Land Rover, the company known for building vehicles that can tackle any off-road situation, threw a bit of a curveball when it came out with the Range Rover Sport, the brand’s most on-road performance-oriented product. Based on a shortened LR4 chassis, the Range Rover Sport is smaller inside than the LR4 and the Range Rover. Like its LR4 and Range Rover siblings, the Sport still has a low-range transfer case and the Terrain Response system, so it’s not lacking in off-road ability, but its low-profile tires are much more at home on a racetrack than climbing a mountain trail. The Range Rover Sport has the same powertrains found in the Range Rover. Opt for the supercharged V-8 and you’ll get an incredible 510 hp sent to all four wheels through a smooth six-speed automatic transmission. Steering feel is good for an SUV, but the information that is transmitted through the steering column is unfiltered, which makes the Sport fatiguing to drive for long stints. There aren’t many other vehicles that would be equally happy pulling a trailer, racing around a track, tackling a muddy two-track, and pulling up to an opera house. If you need to balance your need for speed with a more sensible vehicle for hauling a family and the occasional trailer, the Range Rover Sport deserves serious consideration.
Trim levels: HSE, HSE LUX, Supercharged, Autobiography
Body style: SUV, 5-passenger
Engines: 5.0L V-8, 375 hp, 375 lb-ft
5.0L supercharged V-8, 510 hp, 461 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: N/A
Capacities: Towing 7716 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 33.8/71.0 cu ft
The 2012 Range Rover Sport receives new alloy wheels, five new exterior paint colors, a power liftgate with adjustable opening height, a more compact ignition key design, a new touch-screen navigation system, hard-drive audio storage, improved iPod connectivity, voice control for the navigation system, a USB socket for the rear entertainment system, and a new instrument cluster display with more detailed information about the vehicle.
Stability and traction control; ABS; electronic brake assist; rear park-distance control; advanced multistage front air bags; side, side curtain and thorax air bags; trailer-stability assist; and rain-sensing wipers are standard. A 360-degree camera system, active headlights, automatic-high-beam headlights, and a blind-spot monitoring system are optional.
All: 12-13 mpg city/17-18 mpg highway
- Fast as stink
- Incredibly athletic
- Serious towing ability
- Can go off-road but prefers the pavement
- Guzzles premium fuel
This Land Rover goes from track to trail.
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