch throughout the rev range, low-end lag is well contained but it's really past 2000 RPM that the engine comes into its own and starts to pull strongly, all the way till 6500 RPM where it redlines. 0-100 km/hr is claimed at 7.3 seconds while the top speed is a shade over 200 km/hr.
The petrol engine is very refined and offers good enough performance along with a sporty exhaust note
This might be a 4-cylinder engine but sounds really nice and is terrifically refined at low revs, to the point it feels as if the mill isn't running but gets very vocal past 4000 RPM, in a good way. Mated to this engine is an 8-speed gearbox which although smooth with shifts, isn't the fastest at lower speeds. The Range Rover Sport doesn't get any drive modes that alter the vehicle's behaviour, although there are off-road modes and the only way to extract the most out of the engine is to slot the gear lever into S. Fuel economy in real-world conditions is 7-8 km/l (there is a start-stop function too), thus Land Rover has given the petrol Range Rover Sport a bigger fuel tank at 104-litres, against the diesel's 86-litres.
Driving Dynamics - The Range Rover Sport gets an air suspension and as soon as you cross 105 km/hr, the car lowers itself by 15 mm. One can raise or decrease the ride height with a touch of a button, you sit really high and get a commanding view of the road ahead. Ride quality is fantastic and on the 20-inch wheels of our test car, we found the vehicle gliding over the worst of roads. The suspension is on the stiffer side and it's only the sharp bumps that catch out the car.
Ride quality is truly remarkable and the steering conveys excellent feedback
Handling is good by SUV standards although there is roll which can be felt around the corners but the steering offers terrific feel and feedback, weighing up very well at higher speeds. The Range Rover Sport is equipped with a slew of electronics, including a lane keep assist which works flawlessly, collision alert and Adaptive Dynamics which monitors vehicle movement 500 times a second and adjusts the damping for a smooth ride. The brakes offer strong stopping power and there is aeons of grip on offer from the 4-wheel drive system.
Safety and After Sales Service - The Range Rover Sport gets up to 8 airbags and a host of other active and passive safety equipment to keep you safe. The robust build quality is an added assurance. Given the premium positioning of the car, after sales and service is likely to be very good as well.
Verdict - The Range Rover Sport is an exceptionally well-rounded SUV. We were not sure if we would like the smaller petrol engine but it has truly pleased us with its adequate performance and fantastic low-end refinement. The engine really works for someone who wants a refined petrol engine that is also economical. Other qualities of the Sport like a luxurious cabin, vast equipment list, eager dynamics, and great off-road prowess make the SUV an irresistible package. At Rs. 1.12 crores (on-road, Mumbai) the Sport is significantly cheaper than the bigger Range Rover. It might not have the same classy image of the Range Rover but the Sport, with its repertoire of abilities and the cheaper price tag, makes it a more compelling choice. And that is saying something.
* Minimal yet sporty styling
* Luxurious interior with tons of features and space
* Superb ride quality and dynamics
What's Not So Cool
* Gearbox could have offered faster shifts
* Rear seat might be tight for three passengers
Alternatives: - Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
2019 Range Rover Sport Petrol Specifications
* Engine: 1997cc, 4-Cyl, Petrol
* Power: 300 PS @ 5500 RPM
* Torque: 400 Nm @ 1500-4000 RPM
* Transmission: 8-Speed AT
* 0-100 km/hr: 7.3 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 7-8 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Tyre Size: 255/55/20 (Front & Rear)
* Suspension: Air Suspension (Front & Rear)
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 8 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP
2019 Range Rover Sport Petrol Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4879 mm X 2220 mm X 1803 mm
* Wheelbase: 2923 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 104-litres
* Kerb Weight: 2115 kgs
Further Reading -
2019 Range Rover Sport Petrol
2019 Range Rover Sport Petrol Review
The 2019 Range Rover Sport is now available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and while it does sip more fuel, what it offers in return is excellent refinement. Power delivery is also more than enough and the Range Rover Sport is truly a desirable car to have. It may not have the space of the bigger Range Rover, but the Sport is still an extremely brilliant package.