The Range Rover Sport almost pulled one over on me. In my first 20 miles behind the wheel, I fell for the acceleration, lush interior, and Range Rover cachet. However, the more I drove the Range Rover Sport, the less I thought that I would ever want to own one. For the $82,345 asking price, the Range Rover Sport requires too many compromises. Chiefly, the navigation interface and radio controls disappoint by being too slow and finicky. Using the physical seek buttons to choose a new station is particularly painful as you must pause at each station rather than rapidly pressing to skip over channels. Rear legroom is too tight and the driver's seat won't slide back far enough for my 6-foot, 3-inch frame. Even assisted by massive struts, the rear hatch feels as if it weighs 80 pounds; when you try to close it, those struts strongly fight every inch of travel. Then there's the handling. The Range Rover Sport is rather well behaved when it comes to ride quality, but is too eager to give up traction and lean in corners.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor