By Patrick James on 2016-12-11 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Range Rover Sport
HSE Dynamic 3.0 SDV6
THERE have been quite a few mentions recently about the size of cars these days and the difficulty of fitting them into car park spaces built in the 1960s and 1970s.
Get into a £70,000-odd Range Rover and the problem becomes acute, even with all the latest self-parking, cameras and proximity gizmos you would expect in a car of this price.
Big may not be beautiful in all cases and with the latest Range Rover Sport. the best adjective is - impressive.
It is a huge car, a seven-seater featuring Land Rover's latest three litre V6 diesel engine, which is now Euro 6 compliant, has lower emissions, down to 185g/km of CO2, and and better economy, up 3mpg to just over 40mpg.
Land Rover is right at the top end of the tree producing desirable cars which accelerate like hot hatches, handle like sporty saloons - or family hatchback depending on the electronic settings and is the last word in luxury, comfort and kudos.
The 306bhp turbo-charged diesel offers plenty of pace, propelling the Sport to 60mph around seven seconds and it continues to pull brilliantly right through the rev range thanks to the 700Nm of torque, our pulling power, which is a lot.
This means it excels on motorway, where it can surge from 50-70mph with just a feathering of the accelerator pedal. It is a proper whispering diesel with barely any noise in the admittedly heavily soundproofed cabin, except under hard acceleration. The worst intrusion is from the huge wheels and an element of wind noise around the large door mirrors.
Steering is sharp and it feels remarkably agile for such a big beast, which is all very impressive in a car which weighs more than two tons.
While the hard edged styling of Range Rovers have softened over the years, there is no mistaking the car's heritage. This model sits on 21-inch alloys with huge ground clearance, because, let's not forget, it is a seriously capable off-roader.
With its four wheel drive, hill hold, hill descent and various traction settings it can cope with virtually any conditions including forest tracks and traversing a river.
These various setting can be selected on a rotary dial on the console next to the auto gear lever.
It incorporates the very latest lights technology features steeply raked windscreen and striking mesh grille giving it an unmistakeable road presence.
Inside you are in the lap of luxury with leather, wood and aluminium finish throughout the cabin, adding to the highest quality soft touch finish to dash and doors. Ambient mood lighting adds to the feeling of luxury.
The lists of standard equipment is to comprehensive to list and, you would think, fulfill all you would need, but added gizmos to this test model added a further £13,000 to the already substantial on the road price of £67,150.
Instrumentation is dominated by a dual-view touchscreen featuring a 10-inch display with tablet-style pinch and zoom capability.
It is controlled by the firm's InControl Touch Pro technology which controls major infotainment functions and sat nav, while the multi-function steering wheel.
The entertainment system includes a high-power sound system, while occupants can enjoy TV and video, with screen built into the back of front seats.
The TFT screen in the binnacle also allows drivers to choose full or partial satellite navigation information.
Despite this myriad technology, it seems remarkably uncluttered and intuitive to use. It is also a practical workhorse, capable of carrying seven occupants in reasonable comfort. The rearmost pair fold flat into the floor while the rear seats tilt and fold, to open up cargo space from a limited 489 litres to a massive 1,761. The tailgate can also be opened by kicking your foot to trigger a sensor below the body for ease of loading.
In addition there are other storage areas throughout the cabin, including a large bin between the front seats, also allows connectivity for audio/phone devices.
At nearly £70,000, it's not cheap, but that won't deter those who crave such a car. But just in case, it is available with the new two-litre Ingenium diesel, for better economy.
Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic 3.0 SDV6
Mechanical: 306bhp, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 40.4
Insurance Group: 43
C02 emissions: 185g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
Choose from one or more of the options to find the car for you.
Based on your search find the dealership
nearest to you.