Behind the Wheel: Range Rover Sport 2016

Range Rover

Range RoverLand Rover have consistently built fantastic off-roading monsters. You could always rely on a battered Discovery to get you up a mountain or through a valley.

However, in the last decade, Land Rover have been moving towards a more luxurious market. They have elbowed their way into the upper end of the market with their executive range. The Range Rover Sport is their shining light, and it is truly phenomenal.

We got behind the wheel of the latest model to see if Land Rover still had that spark. We certainly weren’t disappointed. The car is even used in James Bond, it must be good! But, there was one thing we were curious about. Did Land Rover still have what it takes to create an off-roader? Is their heart still in the right place. Spoiler alert, it very much is.

Competitors – Before we dive into the road test, let’s take a look at what the Range Rover Sport is up against. The executive range of SUVs is a small market, but there are some serious contenders. The Audi Q7 is packed full of technology, and it looks great too. The Porsche Cayenne remains one of Porsche’s great triumphs, despite initial scepticism. There’s also room for the Mercedes GLE in the mix. Without going into too much detail, the Range Rover Sport trounces them all.

Handling and drivability – The 2016 Range Rover Sport is significantly lighter than its predecessor. With a heap of weight shaved from its frame and innards, the SUV drives like a dream. It’s smooth, slick, and responsive. It’s surprisingly maneuverable within the city, and you feel the engine unleash the power on the motorway. It just falls short of the Porsche Cayenne here. But, that was built by the makers of the 911, so what did you expect?

Costs – The Range Rover Sport is at the top end of Land Rover’s shelf, coming in at £60k+. You can of course, find some great finance offers at Hunters Landrover to ease the burden. But, you get what you pay for with the Range Rover Sport, and it doesn’t feel overpriced. As for the running costs, this is no Toyota Prius. The tax and fuel bills are higher than average, but – again – it’s worth every penny. There is a hybrid option that will save you money on fuel, but it comes at a higher up-front cost.

Interior – The moment you step into the cabin of the Range Rover Sport, you are treated to luxury. The leather trim is among the finest in any vehicle on the road. The infotainment is phenomenal, and the technology is fantastic. Top marks all around here.

Off-roading – All that’s left to do is take the Range Rover Sport into its natural habitat. And boy were we impressed. This car tackles mountains and rivers like nothing else we’ve driven. It feels at home in the environment, and it proves that Land Rover still has its heart in the right place.

Our verdict is overwhelmingly positive. The Range Rover Sport is a truly remarkable car. It’s luxurious and exclusive, but with the heart of an over-roading monster.

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