Range Rover Sport

TDV6 Autobiography

Range Rover Sport, front
Range Rover Sport, front
Range Rover Sport, front
Range Rover Sport, side
Range Rover Sport, side
Range Rover Sport, side
Range Rover Sport, rear
Range Rover Sport, interior

IF the full-fat Range Rover is the king of the open spaces, then the mischievous prince must be the Range Rover Sport.

Slightly more compact, though still a big and luxurious, it has a racier look and appeals to younger buyers.

The Sport, now in its second incarnation, can be regarded as a latter day coupe with space for five and four doors, so passengers need make little sacrifice for the added style.

There's a choice of engines between diesel, petrol and hybrid, but it's the twin-turbo diesel driven here that wins the popularity stakes.

And that's not surprising. Not only is it torquey enough to haul a small mountain but it offers a good blend between performance and reasonable economy.

Centre of the show is the smooth V6 oil-burner which churns out 306bhp and endows the Sport with no less than 516lb/ft of torque.

Despite the power and an ability to pass the 62mph marker post in under seven seconds, it records a combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg. Even heavy footed owners should squeeze 30mpg-plus out of it.

It's surprising how quickly you become used to the Range Rover's lofty driving position which allows you to see over other cars' roofs and over quite a few hedges, making country journeys less stressful.

There are few penalties to pay for the upright stance as cornering remains stable and predictable even when pushing on.

There's a bit of roll, but nowhere near as much as in the original model.

Adhesion levels via the terrain-sensing suspension, 21-inch wheels and four wheel drive system are high but ultimately you can't challenge physics and the car's high centre of gravity makes itself known. But there are no shocks or frights in store, just a gentle break-away.

The cabin in the Autobiography Dynamic is a thing of beauty as well as practicality.

Eighteen-way electric driver and passenger seats which are both heated (as are the rear seats), heated steering wheel, panoramic roof with sunblind, rear parking camera and sat nav - which is a trifle fiddly - are all standard features. You are left in no doubt that this is a truly luxurious means of transport.

This car also came with head-up display which beams the speed and sat nav instructions on the screen directly above the driver (£1,000 extra), and a digital TV (£800 extra).

If you are one of the few owners to venture off-road, you'll find the Sport more capable than just about all the opposition.

With a ride height that can be increased from 213mm to 277mm, it can traverse even the most hostile terrain without a qualm.

As a luxury express, rather than a mountain goat, it offers a level of refinement and comfort the equal of some of the world's most expensive prestige saloons.

Legroom front and back is ample, thanks partly to the high seating position which means passengers' legs dangle down rather than stick out in front of them.

A third row of seat flips up for extra, occasional accommodation. It's a bit awkward to reach but acceptably comfortable once you are installed.

FAST FACTS

Range Rover Sport TDV6 Autobiography

Price: £77,850

Mechanical:306bhp, 2,998cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 138mph

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 40.4

Insurance Group: 43

C02 emissions: 185g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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