by Karl Furlong
Few brands are more closely associated with rugged off-road performance than Land Rover, but the Range Rover Sport - together with models like the smaller Evoque - ably demonstrated that the British marque could compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW when gravel and rocks made way for smooth tarmac. Prioritizing on-road performance and fashionable styling, the all-new Range Rover Sport now enters its third generation. The lines have been smoothed over, it now relies on electrification more than any prior Range Rover Sport, and the minimalist interior reeks of quality. However, with a much higher starting price of $83,000, can the new Range Rover Sport hold off the ever-improving Germans?
See trim levels and configurations:
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport's official release date in the USA should be sometime later in 2022, although it is already available to order online. In 2024, a pure-electric model will be coming out for the first time.
As with most things, Land Rover's new SUV is pricier than before. The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover's price begins at $83,000 MSRP for the P360 SE. After that, expect to pay $90,000 for the P400 SE Dynamic, $104,200 for the P440e Autobiography plug-in hybrid, and $121,500 for the P530 First Edition. These prices all exclude a destination cost of $1,350.
Rivals include the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Porsche Cayenne. At this early point in time, the new Range Rover certainly has the panache to surpass the Germans, but it remains to be seen if it can match them on the road.
The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport's exterior follows a similar philosophy to that of the new Range Rover. Every surface is smooth, the shut lines are tight, and elements like the door handles and headlight clusters are perfectly flush with the bodywork. Land Rover says that the premium LED headlights are the slimmest it has ever used, and these flank a grille that is refreshingly restrained in this era of large grilles.
Flush glazing, a laser-welded roof, and wheel sizes that begin at 21 inches lend the side profile a purposeful, sophisticated air. The rear aspect is perhaps the most contentious. The number plate has been moved lower down, and the slimmer taillights blend with a horizontal strip bearing the Range Rover script. Headlight washers and power-folding mirrors are standard, and integrated twin tailpipes are replaced by quad pipes on upper trims.
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport's colors include Santorini Black, Firenze Red, Portofino Blue, Borasco Grey, and Giola Green.
Longer and taller than before, although marginally narrower with the mirrors folded, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport's dimensions aren't dramatically different from its predecessor. The base model measures 71.7 inches in height, 194.7 inches in length, 80.6 inches in width (with the mirrors folded), and rides on a 118-inch wheelbase.
As before, this will be a more capable off-road vehicle than many others in the segment. The maximum wading depth is 35.4 inches and the ride height is 11.1 inches. For the base model, the approach/departure/ramp angles work out to 33/30/26.9 degrees, respectively. This model weighs in at 4,990 pounds. At 5,860 lbs, the Autobiography PHEV is significantly heavier.
Most powertrains in the 2023 Range Rover Sport's lineup are electrified in some way. The first Land Rover Range Rover Sport engine is the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six known as the P360. With mild hybrid assistance, it produces 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and can propel the SUV from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The P400 uses the same engine but is tuned to generate 395 hp and 406 lb-ft, reducing the 0-60 mph time to 5.4 seconds.
After that is a plug-in hybrid 3.0-liter turbo inline-six known as the P440e. It produces a much stronger 434 hp and 619 lb-ft, although it's actually a tenth of a second slower than the P400 to 60 mph because of its much heavier weight.
For now, the final engine option is the P530 in the First Edition. This is a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 sourced from BMW. It delivers a brawny 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. Armed with this V8, the new Range Rover Sport needs just 4.3 seconds to reach 60 mph.
All models employ an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF.
The vehicle's underpinnings are much improved. Compared with the previous model, torsional stiffness is up by 35 percent. With the latest Terrain Response 2 system, off-road jaunts are simpler than ever, especially when using the new adaptive off-road cruise control. The First Edition additionally comes with the Stormer Handling Pack that groups together all-wheel steering, torque vectoring by braking, and Dynamic Response Pro. The latter system introduces switchable-volume air springs for the first time, working together with a 48-volt electronic active roll control system.
There may not be a pure-electric Range Rover Sport yet, but the company says one is on the way in 2024. For now, technical specs about this derivative's power outputs and charging times remain unknown.
The new P440e PHEV is a stand-out contender, though. It has an estimated all-electric range of 48 miles, which will be enough for many commuters to get to and from the office without needing to call upon the gas engine. This range is courtesy of a 31.8-kWh battery and 141-hp electric motor. Land Rover claims that with rapid DC charging, the PHEV's battery can be recharged from 0-80% in under an hour.
For the rest, Land Rover estimates 20/25 mpg city/highway for the P360 and P400, and 15/20 mpg city/highway for the P530 V8.
The new Land Rover Range Rover Sport SUV's interior is a sublime mix of clean design, plush materials, and the latest technologies. When we sat inside the cabin in Dubai, it was hard not to appreciate the attention to detail and the improvement in quality.
Even the base model comes with 20-way power-adjustable front seats with memory and heating, and these are covered in fine Windsor leather. But the Land Rover Range Rover Sport's seats are not only inviting for those in front. At the back, there is almost an inch of additional legroom. The First Edition is on another level. This model has semi-aniline leather along with 22-way front seats with heating, ventilation, and massage functions.
As standard, the new Range Rover Sport comes with the Pivi Pro infotainment interface with a 13.1-inch touchscreen, supplemented by a 13.7-inch interactive driver display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both wireless, and a Meridian sound system is standard. The available Meridian Signature sound system is outstanding, boasting 29 speakers and 1,430 watts of amplifier power.
Regardless of the model, safety has been a top priority. The Range Rover Sport comes with emergency braking, a 3D surround-view camera system, parking sensors at both ends of the body, lane keep assist, and driver condition monitoring.
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport's cargo capacity has increased by virtue of the longer body and wheelbase, now measuring 31.9 cubic feet behind the second row.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport: