Range Rover Sport

Written By nyit on Monday, April 4, 2011 | 4:31 AM

Land Rover’s name is so well known and causes the mind to fantasize about taking a vehicle on a safari in deepest Africa. A few weeks ago, Judy and I had a new, 2010 Land Rover for a test drive. But this was not ordinary Land Rover in the classic sense. This was a re-designed Range Rover Sport HSE. We loved it. It was difficult to give it up at the end of the week, and we didn’t even take in out for a safari.

The Range Rover is somewhat of a hidden model, somewhere between the larger Range Rover and the smaller LR4. It is not new, but has undergone significant improvements for th2 2010 model year. It was first unveiled at the New York Auto Show back in the spring and I was fortunate to have been their for the introduction and press conference.
The newest revisions include a more upscaled interior, which is functional, comfortable, and almost luxury. There are some engineering alterations and the lights are more jewel-like. There is a new console for the front area that allows the controls to be more reachable.

Most noticeable are the two new engines. There is a 3.0 liter and a 5.0 liter supercharged V8. Our test model was the 5.0 liter V8 that spits out 375 horsepower. This is not your ordinary take-to-the-backroads-only Land Rover. This baby can perform on the highway as easily as in the woods and mountains.

In spite of the Range Rover Sport being a capable five passenger road vehicle, it is ruggedly capable during off-road conditions. The Land Rover engineers have improved the brakes and stability control system. I like the Terrain Response system. There is a knob located between the seats that lets the driver set the Sport to fit a specific type of off-road environment, such as rocks, sand, water, mountains, or whatever.

My test model was an attractive exterior color called Nara Bronze. It was complimented with interior trim colors of Almond and Nutmeg. Of course, the seating was leather. Base MSRP was $59,645, but with delivery charges and a few upgrades, the bottom sticker price was $64,295. Mileage figures by the EPA are 12 city and 17 highway, although I averaged slightly better than that on the highway.

There are a couple of other luxury SUV’s including the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X5. These probably are a little bit better on the highway but Land Rovers are definitely kings of the off-road and remote wilderness trails. If you are looking for excellent SUV performance on the road, a luxury and relaxing cabin atmosphere, and true off-road capability, check out the Range Rover Sport at a Land Rover dealership.

By Alan Gell

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