Range Rover Sport (2022 Review)
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
Well where do we start with this one? The new Range Rover Sport is now rolling on Irish roads and ready to redefine sporting luxury in a sector that now has more competition than ever. This is the third-generation model and probably the most desirable judging by the current order books but just how capable is it? Well with a gaggle of powerful and efficient powertrains includes six-cylinder extended range Electric Hybrid, a potent new V8 and mild hybrid six-cylinder petrol and diesel Ingenium engines there should be a power plant to suit your needs, if you can get one that is! Land Rover are one of those brands that were particularly hurt by the chip shortages and the delays that a certain virus might have brought to their Solihull based manufacturing facility in the UK. Now the brand are playing catch up as they push to get bums in seats across Europe with waiting times currently sitting at 6 months and above.
Like the previous generation, the new Range Rover Sport is available in SE, HSE and Autobiography specifications, with a First Edition available throughout the first year of production featuring a celebratory specification. On first glance there is no mistaken what it is! The sculpted exterior is detailed with incredible finishes such as a stealth-like front grille and Digital LED lighting units with impressive DRL signature lights underneath. A smooth but aggressive, double-aperture lower bumper gives it a wide imposing stance and as you walk around to the side, your eyes are immediately drawn to the 22-inch satin grey alloy wheels filled with brake disc and now standard red calipers. The side lines are uninterrupted by door handles which now sit flush and the rear gives you that modern light design first seen on the Range Rover Velar, only made much more beefy on the Sport. It has to be one of the best looking SUV’s on the road which we must give credit to Land Rover for. They have essentially taken what was already a good-looking SUV and brought it bang up to date with a modern and sophisticated design.
Walking up to the drivers door engages the proximity sensing deployable door handles which soft close on entry. Inside the silence, serenity and luxury is evident. Your eye is automatically drawn to the award-winning Pivi Pro infotainment high resolution floating 13.1-inch curved touchscreen positioned at the centre of the dashboard. This allows you to control everything from navigation to media and vehicle settings. It’s super responsive and easy to navigate unlike some modern units, which require spaceship levels of knowledge to operate. You will also see the Meridian audio logo dotted around the cabin. The Range Rover Sport has the most powerful audio system ever fitted using 29 speakers, a new subwoofer and up to 1,430W of amplifier power. Some models even have four headrest speakers that enable those travelling in the four main seats of the vehicle to experience personal sound zones! Build quality is good also because when you fit a sound system of this magnitude it has the potential highlight loose panels with rattles, squeaks etc. You get nothing but crisp tones and deep bass!
As the Range Rover Sport was built in particularly challenging times when the world was navigating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Land Rover decided to fit the next-generation Cabin Air Purification Pro system that combines filtration to significantly reduce odours, bacteria, and allergens including coronavirus. Owners can purify the cabin before a journey, or while they are driving for all occupants with a second filtration system for rear passengers. As expected seat comfort is sublime from the multi-way adjustable leather clad seats for all occupants. The traditional captains seats are up front with armrests and when you do engage drive on the automatic gear selector, you are in for a magic carpet style ride! Dynamic Air Suspension is fitted to every New Range Rover Sport and the intelligent system works by varying the pressure within the chambers. It essentially monitors the road ahead using eHorizon navigation data to pre-emptively prime for upcoming bends and bumps. In a split second the suspension is ready for the road ahead to deliver maximum comfort.
Entry into Range Rover Sport ownership kicks off with the P440e followed by the more powerful P510e model both with turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol straight-six engines paired with a 105kW electric motor and a massive 38.1kWh battery pack. Diesel fans are catered for also with a 300hp 3.0-litre 6-cylinder or a 350hp variant if you need a little more grunt for towing etc. None will leave you looking for more power in our opinion. Our test car was the P440e and with over 400hp on tap from the combined petrol and electric motors it was more than adequate. Charging the battery at home took us just shy of five hours but you can achieve 80 percent capacity from a public 50kW charger in just one hour. Although Land Rover issue 110+km range before the petrol engine needs to kick in, we found late 80’s or early 90’s easily achievable in our cold snap prior to Christmas. It really is frugal for a vehicle of this size! Other options will be available also like the 4.4 litre V8 petrol with over 500hp and no doubt an SVR performance version is on the way. Pure-electric propulsion will be introduced in 2024, as Land Rover continues its electrification journey if you fancy a full EV.
As expected the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport have both managed a perfect five-star safety rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests. They come with a range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which add a further layer of protection for the driver and occupants. These include Adaptive Cruise Control and Steering Assist, Park Assist, 3D Surround Camera and ClearSight Ground View, Pre-emptive suspension, Driver Condition Response and a plethora of Airbags throughout the cabin. You might wonder sometimes why many parents for the school run favour these vehicles but with precious cargo on board, safety becomes a priority and the Range Rover has it in spades!
Prices for the new Range Rover Sport start at €114,150, which puts you in a P440e plug-in hybrid in Dynamic SE trim. Our test car had a few options such as the larger 22-inch wheels, metallic paint etc and it was priced at €124,000. If you want the P510e hybrid expect to pay €147,810 for a First Edition variant. Diesel fans might be a little dismayed to see prices start at €159,570 but sadly emissions and taxes are not favourable to the larger diesel or petrol variants. Expect to be north of €220k for a 4.4 litre V8 petrol Autobiography.
As a past owner of the Range Rover Sport I think it’s safe to say it has defined the sporting luxury segment for the last 18 years. When it arrived in 2005, it set the standard, bringing unprecedented levels of style and capability to the luxury SUV class. The Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 of the time quickly challenged it but the figures don’t lie and here in Ireland, the Range Rover Sport has historically sold very well. So are there any bad points? Are the gremlins of past Range Rover Sports all ironed out? Well, it’s probably too early to tell but I did have one morning during my seven-day test drive where the driver’s door failed to open. The handle protruded, the door unlocked because I could hear the mechanism sliding but sadly, entry was denied. I ended up climbing through the passenger side and into the drivers seat. Roughly 10-kilometers into my journey I heard a secondary click inside drivers door and when I pulled over, the driver’s door opened once again. I locked and unlocked the vehicle many times in the following days and it never had the same issue again. These are tricky gremlins to figure out because no error or warning light is triggered and you can’t exactly show or prove what actually went on. Aside from this we had nothing but a pleasurable week with the new Sport and it was a difficult one to return. The P440e has ample power, incredible handling and comfort that can rival any first class airliner. Go take a test-drive!
No 7-seat option
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