Range Rover Sport, the luxury SUV you should buy

Range Rover Sport, the luxury SUV you should buy

The Range Rover Sport Diesel 3.0 HSE. Picture credit: Vivek Phadnis/ DH Photo

Power, style, comfort – these are the first things one notices and feels in the Range Rover Sport HSE. British automaker Land Rover has clearly put in the hours to make their sports utility vehicles (SUV) desirable machines.

The Sport looks huge at first glance. Though it is big, it is not to say that the Sport is difficult to drive. Driving it is a fabulous experience. And it starts with the seating position, which is truly exceptional. The high stance makes the road perfectly visible and the big hood is in no way a deterrent. The seats can be adjusted minutely to give you that perfect driving position. A useful feature is the memory front seats. Once the vehicle is powered up, they automatically adjust to the driver’s setting.

What is striking is the 3-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel powerplant under the hood. This engine puts out just over 250 hp (190 KW) of power at 4000 rpm, while the better news is the whopping 600 Nm of torque from 1750 to 2250 rpm.

Even with so much torque, one should not infer that controlling it is difficult on crowded city roads. Light throttling will see the Sport do just fine for city driving. But it is on the highway and open road that this beast truly shines. Just past the 1750 rpm mark, the Sport shoots forward thanks to the impressive torque figure. It decimates the road, much to the dismay of a lot of other ambitious motorists who make vain attempts to catch up.

To feel the full potential of the engine, one needs freer roads. Unfortunately, Sport’s ability to really show its power is restricted by traffic. The good thing is that the 8-speed automatic transmission works very smoothly and there is hardly any indication as the Sport shifts gears.

There is the option of using paddle shifters, but the Sport performs really well with automatic mode. Driving with automatic would be particularly useful in city driving.

The Sport reaches the 100 Kmph mark in just 7.7 seconds, while the top speed is 209 Kmph.

Once inside the cabin with the window glasses up, things are very quiet. Moreover, there is no hint of vibration at all.

The Sport feels extremely planted and stable even while cornering with slightly higher speeds. There are terrain progress control, adaptive dynamics, electronic air suspension, electronic traction control and such other features that help while driving.

Then there is the design element of the SUV. Firstly, the muscular build is eye-catching and certainly makes heads turn. The front has a snazzy-looking honeycomb-like grille with more of them on the bumper. The LED headlamps have a sleek look, but still light up the road very well.

The sides do not have too much detail, but the 20-inch alloys definitely give the Sport a great look.

Picture credit: Vivek Phadnis/ DH Photo

There is no other way of describing the interiors, fit and finish other than calling it perfect. Even the smallest bits of chrome, dashboard, touchscreen display, climate control display and other aspects are brilliant pieces of workmanship and have been made to very tight tolerances. There is just no sign of any extra or odd gaps.

The main screen on the dashboard has navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, multimedia and a whole lot of other infotainment settings. This is a wide touchscreen display and has an interface that is very well laid out. Below the main infotainment screen, on the centre console, is the climate control screen and fan speed knobs. This is the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system that has been borrowed from the Range Rover Velar.

Below the two touchscreens is the console that has the gear lever, cup holders and various connectivity ports. The whole thing is so well laid out and it is what one would expect of a vehicle from Land Rover.

The Meridian Audio premium audio system puts out great sound.

Picture credit: Vivek Phadnis/ DH Photo

The speedometer and rev counters are all digital, also providing clear information about seatbelts worn and if the SUV is in Drive, Park or Reverse mode. The steering wheel is extremely comfortable to hold, something that is crucial to manoeuvre the Sport around. The leather-wrapped wheel is grippy and feels great for manoeuvring a large SUV like the Sport. The steering mounted multimedia controls are nice to operate, while the keyless entry with the start/ stop button is also very convenient. The other great feature is that the doors automatically shut tight even if the passengers don’t. Parking is easy with the 360-degree audible aid. Electrically foldable mirrors on the outside is another convenient feature. The Sport has a sunroof too.

There are a lot of passenger safety features apart from the airbags.

One can’t really go wrong with the Sport, or perhaps any other in the company’s range. It is excellent to drive, has excellent fit and finish quality and is luxurious. Overall, this is a great SUV to own. Of that, there can be no doubt.

The Range Rover Sport 3.0 litre Diesel HSE is priced Rs 1.37 crore (ex-showroom).