Range Rover Sport: On a Luxurious Adventure

The Range Rover Sport is priced at 1.04 cr (ex-India).

 

Content:

  • Likes
  • Dislikes
  • Specifications
  • Exterior
  • Interior
  • Drive
  • Ride and Handling
  • Space and Practicality
  • Safety
  • Shutterdrives says
  • Gallery

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 Likes:

+ A Range Rover Sport announces to the world that you have made it. Made it large.

+ Top-notch quality everywhere. Build quality feels like its Tank-like build will last forever

+ 265 horses and 600 nm of Torque with oodles of luxury make it the perfect contender for being the “The Perfect Luxurious SUV”

+ Height-adaptive suspension was a boon in the unpredictable terrain of Western Ghats. Also, it helps in lowering the loading bay of the boot

+ Feature loaded to the brim and more. Name it and you have it. Not to miss the signature Panoramic sunroof. A lot of safety aids too.

Dislikes:

– Ironically, Android Auto and Apple Play are missing which are present in cars 1/10th its price

– The ZF sourced 8-speed transmission is not the best in business. Expect a slight lag especially in downshifts

– Too many options in the Range Rover portfolio make the buying process confusing

– All yours at one-and-a-half, big suitcases. I wouldn’t shy away from tagging it pricey. But, luxury comes at a premium $$$

– Inclusion of a full-fledged 7-seater configuration would attract some serious volumes from the Audi Q7

Specifications:

Quick Specs
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The Range Rover sport was tested for 600+ km in the lush green Western Ghats. We were in two minds whether to take it to the pristine beaches of Pondicherry or the lush green Nilgiris. I chose the latter. Primarily because this was a white car and it would be photogenic amongst the green flora and fauna.

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The first stop from Bengaluru was the renowned conservatory, Nagarhole National Park. I turned off the A/C, opened the m-a-s-s-i-v-e Panoramic sunroof and boy! it was bliss to drive this beast in the Jungle. 

Before getting into the Car, let me tell you that it’s more confusing to buy a Land Rover/ Range Rover in India than buying a Smartphone.

Sneak peek into the family:

  • Head of the Family, Range Rover sits between 1.6 cr to 3.6 cr
  • The Style Diva, Velar is priced between 80.9 lakhs to 1.4 cr
  • Land Rover Discovery between 71.4 lakhs to 1.1 cr
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport (Seriously?)  at 63 lakhs
  • Now, the latest entrant Sport is all yours from 93.8 lakhs to 1.6 cr
  • Did I miss the Evoque? That’s because it starts from 51 lakhs, fair enough
  • I will keep Vogue and Autobiography for some other day

Confused? Mission accomplished. Trust me, even Google cannot help you with this.

My 2 cents: I wish JLR could re-strategise their product portfolio like the Germans and offer a model at every segment. Because you do not want to be confused with your 1 cr. Also, they could bank on more volumes by this. Anyways, JLR knows it better.

Exterior                                                                                                             (5/5)

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I was driving this in some smaller towns of Wayanad district namely Mananthavady, Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery. At any given point of time, be it in the restaurant, a signal or just any other pit stop, this was a head-turner for sure.

I can debate for hours if this is the most sensible Range Rover to buy in the country. The best part about the RR Sport is that it looks so clean, proportionate, not-quirky and has all the elegance in the world to take it to the most happening party of the town.

Given the fact that this was a white colour and the election was just around the corner in Wayanad, I guess people thought Rahul Gandhi decided to Drive down rather than fly in his unreliable chopper. Meh. I actually think it makes sense for him to use this for his campaigning. After all, it has a sunroof big enough to accommodate him and his armoured bodyguards. I guess Range Rover already has enough requests in their pipeline to get this beast bullet-proofed.

 

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The LED DRL’s are the best I have seen. Ok, second-best, I forgot the Volvo XC 90:

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The side profile is what makes you get a true understanding of what you are driving. At almost five-metres in length, the Range Rover Sport offers tremendous road presence and is definitely a head-turner.

Sometimes, little add-ons make a huge difference. For example, the blacked out shoulder line goes so well with this white colour of the car. It gives it that premium appearance, with the bumpers, pillars, rear spoiler and the roof too being finished in shiny gloss black. I wonder what happens in case of a black Range Rover? White gloss?Phew.

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The car looks sharp, thanks to the new full-LED headlamps, which, on top-spec variants, have ‘Pixel LED’ adaptive beams. Then there are the new bumpers on the front and rear which are really attractive with a large protrusion for the air dams which is mainly used for cooling and ventilation. I can stare at it all day long. Excellent craftsmanship. 

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The rear also features LED tail lights with dynamic turn indicators. Wish the tail lamps were slightly larger. Ther feel orphaned for a car this big:

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If you are a fan of old school ladder-on-frame SUV’s you will love the boxy design. 

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Your perfect retirement plan:

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The headlamp washers are placed just below the headlamp unit:

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The stop lamp is neatly integrated into the rear spoiler:

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Can you spot the Elephants?

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The front of the Car is dominated by the “Range Rover” badging which is proudly housed in the centre and just above the honeycomb grille. The design language is definitely one of the best I have seen and it makes you realise that you have bought an expensive car:

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Large Diamond cut 21-inch alloys: 

Signature Range Rover styling:

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Only in a Range Rover, you can find an intercooler like this: 

Interior                                                                                                               (4/5)

 

Open the large, tank-like built doors and a big steering wheel with a plethora of buttons welcomes you with a digital instrument console behind it. The instrument screen is clean and easy to read with various graphics. The steering comes with touch-sensitive controls in a gloss-black finish. However, they aren’t user-friendly. Steering mounted controls are not only backlit but also have soft touch iPod like controls.

JLR’s SUV lineup sports some of the most fantastic interiors, which are a perfect blend of practicality, build quality and conventional design. Unlike its elder siblings, you will not be getting the rich wooden finish on the dashboard. Neither am I a fan of it. Instead, there is not-so-hard leather and plastic combi running across the dash. Again, it feels like they are built to last. There are two cupholders on the centre console and they can be neatly covered by a sliding lid; both are big enough for larger cups and 1.0-litre bottles.

The highlight of the interior, however, is the dual screens which measure 10.4 inches. You can control everything from these screens namely infotainment, apps, navigation controls, Music etc. The bottom screen is for climate control and the signature ATPC (All-terrain Progress control). The screens are easy to read but the fonts could have been bigger. The top screen is slightly tilted to avoid any sort of glare from the external sunlight. Intelligent move. The best part about these 2 screens is you can get rid of buttons saving some critical real estate.

I genuinely feel Range Rover should offer a software update to enable Apple car play and Android auto. Cars priced 1/10th have it these days.

You do get the ambient lighting or the so-called ‘mood’ lights which should make you moody enough.

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The start-stop button for the Sport is tucked neatly on the side of the instrument cluster, within easy reach:

You get the generous front seats with superb perforated-ventilated leather and thick cushioning that gives you a commanding view forward. They offer Massage functions:

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Interestingly, the driver and the co-passenger seat are electrically adjustable in 16 ways. Of course, you would expect this in a car of this price tag:

I liked the small bites like the chrome accents around the A/C, doors etc on this car. Also, notice the velvet finished dashboard. Premiumness does come at a price:

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The rear seats offer good support, though not great. There’s good head and knee room, for example, so a couple of six-footers are unlikely to feel cramped. A middle passenger might do, though. The two outer seats are strongly bolstered, while the middle one is relatively narrow:

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The rear seats can be individually split to offer more cargo space to fit your airport bags: 

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There is a good probability that this car might be chauffer driven. The rear passengers  get ‘individual’ climate control:

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The best part? A brilliant armrest with cup holders. Just look the way this is designed. Subtle cue on what luxury feels like. 

A massive 600-litre boot space to accommodate your backpacks for your next adventure. The boot itself is wide and fairly tall.  A broad opening grants you easy access and makes it simple to load bulky items, and you can certainly fit a lot of things there:

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A full-fledged 21″ alloy serves as a spare tire:

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Premiumness, everywhere:

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Electric boot release. Although I found it to be higher:

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One of the USP’s of this car. A MASSIVE Panoramic sunroof. However, like in most cars, only the front half is retractable: 

Drive                                                                                                                    (4/5)

 

Range Rover Sport is offered in 4 engine options, 2 each in Petrol and Diesel. We drove the 3 litres v6 HSE, which churns out 254bhp@4000rpm and 600 Nm at 1750rpm and is capable of 0-100 in 7.7 seconds. The engine is paired to a ZF 8 Speed automatic transmission. We also get the intelligent Terrain Response System.

600 nm! That’s a lot of Torque which helps in crawling at city traffic or to get you out of the slushy conditions. It has a claimed acceleration from 0 to 100 in 7.6 sec. The power delivery is linear across the Tacho band and it’s not the sportiest car you can drive at this price.

The transmission is an 8-speed automatic which is decent enough but not the best-in-class because we could feel that there was a minimum but not-ignorable lag in downshifts although overtaking was mostly a breeze. Also, power is sent to all 4 wheels by an all-wheel-drive system. The steering feels light at parking speed to make your job easier and it also weighs up considerably on the highway offering you great command over this 2 tonner. Please do not expect it to bring smiles on your face every time you take it to the hills because the body roll is not negligible and this is a no Beemer 530d.

NVH levels are exactly as you would expect in a 1.5 cr car. They are top notch. The braking, which is powered by all-4 discs, is excellent. The car could come to stand still from 100 to 0 in 3.2 seconds with great ease. Initially, I felt the quench for a Sport mode but I was very soon acclimatised to the comfort mode in no time.

In spirited driving, up and down the hills the Range Rover Sport returned an average of 10.8 kmpl. This is commendable for this 2 tonner.

Ride and Handling                                                                                         (4/5)

 

If you remember the Dragon challenge of The Range Rover, it reminds you of how the car is built. Thanks to an all aluminium body which is lighter and in turn help in the fuel efficiency. It has been known for years now that Range Rover Sport is designed to playing with the mud and getting its feet dirty.

Perhaps one of the USP of this beautiful machine remains this department. Combined with 21-inch and 275 section tires, the suspension is superb and we drove across some treacherous terrains of western ghats and not even once did we feel the adulations transferring from the wheels to our body.

That makes this a superb car in which to spend a long journey and, unlike in some German SUVs, you don’t have to fiddle with numerous permutations and combinations to get the car into a comfortable mode. However, the Range Rover Sport is an easy car to drive along fairly twisty roads, things get easier when you want to take if for off-roading.

The picture below should give you a glimpse of what happens when you try to get the Range Rover out of slush in the normal mode. Finally, we gave up and used the Gravel mode from its options of Mud, Rain, Gravel, Sand and Snow. Btw isn’t this picturesque?

 

Space and Practicality                                                                                    (4/5)

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Kayak? No problem. Raft? No problem.  Snowboard? No problem.

If you want a Spaciousluxury SUV, look no further than this. It has enough space to accommodate every possible adventure gear on board. I won’t be surprised if it can accommodate a Maruti 800 with all seats down.  Just kidding.

The glovebox and centre cubby are also a good size, although the door pockets are quite slim. Unlike the front, the rear door pockets are quite small, but they will swallow a 1.0-litre bottle. There are, however, few other places to transfer the contents of your pockets into other than small nets on the front seatbacks.

The Range Rover Sport does well to make the most of what it’s got. The second-row seats slide forward and backwards, as well as reclining to several positions, but the access they grant to the optional third row still isn’t great. You end up struggling a bit to reach there.

Safety                                                                                                                  (5/5)

The Range Rover Sport comes with a plethora of Safety options:

  • Hill Assist
  • Driver & Passenger Airbags
  • Cornering Brake Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Roll Stability Control
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Intrusion Sensor Gradient Acceleration Control

Apart from these, you also get some Gizmo driver aids like:

  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Roll Stability Control
  • Electronic Power-Assisted Steering
  • Cruise Control & Speed Limiter
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution

Doesn’t that make one of the safest options in the Indian automotive segment? Yes, it does.

Shutterdrives Says…

 

It’s easy to let my mind wander into the world of Autobots where every damn car would want to date this mudslinger.

The Range Rover Sport is one of the best options to consider north of 1cr. It has the perfect blend of Luxury, Features, a lot of prestige and some off-roading abilities to quench your thirst for adventure. It’s built to last for eternity.

No car is perfect. The Range Rover Sport suffers from shortcomings which are not too severe. For example, Android Auto and Apple Play can be easily made available through a software update. the rear seats are not the best I have seen. Probably, Range Rover Sport is the perfect contender for being the “The perfect luxurious family car”.

It is not just the Range Rover Sport that you are paying for. It’s the experience and the attention that comes with it. When you think of it like that, one and a half suitcase of cash doesn’t seem like much. Does it?

Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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