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2023 Range Rover Sport, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

 

2023 Range Rover Sport First Drive: Third Time’s a Charmer

The Range Rover Sport steps out of big brother’s shadow.

2023 Range Rover Sport in motion 4
land-rover range-rover-sport Full Overview

I’ve never cared for Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport. The first generation, launched in 2004 as a 2005 model and code-named L320, was little more than a rebodied Land Rover Discovery. I get the decision to build the thing—amortize the costs of developing the chassis with two vehicles, as well as expanding the “Range Rover family.” However, it wasn’t nice to look at, and despite the word “Sport” in the name, it wasn’t in fact sporty to drive.

The L494 second-generation model was more handsome when it arrived in 2013, and it used the actual Range Rover platform. It was a bit sportier than the previous version, but every time I drove one, I came away with the distinct impression that it was a cost-cut Range Rover. Which of course, it was. Fast-forward to now, and I’ve just driven multiple versions of the all-new, third-gen Range Rover Sport in and around Madrid, Spain. Is this one better than before?

2023 Range Rover Sport front view

Hey, Handsome

Range Rover has entered the “polishing icons” stage of design. Think Porsche and the 911. You want anyone looking to know the car’s a Porsche 911 from 1,000 feet, so don’t change too much. It’s difficult for the layman—and challenging even for the car-obsessed—to tell the newest Range Rover apart from the one that came before. Icon, polished.

However, although the new Range Rover Sport is obviously related to the L494, it looks so, so much better. I’ll even go so far as to say that the Sport looks better than the actual Range Rover, something that’s never been true before. There’s just this terrific gangster lean to it, along with subtle curves and a squashed, sloping fast roof that helps to show off the rig’s tremendously well-formed shoulder and beltlines. Honestly, the roofline reminds me of the prewar Bentley Gurney Nutting Blue Train car. Love it.

The Firenze Red Range Rover Sport P530 First Edition I drove on day one (so named because the lovely BMW-sourced V-8 engine makes 530 PS, or 523 hp) rode on 23-inch wheels and tires, and they looked smashing. Big wheels always run the risk of dwarfing the vehicle (and killing ride quality—more on that in a bit), making it appear smaller than it is. Not here. No, on the new Range Rover Sport, the big wheels simply work.

A Scottish friend of mine commented that the front end looks like a Kia Soul EV. I told him Kia wishes that were true, and pointed out the Sport actually resembles a sporty version of the new Range Rover, with a bit of Velar mixed in for good measure.

The rear end is simply outstanding, avoiding the form fussiness that plagues the backside of big bro Range Rover. The quad pipes look good, and having the words “Range Rover” in black on a black strip shows that the brand is so confident in its design language it feels the SUV needn’t be ostentatiously labeled. Like any icon, you know just by looking.

2023 Range Rover Sport interior cabin 2

On The Inside

The cabin is Scandinavian in its sparseness, though the leathers are soft, thick, and plush enough that it somehow also feels like an old English wingback chair. Yet somehow sporty, too. I like the secondary fabrics on the door cards and seats, didn’t mind the chopped carbon-fiber accents on the First Edition, and dug the open-pore wood I experienced in the P400 SE Dynamic.

Most of the controls are found within the quick-acting touchscreen. However, and notably, there’s a Terrain Response control knob that lets you quickly and easily toggle through the various off-road modes. I say notably because with the otherwise wonderful Land Rover Defender, the Terrain Response controls are buried in the screen. This solution, which was first reintroduced on the Range Rover, is far better.

I found the seats quite comfortable, though rear legroom is a touch lacking. That said, the rear seat fully reclines, should you so wish. Also worth mentioning, wireless CarPlay is now standard. Amazon Alexa is in there, too. Perhaps most important, every module in the Range Rover Sport is now able to be updated over the air. I’m not just talking infotainment here. I mean everything, from CarPlay integration to engine programming, hybrid system tuning, suspension setup, and even the steering.

2023 Range Rover Sport in motion 2

What’s Under The Hood?

On the P530, it’s that great 4.4-liter BMW N63 twin-turbo V-8 that produces 553 lb-ft of torque to go with the aforementioned 523 horses, the same specs as you’d get in a BMW X5 M550i. You may be thinking something along the lines of, “Why doesn’t Land Rover just stuff its own V-8 in there?” A couple of reasons. The first is that ye olde supercharged Landy V-8 has about as much chance of passing Euro 6 emissions as Pete Davidson does avoiding shooting his shot with a female celebrity.

Forced, terrible metaphor notwithstanding, the ultimate reason is Jaguar Land Rover—like the rest of the biz—is going electric. Instead of spending precious R&D dollars on a new V-8, it’s better to simply partner with a company that’s already done the heavy lifting and concentrate on electrification. Also, you can expect a fully electric Range Rover Sport in two years’ time.

The P510e Autobiography and the P440e Autobiography are both plug-in hybrids that feature the brand’s Ingenium 3.0-liter turbo inline-six hooked to a 141-hp electric motor that’s fed from a 39-kWh battery pack. The more powerful P510e produces 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, whereas the P440e gets by with 434 hp and 457 lb-ft. The only difference between the two vehicles is the output of the inline-six.

Land Rover is hoping the Range Rover Sport P440e will get an electric-only mileage rating of 51 miles from the EPA. We should hear by the time the vehicle goes on sale in October. Your mileage may be better than rated, however, as Land Rover claims test vehicles are returning anywhere from 60 to 70 miles of pure EV range. We Yanks are also getting the P400 SE Dynamic and P360 SE, both of which sport only the Ingenium six-banger, good for either 395 hp and 406 lb-ft in the former or 355 hp and 369 lb-ft in the latter.

All powerplants route their output through the ubiquitous-for-a-reason (it’s great!) ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and on to all four wheels, permanent-style. The hybrid motor sits between the engine and transmission, in a pancake arrangement. The auto is hooked up to a transfer case with low gears.

Like all Range Rovers, the fancy off-road electronic suite is called Terrain Response—technically Terrain Response 2—and features several different off-road driving modes: General Driving, Grass, Gravel, Snow, Mud and Ruts, Rock Crawl, Sand, and Wading.

However, the system defaults to Auto, the idea being based on what the tires are sensing, the computer will automatically choose the right mode to be in. For modes like Rock Crawl, the air suspension raises the vehicle even higher, creating yet more ground clearance, while rear-wheel steering makes the Range Rover Sport more nimble both off- and on-road.

2023 Range Rover Sport in motion 5

Is It Good To Drive, Part 1: On-Road

Yes, very. Especially the P530. That holds true even when compared to the larger, heavier, statelier Range Rover. Based on experience in the full-bore P530 SWB Rangie, the lighter (by around 500 to 600 pounds, according to LR’s numbers) but identical output Sport actually does feel sportier to drive. Acceleration is brisk enough, and although it’s refined and quiet most of the time, flipping the P530 into Sport mode provides a nice little V-8 rumble.

I also like how the Range Rover Sport rears up on its haunches a touch when you floor it. About 30 miles outside of Madrid, a semi-truck decided I wasn’t there, and at 85 mph I was forced to make what a driving school would term an emergency lane change. Didn’t even freak my poor passenger out as she saw the truck trying to merge into our right front fender. This Range Rover Sport handles!

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On a more winding road, I found myself impressed with how the Range Rover Sport P530 tackles corners. No drama is perhaps the best way to describe the experience, and that means that even if you push this SUV hard. Our European bureau chief, Angus MacKenzie, has decried the on-center feeling of the Sport, saying the off-center effort is too heavy to be on anything badged a Range Rover. I didn’t mind the effort and thought it was a nice differentiator between the Range Rover and the Sport.

The more sporting rig is also lovely and graceful to drive at a modest pace. Speaking of graceful, I’m shocked by the ride quality. Based on the massive 285/40R23 tires on all four corners, I was expecting a harsh experience. The opposite turned out to be true.

The Range Rover Sport is almost as cosseting and luxurious as it is fun to drive. The brakes work well, the transmission remains the best automatic in the business, and I’m really struggling to find any aspect of the Range Rover Sport P530 I didn’t enjoy. I suppose I didn’t look at the fuel economy, which is no doubt not very good. Back to the important stuff: Is this the best-driving Land Rover product ever? I’ll go ahead and say yes.

The other powertrains? Among the plug-ins, I only drove the P510e Autobio, the one we’re not getting in America, but it’s the only PHEV Land Rover brought along. However, it weighs exactly the same as the P440e Autobiography we are getting, which will have 69 fewer horsepower and 59 fewer lb-ft. Land Rover says these models weigh about 500 pounds more than the P530, and you can feel the extra weight in the handling. Still good to drive, just not as fun.

Like with most PHEVs, you can choose between Hybrid, EV, and Save driving modes. Hybrid uses both power sources as needed, EV is electric propulsion only until the battery is drained, and Save uses the gasoline engine to maintain the battery’s current state of charge. One cool feature is an automatically geofenced EV mode.

Many European cities mandate or strongly prefer that within a city’s inner core, PHEVs not use the gas engine. As such, the Range Rover Sport automatically switched into EV mode within the confines of Madrid. What happens if the battery is drained? The vehicle runs as a hybrid. This feature doesn’t really make a difference to U.S. customers now, but consider it future-proofed against such legislation.

I also drove the P400, which Land Rover says comes in more than 350 pound lighter than the V-8 model. Not surprisingly, it felt slightly nimbler but also a touch poky. That’s what a power deficit of 128 horsepower nets you. Powertrain verdict: I like the V-8 best, though if the PHEV can achieve 51 miles or more of electric-only driving, that is something to consider.

2023 Range Rover Sport shifter

Is It Good To Drive, Part 2: Off-Road

Many times, when I’ve attended the launch of an off-road-capable SUV, the manufacturers pull a bit of a fast one. Meaning we have one set of cars to drive on pavement and another set with smaller wheels and knobbier, deflated tires to drive off-road. Range Rover pulled no such trick. Instead, after flinging the car all over some sweet Spanish twisties, we simply activated the Range Rover Sport’s low-gear transfer case, waited a beat for the air springs to raise the car about 2 inches, and hit the dirt.

That’s right, even wearing ridiculous-by-off-roading-standards,  rubber-band-like 23-inch all-season Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires, the Range Rover Sport is an off-road ringer. I should note that we only took the P510e in the dirt, rocks, and mud, as Land Rover wanted us to experience what electric off-roading is like. That said, I must imagine that the lighter ICE versions would be even more capable.

We essentially drove using every off-road mode other than Wading, as there was no river to ford. But rainstorms had turned part of the trail into muddy ruts. Land Rover asked us to leave the vehicles in Auto and let the computers figure out what was needed. Worked flawlessly. The Range Rover Sport features both center and rear electric lockers that can both be automatically locked and unlocked as the computer sees fit.

There’s a display on the central screen that shows what’s going on with both in real time. Yes, you can assume full manual control over everything if you so like, but Land Rover wanted to show off how smart and capable Terrain Response 2 is. Can you blame them? I spent most of the drive marveling at the purchase the Sport was able to find given we were on street tires inflated to street tire levels. Of course, this happens almost every time I take a Range Rover off-road—I wind up shocked by how truly capable these machines are.

The Range Rover Sport is likely as talented off-road as things like the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and even the more workaday Jeep Wranglers and Ford Broncos. It can do some mild rock crawling (hey, there is a Rock Crawl mode), but big boulders would start bashing in the beautiful, pricey aluminum body panels.

Still, the Range Rover Sport is much more capable than most owners would ever need or even consider possible. I should also note that the Range Rover’s ride quality on dirt and gravel roads is among the very best in the industry, whereas those of a Bronco and Wrangler, uh, aren’t. For whatever reason, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of off-road ability, and I came away duly impressed.

2023 Range Rover Sport close up screen

Conclusion: Zero To Hero

Before this drive, had anyone asked me if the Range Rover was worth the extra money over the Range Rover Sport, I would have said, “Yes ma’am/sir, without question.” Now? I like the Range Rover Sport better. First, it looks better. Yeah, the Range Rover’s design is evolutionary, a polished icon and all that, but I flat-out prefer the sportier, more aggressive metal of the Sport.

That sentiment was simply not the case with the previous two generations. I also prefer how the Sport drives, especially the burly V-8. What does the Range Rover give you that the Sport doesn’t? A larger interior with more rear comfort and legroom, primarily. But if you’re the primary driver—and believe me you’ll want to be—I advocate for the Sport. The V-8 if you have about $123,000 to spend, or around $92K for the P400 if you don’t.

What about the PHEV for almost $106K? If a 50-mile EV range appeals to you, go for it. Personally, I’d wait for the all-electric version in that case. No matter which version you choose, the third-generation Range Rover Sport is a deeply impressive SUV.

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2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Specifications
BASE PRICE RANGE $83,475-$122,975
LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINES 3.0L/355-hp/369-406-lb-ft turbo direct-injected DOHC 24-valve I-6, 3.0L/355-hp/369-lb-ft turbo direct-injected DOHC 24-valve I-6 plus 141-hp electric motor; 434 hp/457 lb-ft comb, 4.4L/523-hp/553-lb-ft twin-turbo direct-injected DOHC 32-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed auto
CURB WEIGHT 5,000-5,850 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 118.0 in
L x W x H 194.7 x 80.6 x 71.7 in
0-60 MPH 4.4-6.0 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 16-19/21-26/18-22 mpg
EPA RANGE, COMB 428-524 miles
ON SALE October 2022

 

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Starting at $84,475

8/10C/D RATING
2023 range rover sport
  • HIGHS: Handsome exterior design, high-end interior finishes, agreeable mix of comfort and sport.
  • LOWS: Jumpy throttle response on V-8 model, peculiar infotainment interface takes getting used to, high starting price.
  • VERDICT: The latest Range Rover Sport perpetuates the nameplate’s luxurious pedigree and adds more modern tech and a fresh look.

Overview

If you’re looking for a vehicle that combines off-road capability, luxury accommodations, and the status of an upper-crust image something from Land Rover’s top-shelf Range Rover lineup should do just fine. But if your budget is slightly less elastic, the 2023 Range Rover Sport is an alternative that’s nearly as satisfying.

Despite its smaller dimensions, the Sport has a similar silhouette to the more expensive Range Rover—but with an added dose of attitude. A trio of powertrains, including a hybrid inline-six, a plug-in hybrid inline-six, and a mega-power twin-turbo V-8 gives you a good variety of choices.

The cabin is premium and fitted with desirable tech, including Land Rover’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system and driver-assistance features to help with both on- and off-road driving. All this prestige doesn’t come cheap, though, and the Range Rover Sport’s starting price is higher than other deluxe SUVs such as the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-class, and Volvo XC90. But make no mistake, the Sport earns its place in the Range Rover lineup honestly and for several reasons, not the least of which is this: it looks like money.

What’s New for 2023?

Like the larger Range Rover, the mid-size Range Rover Sport has received a full redesign that includes fresh styling, a revamped cabin, and cutting-edge tech. An all-electric Range Rover Sport EV will enter the market next year as a 2024 model.

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Pricing and Which One to Buy

P360 SE
$84,475
P400 SE Dynamic
$91,475
P440 eAutobiography
$105,675
P530 First Edition
$122,975

We think the more powerful SE Dynamic is the trim to go with. Its extra horsepower will undoubtedly give it a bit of a boost both around town and on the highway and it offers a litany of luxury and convenience features without requiring a six-figure bill.

 

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The entry-level engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that employs a 48-volt hybrid system and makes 355 horsepower in the P360 SE and 395 horsepower in the P400 SE Dynamic. A plug-in hybrid P440e setup is exclusive to the fancy Autobiography trim and pairs an electric motor to the inline-six for a combined 434 horsepower. The juiciest cut can be found in the P530 First Edition, which comes only with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine that pumps out a robust 523 horsepower.

Land Rover estimates the V-8 will motivate the Range Rover Sport to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive, and an adjustable air suspension. The Range Rover Sport can also be had with an optional performance driving setup called Stormer Handling Pack, which adds rear-wheel steering and torque-vectoring systems.

During our initial test drive, we found the throttle response on our V-8–powered test vehicle to be too jumpy and difficult to operate smoothly. Otherwise, we were impressed with the Range Rover Sport’s blend of comfort and athleticism and noted that its rear-wheel steering system made maneuvering in tight spaces less challenging than in other similarly-sized SUVs.

2023 range rover sport

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

The plug-in hybrid model will be the only Range Rover Sport with an all-electric driving range until next year when the EV model goes on sale. The plug-in sports a 31.8-kWh battery pack that Land Rover claims is good for a 48-mile electric driving range.

 

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

According to Land Rover, the P360 and P400 models will deliver 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, while the V-8–powered P530 carries fuel economy estimates of 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. When we get a chance, we’ll take the Range Rover Sport on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route and report its results here. For more information about the Range Rover Sport’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

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Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The interior design has taken a more minimalist approach this time around, with a reduction in the number of buttons and switches and a more streamlined appearance throughout the cabin. Buyers can choose from either textile or genuine leather upholstery in attractive two-tone designs.

The dark-tinted chrome accents look particularly premium. Power-adjustable front seats are standard but a set of chairs with up to 22 ways of adjustability as well as massage, ventilation, and winged headrests is optional. An integrated air purification system is available and is said to reduce odors, bacteria, viruses, and allergens from the cabin.

2023 range rover sport interior

Infotainment and Connectivity

The Range Rover Sport’s redesigned dashboard offers plenty of digital real estate, with a large 13.1-inch curved touchscreen serving infotainment duties and an even larger 13.7-inch screen parked in front of the driver to display the gauges. Land Rover’s Pivi Pro interface is the company’s best attempt at in-car infotainment yet, but as we’ve learned using it in other models such as the Defender and the Discovery, it’s not without its quirks.

The displays are crisp and clear though, and it looks high-end floating above the Range Rover Sport’s upholstered dashboard. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard and all Range Rover Sports come with Amazon’s Alexa. A wireless smartphone charging pad is cleverly integrated on a shelf just beneath the infotainment screen, too. A 29-speaker Meridian stereo system is optional and incorporates speakers in the Range Rover Sport’s front and rear headrests.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

A host of driver-assistance features are standard, including automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and a 360-degree exterior camera system. An adaptive cruise control system is also included and it even has an off-road feature. For more information about the Range Rover Sport’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Standard adaptive cruise control

 

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The Range Rover Sport’s warranty coverage is about average for its class, but it doesn’t include complimentary scheduled maintenance. The purchase price of three of its key competitors—the BMW X5 and X7 and the Volvo XC90—include three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

 

Specifications

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base: P360 SE, $84,475; P400 SE Dynamic, $91,475; P440e PHEV Autobiography, $105,675; P530 First Edition, $122,975

ENGINES
P360: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 355 hp, 369 lb-ft; P400: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 395 hp, 406 lb-ft; P440e: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 395 hp, 406 lb-ft + AC motor, 141 hp (combined output: 434 hp, 457 lb-ft; 31.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.2-kW onboard charger); P530: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.4-liter V-8, 523 hp, 553 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 118.0 in
Length: 194.7 in
Width: 80.6 in
Height: 71.7 in
Passenger Volume: 106 ft3
Cargo Volume: 32 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 5000-5880 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 4.3-5.7 sec
100 mph: 10.4-14.9 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.6-14.4 sec
Top Speed: 140-155 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 18-22/16-19/21-26 mpg
P440e Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 52 MPGe
P440e EV Range: 50 mi

 

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2023 Range Rover Sport Proves Coolly Capable On- or Off-Road

The slightly smaller Range Rover offers a boosted V-8 and several smooth hybrid options.

2023 land rover range rover sport first edition

If Land Rover had really wanted to impress us with the agile and capable nature of the redesigned 2023 Range Rover Sport, the automaker would have programmed the navigation to do on purpose what we did by accident.

After missing an exit on a roundabout outside Madrid, we ended up deep in a labyrinth of Spanish village streets that got ever more narrow and twisting until we squeezed through an alley and found ourselves blocked by a Mitsubishi with a flat tire.

Backing down slippery cobblestones and managing to turn the Sport around in a space barely the width of an Iberian ham highlighted the Range Rover’s rear-wheel steering, multiple camera angles, and air-cushioned ride in a way all the off-road obstacles and sweeping canyon roads earlier in the drive could only hint at.

The Range Rover Sport is a big beast, sharing its wheelbase and width with the Range Rover, just a little shorter in length and lighter in price, sporty people apparently having less luggage and less ready cash. Cachet, however, it provides in large doses, with an upright but swept-back profile and clean sides unblemished by gaudy emblems or excessive body lines.

Discussing design on SUVs can be a bit like picking tile—it’s a brick, choose a color—and the Sport is indeed brickish, but the jaunty rear spoiler and squared-off exhaust tips balance out the front end’s snootiness with a promise of energetic performance.

2023 land rover range rover sport first edition

The most energetic performance comes from the Range Rover Sport P530 First Edition (starting price $122,975), which boasts a 523-hp twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 under its tall hood. The P530 growls and rips and grips, although a fair amount of its aural aggression is tuned for the cockpit only. Outside, it’s just a grumble. Quiet it may be, but it’s got plenty of pull, turning steep hills into barely noticeable bumps in the road and accelerating out of corners with serious enthusiasm. Range Rover says it will go from zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds.

If anything, the 4.4-liter is too eager initially, with a jumpy throttle and a hard upshift, even in its most keyed-down Comfort mode. The P440e plug-in hybrid and the P400 SE and P360 SE with mild hybrid assist give up two cylinders and some horsepower but are smoother off the line and easier on the wallet.

Toward the end of 2023, all models will be available with the optional Stormer Handling Pack that saved us from living the rest of our lives stuck in a Spanish alley, but for the first year, only the P530 First Edition gets those goodies, so we’ll concentrate on the V-8, as is the American way.

2023 land rover range rover sport first edition

Land Rover stiffened the structure for this third generation of Range Rover Sport, and no matter which powerplant you choose—including an eventual all-electric setup for 2024—the Sport comes with two-chamber air springs that tauten and soften automatically based on steering input, lateral g-forces, and even navigation information. It knows if you’re coming up on curves or have a long stretch of highway ahead. We never managed to catch it off guard, and it tackled hard turns and gravel roads with minimal lean or jounce.

This kind of tech gets bragged about often, without always delivering, but the Range Rover Sport bucks a trend of hard-riding hot-rodded SUVs. We found it quiet and smooth-sailing, even on massive 23-inch wheels. What the P530 gets that the other trims don’t (yet) is the combination of the air suspension with a 48-volt electronic anti-roll system instead of fixed anti-roll bars.

It also boasts torque vectoring, an active rear differential, and that helpful all-wheel steering; the Stormer Handling Pack name is a nod to the 2004 Range Stormer concept that was the precursor to the first-generation Range Rover Sport.

When it comes to off-road, the Range Rover Sport is both capable and enjoyable—although anyone planning to spend much time in the dirt should skip the matte-white cloth interior that was in our ride. The Sport has several off-road modes accessible through the console dial or on the center screen, and if there’s any complaint about the Sport’s off-pavement performance it’s only that it makes it too easy.

What valor is there in straddling a boulder with almost a foot of ground clearance beneath you? Different modes adjust the throttle response and how much wheel slip is allowed. Most of the off-road modes also allow the rear-wheel steering to stay at an angle when the vehicle comes to a stop to allow for easier restarts on hills or soft terrain. In street driving, the rear wheels straighten automatically to keep your Range Rover from looking unkempt when parked.

2023 land rover range rover sport first edition

One new off-road driving feature is adaptive off-road cruise control, which allows the driver to set a target speed and then a comfort level. It’s similar to choosing the follow distance in highway adaptive cruise, only instead of how close you want to be to other cars, this tells the system how hard you’re willing to hit the bumps and ditches to maintain your set speed. The need for such a thing seems minimal, but it doesn’t matter because it’s so many steps deep in the menu that nobody will ever remember how to engage it.

This is a critique that applies to much of Range Rover’s Pivi Pro user interface. The digital instrument display and the large center touchscreen (which curves to follow the shape of the dash) both use an elegant font and attractive graphics.

But everything is at least two clicks in, often via multiple buttons in different locations. For example, adjusting the head-up display requires four selections through the steering-wheel buttons, and once completed, four steps to get out of that menu. By the end of the day, we had given up trying to customize anything and just left everything in the default setting.

2023 land rover range rover sport first edition

 

That’s unfortunate because the rest of the Sport interior is excellent. Both the leather and non-animal interiors are soft and comfy, with an attractive mix of accent materials. We never thought we’d say this, having previously compared forged carbon trim to head cheese, but on the door panels and the console of our P530, it looked amazing, was delightfully unreflective, and seems like it would wear well—unlike the white steering wheel, which is one chocolate donut away from disaster.

The front seats are supportive enough for hard driving but as cushioned as a luxury ride should be, and are heated, ventilated, and massaging. The rear seats recline and offer room for full-size riders or child seats. Behind them, there’s 32 cubic feet to fill with groceries, dog crates, or fancy ham.

Sensible shoppers will wait a year for the PHEV with the Stormer package; it’s a more subtle machine, and with 434 horsepower and an estimated 50 miles of electric range, it can be a weekday EV as well as a weekend wanderer. For those who need a classy hauler right away—and want to be able to slalom around obstacles with the same ease as driving straight over them—the V-8 First Edition is an alley-escaping action hero.

Specifications

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base: P360 SE, $84,475; P400 SE Dynamic, $91,475; P440e PHEV Autobiography, $105,675; P530 First Edition, $122,975

ENGINES
P360: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 355 hp, 369 lb-ft; P400: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 395 hp, 406 lb-ft; P440e: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 395 hp, 406 lb-ft + AC motor, 141 hp (combined output: 434 hp, 457 lb-ft; 31.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.2-kW onboard charger); P530: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.4-liter V-8, 523 hp, 553 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 118.0 in
Length: 194.7 in
Width: 80.6 in
Height: 71.7 in
Passenger Volume: 106 ft3
Cargo Volume: 32 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 5000-5880 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 4.3-5.7 sec
100 mph: 10.4-14.9 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.6-14.4 sec
Top Speed: 140-155 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 18-22/16-19/21-26 mpg
P440e Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 52 MPGe
P440e EV Range: 50 mi

 

2023 Range Rover Sport, On Youtube

 

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