When I emerged from my apartment this morning, a few neighbors could be seen grimly scraping their windows and preparing for another slushy, icy commute. Poor peasants. I simply climbed into my Range Rover Sport, flipped on the front-windscreen heater (not to be confused with a lowly defroster), provided a squirt of heated washer fluid, and turned the Terrain Response dial to snow-and-gravel mode. Within minutes, I was bombing toward downtown Ann Arbor at a 50-mph clip, my forward view obstructed only by the faint wires of that very handy heated windshield. This, my friends, is the Michigan-in-February equivalent of cruising the Pacific Coast Highway in a BMW M3 convertible.
The cold elements soundly defeated by the ingenuity of the British Empire, I was able to focus on the finer aspects of the Land Rover experience. That includes wood trim that, by golly, looks like real wood, a fantastic stereo, and very sporting perforated leather seats. My one complaint is with the navigation unit, which is as slow as the similar system on our departed Four Seasons Jaguar XF but twice as confusing.
I wasn't able to test the Sport's supposed performance credentials -- I'm cocky, not stupid -- but the exhaust note of the 510-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 and the decidedly firm set of the suspension promise some high-roofed fun when the roads thaw.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor