$39,432 - $67,603

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 9.1

The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport's base V6 engine delivers plenty of muscle to please most drivers, and the optional turbodiesel engine produces silky acceleration, reviewers write. They add that both available V8 engines make even more power, and the automatic transmission delivers responsive shifts. Most critics think the Range Rover Sport finds a good balance between ride comfort and composed handling, though a few note its large size makes it difficult to maneuver in small spaces. The Range Rover Sport's brakes are strong and its steering provides decent feedback, test drivers report.

  • "In a day spent driving both on-road and some moderately challenging off-road trails, the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6 was up for virtually anything we threw at it, covering ground in quiet, climate-controlled comfort no matter the terrain." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Can a nearly 5,500-pound crossover double as a legitimate performance car? If we weren't familiar with the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport, we'd answer with a chuckle. But the Edmunds 'A' rated Range Rover Sport is a game-changer among heavyweight SUVs with its confident handling and blazing V8-powered acceleration." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Undaunted in the extremes, it was the Range Rover Sport's ease of use around town and in everyday driving that most impressed us. Comfortable yet responsive, the fact that this luxury SUV can be so adept off road without sacrificing ride comfort on road explains why the Range Rover Sport has become the darling of the landed gentry." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Land Rover not only has proven off-road engineering, it applied all of that knowledge and a good dose of modern technology to making the Range Rover Sport a vehicle that can handle extremes of performance." -- CNET (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 Range Rover Sport comes with a 340-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. A new-for-2016 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine that makes 254 horsepower is available, as is a 510-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines. The base Range Rover Sport earns an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway, which is lower than most rivals' estimates. However, models equipped with the optional turbodiesel engine earn excellent fuel economy ratings for the class at an EPA-estimated 22/29 mpg city/highway.

The high-performance Range Rover Sport SVR is equipped with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that generates 550 horsepower, and it comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Land Rover says the SVR has a top speed of 162 mph and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Test drivers report the base V6 engine delivers ample power to satisfy most drivers, and the optional turbodiesel delivers smooth acceleration. They add that the optional V8 provides even more punch, and the SVR's V8 is impressively quick. The eight-speed automatic transmission is responsive, some reviewers write.

  • "On the highways outside Barcelona, Spain, the Td6 engine is a strong performer. Acceleration is smooth and completely adequate for a vehicle of this type, with 60 mph arriving in just 7.1 seconds, according to Land Rover. That's just 0.2-sec slower than the gasoline-powered Rangie Sport -- a virtually unnoticeable difference." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "To our surprise, we found the supercharged V6 engine more than capable, delivering excellent off-the-line starts and an abundance of passing power." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Land Rover's 2015 Range Rover Sport lineup includes three supercharged engines, all matched to a responsive 8-speed automatic transmission. According to Land Rover, V6 models will run to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while V8 versions will do it in 5.0 seconds (the new SVR is even quicker). The added power of the V8 is nice, but we found the V6 plenty of engine for the svelte Sport." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Land Rover has taken the consistently excellent 5.0-liter supercharged V8 from the Sport Supercharged and Autobiography to the outer limit, joining the likes of the Jaguar XFR-S, XKR-S, XJR and F-Type R Coupe and allowing the Sport SVR to stampede to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 162 mph. " -- Autoblog (2015)

Handling and Braking

Most critics report the 2016 Range Rover Sport delivers a comfortable and smooth ride on the road, yet it remains composed through corners. A few note that its large size makes the Sport a bit difficult to maneuver in tight areas. The brakes are strong and the steering is responsive, according to reviewers, delivering good feedback.

  • "It's easy to forget you're driving a heavy midsize SUV when you toss it around corners. The brakes, complete with red Sport calipers, handle this big vehicle with ease, another way of forgetting it's a heavy vehicle despite aluminum body panels." -- Boston Globe
  • The Range Rover Sport looks big and menacing, but it's amazingly agile and quite enjoyable when the road begins to twist and turn. Around town, the Range Rover Sport's size does present a problem, especially in areas where parking spaces are drawn for Prius-sized cars." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "On the road, ride comfort is excellent, with a supple approach to bumps, graduated roll control, and accurate and well-weighted steering. The Range Rover Sport cossets its occupants like no other, but without compromising the handling." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)
  • "The steering felt much quicker and more responsive than before, with good weighting and enough feel for both on- and off-road maneuvers." -- AutoWeek (2014)

Off-Roading

The 2016 Range Rover Sport comes standard with air suspension, full-time four-wheel drive and Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which offers a range of driving modes for numerous off-road surfaces. Options include a two-speed transfer case, hill descent control, crawl mode and a more advanced version of Terrain Response that automatically selects driving modes based on trail conditions. Most reviewers agree that the Range Rover Sport's standard and available equipment make it a very capable off-roader, though a few say it can't match the larger Range Rover's off-road prowess.

  • "A new, fully-independent air suspension helps the Sport navigate over difficult off-road conditions. More front and rear wheel travel and pneumatically cross-linked air springs simulate the kind of articulation formerly only available with solid axles, which further improves the SUV's formidable off-road capability while creating a silky-smooth ride." -- Left Lane News
  • "It can still rock crawl with the best of them and has individual Terrain Response settings that include grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, and sand." -- Yahoo Autos
  • "Leave the confines of city life and the Range Rover Sport reveals its trump card: amazing off-road prowess. The Terrain Response AWD system is simply phenomenal. Be it muddy paths or unplowed back roads, our Range Rover Sport, even with its 20-in performance tires, pushed through it all with ease." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Away from civilization, the Range Rover Sport continues to impress -- it may not be as capable on tough trails as the regular Range Rover, but it should be enough for the occasional foray into the woods." -- Edmunds (2015)

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