Land Rover Range Rover Sport

The Essentials

  • Price from £49,795
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 32.1mpg
  • What is it? The brashest Range Rover on offer, but still an absolute gem to drive. Due to be replaced by a new version in 2013.

Great

  • Space for the family to get comfortable inside
  • Premium image makes this a desirable SUV
  • A proper off-roader when you need it

Gripes

  • A grown-up Range Rover is more comfortable (and classy)
  • There's something a little flashy about it, still
  • A grown-up Range Rover is more comfortable (and classy
  • Drive

    Fine engines, tidy handling and awesome off-road ability

  • Inside

    All designed to give you the feeling that you do own the road

  • Safety

    Plenty to keep you safe, including lots of off-road wizardry

  • Reliability

    Land Rover has a shocking record, but owners have rated the Range Rover Sport's reliability very highly

  • Space

    Good for four adults, tight for five. Usefully large boot with separately opening screen

  • Standard and extras

    Even the cheapest model has lots of luxury goodies including electric leather seats and sat-nav

  • What's it like to drive?

    Choose between a V6 turbodiesel and a supercharged V8 petrol engine ? both deliver walloping performance, but the petrol version delivers it quicker and at a much higher price. Both work seamlessly with the six-speed automatic gearbox; only a little road and wind noise detracts from the car's refinement. Other large SUV rivals might offer a slightly better on-road drive, but none can match the Sport's prowess off-road.

  • What's it like inside?

    Snazzy styling forces some compromises - the big wheel arches make access to the rear more awkward, and the large rear tailgate is heavy ? but you can open the rear screen separately to pop in small items. There's plenty of adjustment to help you find a suitably lordly driving position while the controls are well organised in the sweeping centre console.
    All models have electric leather seats, parking sensors, sat-nav and USB and Bluetooth connectivity but you can upgrade for more luxuriousness.

  • How reliable is it?

    Land Rover is not renowned for its reliability and came bottom for the eleventh year running in What Car?'s 2012 reliability survey. However, in the JD Power survey of the same year, Range Rover Sport owners gave the car an 'excellent' rating for reliability and enthused about every aspect of owning their cars.
    Keeping you safe are the usual airbags and stability control as well as Land Rover's Terrrain Response system which chooses the optimum settings for different surface conditions.

  • Should I buy one?

    Nobody buys a large Range Rover to save money, and fuel economy varies between the diesel's thirsty 32.1mpg and the petrol's eye-watering 19mpg. Emissions are also nothing to boast about either. Resale values are strongest for the diesel, so if you're buying a petrol model make sure you get a discount to soften the blow later.