SMART AND SHARP

K Shivraj
Saturday, 8 September 2018

Exhibiting a fair ability to off-road, the Range Rover Sport has a more mature personality than the model it replaces, and is more appealing too

Land Rover has launched the Range Rover Sport. Priced between Rs 93.9 lakhs and Rs 1.65 crores, ex-showroom, the Range Rover Sport is the second most premium model on offer from the iconic British SUV maker, now owned by Tata Motors, after the Range Rover, which costs between Rs 1.66 crores and Rs 3.61 crores. Quite close in terms of price positioning when it comes to other offerings from the same stable, namely the Range Rover Velar and the Land Rover Discovery, the new Range Rover Sport has a personality that is more mature than the model it replaces, and is more appealing too. Looking sharper and more purposeful than the earlier model, the new luxury SUV flaunts full-LED head lamps. On the top-spec version, they come with ‘Pixel LED’ adaptive beams; this applies to the rear bumper as well. Marking the sides are attractive 21-inch alloys. 

Luxurious interiors 
Sporting good proportions, the interiors of the new Range Rover Sport looks familiar to the model it succeeds. The materials used feel top-notch. The window switches, for example, are finished in brushed metal and add to the vehicle’s luxurious feel. The front seats are generous in their proportions and provide a commanding view ahead. The various control buttons (for mirrors and on the steering wheel), with touch-sensitive glossy black surfaces that light up, take some time getting used to. The infotainment system is termed InControl Touch Pro Duo, however, it misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Found earlier on the Velar, the system comprises a pair of touchscreens. The top screen aids control of functions like music, navigation, phone, apps and settings. It is tilted forward to avoid glare. The bottom screen aids climate control, seat heating and drive mode functions, and includes a pair of physical rotary dials. The digital instrument cluster marks the third screen, and is brighter than that of the model it replaces.
 
0 to 100kmph in 7.7 secs
Providing a choice of four supercharged V6 and V8 petrol engines, and a turbo-diesel V6 and V8, the Range Rover Sport, as mentioned above, is the second most prominent model the company has to offer. The 258bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel feels strong and quick. Producing 600Nm of peak torque, it does not let the luxury-SUV feel short on power ever. Claimed to do 0 to 100kmph in 7.7 seconds, the Range Rover Sport builds power smoothly yet briskly. Feeling effortless, the vehicle seems to shrink around the driver and its occupants as it moves. The V6 motor putting out a nice, sporty sound when revved, the eight-speed gearbox does its job well. Under aggressive driving, it fumbles a bit when down shifting. Displaying tidy body control given its size and weight, the luxury SUV is fitted out with air suspension. The ride however does feel firm over less-than-ideal surfaces. The steering provides good feedback, and adds to the SUV’s ability to inspire confidence on the highway as well as on mountain roads.
 
Verdict
Exhibiting a fair ability to off-road, the Range Rover Sport benefits from the technology (like radar-based adaptive cruise control, collision warning system, and sensor-based lane assist) it has come to possess. With the prestigious luxury badge, the SUV seems to be priced a little high though. 

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