2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Driving Impressions

Whether you’re rolling down the highway or trekking through wilderness, the Sport stands out. Models with V8 power get a low-range transfer case, while each version benefits from a tautly tuned suspension.

Shared with Jaguar, the supercharged base V6 engine delivers impressively energetic response. Only a hair slower in acceleration, the turbodiesel V6 takes full advantage of its strong torque output, yet can barely be heard.

With either V8, the Range Rover Sport turns into an SUV that’s an indisputably swift traveler. In SVR trim, the V8 model roars to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Not only can it merge like a sports sedan, the SVR stays fully composed through curves and turns long highway stretches into comfortable excursions.

As for off-road prowess, the Sport can cross creeks that are up to 33.5 inches deep, scamper over rocks, then blaze through sand or mud. Ground clearance of 9.3 inches, coupled with wheel travel greater than 10 inches, ensures rough-terrain readiness.

Terrain Response 2, standard with V8 power and optional for the V6, provides seven modes for almost any surface (including Automatic), working transparently to deliver the greatest amount of traction. Rather than merely capable, the Range Rover Sport is among the easiest vehicles to drive under tough conditions.

Range Rover Sports (except SVR) are rated to tow up to 7,716 pounds.

As expected, fuel economy isn’t as admirable. The gas V6 is EPA-rated at 17/23 mpg City/Highway, or 19 mpg Combined. The Supercharged V8 is EPA-rated at only 14/19 mpg City/Highway, or 16 mpg Combined. For thrifty operation, the turbodiesel stands tall at 22/29 mpg City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined.

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