2014 Range Rover Sport Video Review

For those with the means to never have to compromise, the masterminds at Land Rover have created something you’re really going to want.  Reaching the highest levels of performance and off-road capability this is the all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport.

I was at the live reveal in New York City last spring when actor Daniel Craig made this impressionable entrance and I distinctly remember a conversation I had with Bob Burns, Events Manager Land Rover North America.  He told me that when the time came to drive it, the difference between the outgoing model and this one would be transformative.  And I thought of that each time I pressed the V8 to flex its muscles while experiencing this incredibly rich and felicitous cabin design.

This Indus Silver example you’re looking at is a Supercharged, the penultimate model in the 4 trim Sport lineup, slotted only behind the Autobiography.  It’s priced from about $81,000 though my well-equipped tester comes in at $92,285 with these mesmerizing 21” wheels shod in Goodyear Eagle F1 summer-use tires, the Dynamic Package with a plethora of go-faster appeal such as the red SPORT badge on the tailgate, red brake calipers and a raised top speed to 155mph, the luxury climate and visibility pack with features designed to get you through the winter months in comfort in addition to adaptive headlights with high beam assist and lastly an 825 Watt, 19 speaker Meridian surround sound system with dual screen rear seat entertainment that has to be heard to be believed.  And if somehow that doesn’t satisfy you there’s a $6,300, 1700 watt 23 speaker system available.

Retaining its signature sloping roofline silhouette, this Sport has a wheelbase that’s longer by 7” yet drops about 800 pounds thanks to the new aluminum unibody.  And though I’m sure the 340 horse supercharged V6 does a yeoman’s job, this 510 horsepower fire breathing beast is unstoppable and at times sounds very much like a Jaguar F-Type – the highest of exhaust sound compliments.  Not only will it dispose of 60mph in 5 seconds flat but it can return over 18mpg – as it did this week for me – and that’s with lots of dynamic driving.  Actual EPA estimates are 14mpg city/19mpg highway.  Combined with the 8-speed automatic with sport mode and paddle shifters the Sport is always ready to charge.  But more than just fast, the 4 corner air suspension, electric assisted steering and a host of advanced chassis technologies bring a newfound sports-car like nimbleness.  The updated Terrain Response system offers one dial ease of use for fully configuring all vehicle details, including a dynamic mode with a firmer ride, tighter body control and more responsive steering.

I can’t get over how powerful this Supercharged Sport is.  It is so much fun to drive and be seen in.  Now Range Rover’s just ooze with personality anyways, but this one is dialed up to 10.  And the cabin is darn near perfect in every way.

SUV brawny yet modernly sophisticated, the quality build is beyond reproach.  Rear seat passengers now enjoy more room, their own temperature control and heated seats – not to mention the sweet entertainment system with an oversized moonroof overhead.  And there is an available 5 +2 seating option for an extra $2,000.

The attention to detail is found everywhere, like this hidden Range Rover emblem on the b-pillar, heavenly headrests with a wraparound adjustment, and the most magnificent, this spotlight that triggers when you open the door at night projecting the brand on the ground below.  The electronic displays are comprehensive with my only criticism being the need for actual climate control seat buttons that take them off the screen.

As a one vehicle solution, the Range Rover Sport is unparalleled.  Greater ground clearance and water fording ability contribute to the legendary off-road prowess – though not with these $400 a piece on-road tires – and its on-road luxuriousness and Jaguar-like performance is the perfect blend.

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