$51,430 - $85,937

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.9

The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers an array of powerful engines, including a turbodiesel. The optional V8s are the most impressive, though none of the engines are weak. Fuel efficiency is a weakness for this Land Rover, however; only the turbodiesel gets respectable gas mileage.

Though it's on the large side and not always fun to navigate through crowded parking lots, the Range Rover Sport handles well and allows you to tackle winding roads without fear. If you head away from the pavement, the Sport is immensely capable, as you'd expect from a Land Rover.

  • In the civilized world, where the vast majority of Range Rover Sport SUVs spend their time, this hefty luxury model can feel a bit overgrown and unruly. However, the Range Rover Sport shines brightest when it's comfortably cruising the highways, ambling through serene mountain passes and mushing through snow-covered passages that lead to ski resorts or winter cabins." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

The Range Rover Sport comes standard with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that puts out 340 horsepower. Most critics think it delivers ample power and acceleration and has no trouble moving the vehicle. The HSE Dynamic trim features the same engine, but it makes 380 horsepower.

You can also step up to one of the V8 options. Supercharged and Autobiography trims feature a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 518 horsepower. The high-performance SVR trim features the same engine, but it produces 575 horsepower. These engines have power to spare, even when you've got a vehicle full of people and cargo or you're towing something.

There's also a 3.0-liter turbodiesel powertrain that puts out 254 horsepower. This engine falls between the V6 and least-powerful V8 in terms of capability, and it gets the best fuel economy of any engine in the lineup.

According to Land Rover's estimates, the base engine earns 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Those ratings are below average for the class, and they're well behind the class leaders. With the turbodiesel, the Range Rover Sport earns 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The 575-horsepower V8 has the worst ratings in the lineup, getting just 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.

An eight-speed automatic comes standard with each engine, and it delivers smooth, timely shifts. When properly equipped, the Range Rover Sport can tow up to 7,716 pounds – more than some class rivals.

  • "You might think that a six-cylinder engine would not pack enough punch for such a large a large SUV. But this supercharged six-cylinder is a peach. Performance gets another boost from the weight loss program that came with the redesign. Power builds smoothly and stays strong as the Sport accelerates. Nobody complained about a lack of go." -- Consumer Reports
  • "We chose the Range Rover Sport HSE with the supercharged V6, as we wanted to see if there was really any disadvantage to going with less power to save money. To our surprise, we found this engine more than capable, delivering excellent off-the-line starts and an abundance of passing power." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • As far as powertrains go, the standard V6 seems anemic when pushed hard, so it's really best for highway cruising. The supercharged V8 engines give you the power you want when you've got a full load of people or just want a more sporting drive, and abundant acceleration is on tap whenever you feel the need. The available turbodiesel engine falls between these two extremes, with a bit of initial lag followed by some serious get-up-and-go at middling rpm." -- Edmunds (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Range Rover Sport is surprisingly agile, despite its size, and it feels buttoned down around turns. There's not much steering feedback, though, and this SUV falls short of the outright athleticism of rivals like the Porsche Cayenne. Ride quality is less clear-cut. Some critics say the ride is smooth even when the pavement isn't, but others find the Sport's ride stiff and jarring. This Land Rover's size is more noticeable in tight spaces, and you'll be thankful for driving aids like the surround-view camera.

  • "In everyday driving, relatively agile handling helps justify the Sport part of this Range Rover's name. Handling is quite responsive, with quick turn-in and a taut, hunkered down attitude in the corners. The steering is on the heavy side, but that doesn't translate into much feedback." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Though it may seem unlikely for a vehicle this size, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes by that 'sport' designation honestly. Although its reflexes on mountain roads might not be quite as sharp as those of the Porsche Cayenne, this luxury SUV corners with confidence, while its air springs ensure that you don't have to endure the harsh ride quality associated with other SUVs equipped with sport-tuned suspensions." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • Around town, the Range Rover Sport's size does present a problem, especially in areas where parking spaces are drawn for Prius-size cars. However, numerous electronic parking aids, including the surround-view camera, help alleviate some of the hassle." -- Autotrader (2017)

Off-Roading

The Land Rover badge comes with certain expectations, and the Range Rover Sport lives up to them, and then some. Even the base model is a capable off-roader. It comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive, a single-speed transfer case, and hill descent control. The Terrain Response system has four modes that alter driving dynamics to match the type of ground you're on, and there's an air suspension that lets you adjust ground clearance.

  • "Leave the confines of city life and the Range Rover Sport reveals its trump card: amazing off-road prowess. The Terrain Response all-wheel-drive system is simply phenomenal. Be it muddy paths or unplowed back roads, our Range Rover Sport, even with its 20-in performance tires, simply pushed through it all with ease." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "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 (2016)

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