Back in May, Jaguar Land Rover grabbed the headlines with the arrival of its 2.0-litre petrol iteration of the 2019 Range Rover Sport.
Overall, the Range Rover Sport’s imposing stance with large square-ish proportions, and clean design lines along with those chunky wheels, lend it an opulent character. The simple design shows the magnificence of the vehicle. And all this charm renders it worthy of only the wealthy and affluent. This is what sets the Range Rover Sport apart from anything else on the road.
Step inside, and you’re instantly embraced by the lush and elegant cabin. All soft touch materials. We truly appreciate the more angular approach towards the interior design; a nice deviation from the current trend of curves.
In addition, the combination of dark trim materials ,brushed aluminium inserts, and those multiple touchscreens that look classy and sophistication. That aside, both touchscreens span a considerable portion of the dash which give it a truly futuristic touch.
Besides, these screens show all data via the superior high-res graphics and excellent frames rates with good touch sensitivity and zilch lag. Users must be familiar with the interface to easily read and switch screens on the go.
That apart, we felt that the oddly placed power window switches need you to stretch that extra bit. The physical controls for the harmonic and volume functions are appreciated. Not something you’d expect in a car like this.
The driver will be really comfortable with the front seats. It has a large size, smooth cushioning, contours and the lumbar adjust is quite perfect. There’s spades of head room and shoulder room too. Moreover, finding that sweet driving position wasn’t just effortless. Spending long hours turned out to be a pleasant experience, by far. Besides that, there’s adequate cubby storage inside the arm rest, in the door pads. Finally, one interesting stealth stowage section underneath the cup holders. And there is a separate charging point perfect.
For the rear seats, the large 60:40 bench offers lots of contours and can be adjusted for recline. With that, it has spacious headroom and knee room, with adequate thigh support and a floor that’s tilted towards the occupants.
Rear passengers also get their own climate control, and two 5V USB points which indeed comes handy for our electronic gadgets of today. And finally, as you’d guessed, the rear occupants feel nothing short of regal, since they are perched high up and literally glance down at other motorists.
People sitting in the middle also get comfort. However, we still recommend that you stick to two at the rear. What’s more, you can nudge the middle seat ahead and use it as an arm rest; complete with cup holders and a handy cubby space with a lid. At the back, the luggage storage is quite spacious and comfortable
How does it drive?
The car uses a modest sounding two-litre petrol motor that makes 300bhp and 400Nm of torque between 1500-4000rpm. When you press the start button, you will be completely satisfied with the silence that the car shows. In fact, the only time you get to hear the motor is when you rev the nuts off it, or when zipping about in manual mode.
A quick spin was enough for us to notice that this 2.0-litre isn’t as eager as its diesel siblings that have 600-740Nm on tap; more so when getting off the mark. Although there is a momentary delay to get going, it isn’t really worth complaining about. And a 2-liter petrol with a capacity of 300bhp / 400Nm, enough for the Range Rover Sport to travel far.
To give you an idea, it takes 8.42 seconds for the dash to hit 100kmph, which isn’t slow by any standard. In fact, there’s more than enough oomph at any given point which eases normal commuting and overtaking; even signal-light drag sprints are a breeze. This small capacity motor tugs the RR Sport along quite well even when out on the highway; where the 20-80 and 40-100, an indicator of overtaking abilities, takes a rather swift 4.89 and 6.76 seconds respectively.
In fact, the only real kink in this motor’s armour is the prominent pause in stop-go situations while climbing an incline. But it is something we quickly overcame by switching to Sport mode and slotting the gears manually via the paddles.
As for the gearbox, the shifts are seamless, and the system efficiently goes about using the eight gears to extract the best out of this 2.0-litre motor. In addition, the car uses Eco and Comfort mode to toggle with.
The RR Sport rides on air springs. The ride quality here is slightly on the firmer side, especially at slower speeds. After you spend a bit of time behind the wheel, you’ll have to admit that the intention for this firmer setup becomes clearer. It’s what’s behind the RR Sport’s clean road-handling manners, and should also help in its off-roading prowess without doubt.
It’s especially that supreme cabin insulation tends to eliminate most decibels. Also, keeping in mind the sheer size of the RR Sport, we didn’t exactly expect ourselves to attack corners. But we actually ended up doing so!
In some twists, the RR Sport handled not so badly. And the rather large 20-inch wheels with adhesive Pirelli rubber has helped the car tremendously
Should I buy one?
The downside of the car is the powertrain, and that it can get tricky to drive in the tighter city confines. Nevertheless, whichever way you look at it, this stretched RR Sport’s fleet, with a cheaper starting point, sure spells a win-win situation for the brand.
The car has a reasonable price. Especially when you aren’t compromising with the performance at large. Even so, you still get to take advantage of the Range Rover Sport’s magnificent stance, its lavishly appointed interiors with classy detailing and superb cabin insulation, the generous proportions and the lush ride quality.