The Land Rover Range Rover is arguably the best SUV on the planet right now. It’s fast, comfortable and capable of doing almost anything. And the Range Rover Sport is all of that, just a bit smaller, more fun and more affordable. What do you need to know before you buy a Ranger Rover Sport? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.

With a smaller starting price, classy looks, incredible off-roading prowess and one very bonkers performance model, the Range Rover Sport emerges as one of the most compelling luxury SUVs around. It may even rival its big brother in terms of bang for your buck.

What It’s Like To Drive

Take a Range Rover and shrink it down. That’s the Range Rover Sport in a nutshell. All engine choices are powerful, handling is impressive, and ride quality is fantastic. Plus, the various Terrain Response drive modes enable tremendous off-roading capabilities, far more than most SUVs or crossovers currently pervading the market.

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From our initial review:

Besides the power, the differences between the V6 and V8 Range Rover Sports become most evident in the handling department. When I drove the Range Rover, I didn’t care for its too-light, too-boosted electric steering. This car uses the same system, but the assistance has been turned down here for a heavier, more sporting feel. The Sport deserves credit for being a nimble and adept handler, one that never feels quite as big as it is. The V6 model displays a reasonable amount of body roll, but it’s capable enough.

The V8, on the other hand, is a whole other animal in the handling department. It is much stiffer, much flatter in corners, and manages to be genuinely fun to drive on back roads. Is it on par with a sports car? No, but it’s not supposed to be, and it displays handling prowess that will surprise most people. With either engine, it is a more agile, more fun handler than the Range Rover thanks to its slimmer weight and size.

The high-performance SVR is a force to be reckoned with. Sporting 550 horsepower and a track-ready suspension, Brembo brakes and an exhaust system seemingly designed to alert pedestrians that the Apocalypse is looming, it’s not for the faint of heart. But is that really what you want out of your Range Rover?

What’s New About The 2016 Range Rover

The second generation Range Rover Sport debuted for the 2014 model year, one year after its big brother, the Range Rover, launched with an all-new aluminum body.

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Though the Range Rover Sport joined the party a year later, it too received an aluminum unibody and it’s almost 800 pounds lighter than its predecessor.

The second generation Range Rover Sport launched with the same engines as the longer version: a 340 horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and a 510 pony 5.0-liter supercharged V8, both bolted to a ZF eight-speed automatic.

Also new for 2014 were: revised styling inside and out, a third row seating option, an updated Terrain Response system, more driver-assist technology, revised air suspension and lots of new gadgetry.

The following year brought the fastest Land Rover ever: the Range Rover Sport SVR. With its 550 horsepower supercharged V8, the SVR will rocket to 60 in 4.5 ticks. There’s a new Driver Assistance Pack option, and there have been a few other changes made to optional and standard equipment.

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If you like the torques, 2016 was a good year, as it brought the all-new 3.0-liter diesel V6, which promises 25 MPG combined and makes 443 lb-ft of twist.

Also new for 2016, All-Terrain Progress Control— basically a low-speed cruise control— becomes standard on V8 models. In addition, Automatic Access Height, which lowers the vehicle when it’s put into park, becomes standard on all trims. There’s a new hands-free gesture control for the tailgate on ‘16 Range Rovers and a new Emergency Services and Roadside Assistance integration option.

Powertrain Breakdown

Land Rover offers three engine in the Range Rover Sport: A 3.0-liter supercharged V6, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel and a 5.0-liter supercharged V8.

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The 3.0-liter engines— the gas and diesel—are found in only the standard HSE trims. The V6 gas engine produces 340 horsepower, while the turbodiesel makes 254 horsepower. Acceleration time to 60 MPH for the diesel is 7.1 seconds, and the gas supercharged V6 will do it in a few ticks quicker at 6.9.

5.0-liter supercharged V8s are found in the Supercharged, Supercharged Dynamic, Autobiography and SVR trims. The SVR’s V8 makes a What Just Happened 550 screaming stallions while the other four trims make do with a still-impressive 510 horsepower mill.

The 510 horsepower models get to 60 MPH in five seconds flat, while the SVR model sprints there in only 4.5.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Engine Options

EngineMax Horsepower (hp)Max Torque (lb-ft)
3.0L
Supercharged V6

340 @ 6500 rpm (standard)

332 @ 3500 rpm

3.0L
Turbodiesel

254 @ 4000 rpm (HSE)

443 @ 2000 rpm

5.0L
Supercharged V8
510 @ 6000 rpm
(Supercharged, Autobiography)
550 @ 6000 rpm (SVR)
461 @ 2500 rpm

502 @ 3500 rpm

Fuel Economy Breakdown

Range Rovers are behemoths. The lightest model weighs in at a huge 4,727 pounds. Couple that with a big frontal area and the aerodynamic drag associated with it, and you’ve got a car that will suck gas like no other.

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Fuel economy numbers are poor. Not quite Your Dad’s Jeep Grand Wagoneer-poor, which involved rarely hitting double digits, but definitely abysmal for 2016. Even the standard 340 horsepower supercharged V6 won’t crack into the 20’s combined, and the V8 models only score 16 MPG in mixed driving.

Of course, Land Rover also offers their less-powerful but very torquey 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which Land Rover thinks will score high marks in fuel economy. The unofficial numbers from Land Rover are 22 city, 28 highway, 25 combined. Those are actually decent mileage figures for a vehicle this size.

2016 Range Rover Series Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Hwy/Comb)

_3.0L
Supercharged V6
3.0L Turbodiesel5.0L
Supercharged V8
8-Speed
Automatic
17/23/1922/28/25
(unofficial)
14/19/16
13/19/15 (SVR)

Trim Level Breakdown

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes in six trim levels: SE, HSE, Supercharged, Supercharged Dynamic, Autobiography and SVR.

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Steering for all Range Rovers is electric and suspension is a double wishbone design up front and a multilink setup in the back with adaptive air shocks all the way around.

Brakes on lower trims are 13.8 inch vented units all the way around, while the V8 models get 15-inchers in the front and 14.4-inch rotors out back.

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  • SE: Starts at $64,950. Notable standard features: 3.0-liter supercharged V6, four-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission, eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display, navigation, 19-inch alloy wheels, eight-speaker 250w audio system, xenon automatic headlamps with LED signature lighting and power wash, leather seats, 16-way power front seats with memory, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control with memory, rearview camera, Terrain Response, single-speed transfer case, Hill Descent Control. Notable options: 3.0-liter turbodiesel ($1,500); Tow package: receiver, electrics, full-size spare ($900); Extra Duty Package: Two-speed transfer case, Terrain Response 2 Auto, Adaptive Dynamics, All Terrain Progress Control ($1,750); Vision and Convenience Package: Surround Camera System, custom mood lighting, soft door close ($1,400); Climate Comfort and Visibility Package: Heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, fog lights, adaptive headlights with auto high beam assist, auto dimming mirrors, blind spot monitor with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection, 60/40 split rear seat with load-through ($2,740); Driver Assistance Pack: Traffic sign recognition with Lane Departure Warning and Park Assist, 360 degree Park Distance Control, Wi-Fi Pre-wire, head up display ($2,900+Climate Comfort and Visibility Package); Adaptive Cruise Control with stop function ($1,295); Rear Seat Entertainment System with two eight-inch video screens ($2,000); Meridian 825 Watt 19-speaker premium sound system ($1,850); Deployable side-steps ($3,613).
  • HSE: Starts at $69,950. Notable standard features over SE: panoramic roof with power blind, full Oxford perforated leather seats, heated front seats, front fog lamps, unique interior and exterior trim (grille, fender vents and hood vents), aluminum sill plates. Notable options: 3.0-liter turbodiesel ($1,500); Meridian Signature Audio Enhancement Package: 1700W 23-speaker audio system ($6,300); Climate Comfort and Visibility Package: heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive headlights with auto high beam assist, auto-dimming mirrors, Blind Spot Monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection, 60/40 split rear seat with load-through ($2,620); Luxury Climate Comfort and Visibility Package: Front Climate Comfort and Visibility Package plus cooled rear seats, four-zone climate control ($4,180); other options similar to SE.
  • Supercharged: Starts at $79,950. Notable standard features over HSE: 510 horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8, sliding panoramic roof, Terrain Response 2 Auto, two-speed transfer case, Dynamic Response suspension. Notable options: similar to HSE.
  • Supercharged Dynamic: Starts at $82,695. Notable standard features over Supercharged: gloss-black grille, fender vent, hood vent and upper mirror caps, unique red 20” brake calipers. Similar options as Supercharged.
  • Autobiography: Starts at $93,295. Notable standard features over Supercharged: heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, center console cooler, three-zone climate control, stainless steel pedals, 825w 19-speaker audio system, 21-inch alloy wheels, Blind Spot Monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing, Surround camera system, unique interior and exterior trim, soft door close. Notable options: Meridian Signature Audio Package ($4,450); Climate Comfort Package: four-zone climate control, cooled rear seats ($910); otherwise similar to SE.
  • SVR: Starts at $111,350. Notable standard features over Autobiography:550 horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8, blue Brembo calipers, unique grille, fender and hood vents, adaptive headlamps, Sports Seats with Oxford perforated leather and SVR patter, unique headliner, unique interior trim, active Sports Exhaust, compact spare wheel, no soft door close. Notable options: soft door close ($600); No Climate Comfort Package available, otherwise options are similar to HSE.

Which One We’d Buy

The SVR comes to mind first as the enthusiasts’ choice, although a closer look at that model makes us scratch our heads. While we enjoy its prodigious power and raucous exhaust note, a Nürburgring-tuned Range Rover is a concept we find a bit perplexing. Its price tag also puts it well within firing distance of an actual Range Rover, and we’d rather have that than an SVR.

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So we’d be perfectly happy with a Range Rover Sport Supercharged, because its blown V8 packs plenty of oomph without sacrificing any of the comfort you’d expect from the brand. It’s the better buy than the SVR, and doesn’t overlap with the Range Rover too much.

[Build Your Own Range Rover Sport]

Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $64,950-$111,350 Top Speed: 155 MPH [5.0L]

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Acceleration: 4.5s to 60 [SVR]

MPG: 22 city / 28 hwy / 25 combined [3.0L diesel]

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Engines: 3.0L Supercharged V6, 3.0L Turbodiesel, 5.0L Supercharged V8

Max Horsepower/Torque: 550 hp/502 lb-ft [SVR]

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Curb Weight: 4,727- 5,148 IIHS Safety Rating: Not Tested

Transmissions: 8-Speed Automatic

Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, 4WD

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Photo credit: Land Rover