2017 range rover sport vs


Range Rover–branded vehicles debuted in America 30 years ago with an SUV that hadn’t changed much since it went on sale elsewhere in the world in 1970. It finally landed in the colonies roughly concurrent with the first Japanese luxury cars from Lexus and Infiniti and half a dozen years before anything wearing the badge of parent company Land Rover.

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Iconic styling, extreme off-road capability, a premium price, and a penchant for popping up on Hollywood Boulevard have given the name clout and status-symbol cachet nearly unmatched in the SUV universe. From the initial eponymous offering, the Range Rover badge spread to the smaller Range Rover Sport and the compact Evoque, as well as the new-for-2018 Velar, but always with a consistently upper-crusty tone.


This proliferation has even extended to model lines, with the mid-size Range Rover Sport itself offered in seven different trim levels. The base SE with a supercharged gasoline V-6 opens the pricing at $66,645 (the SE with a turbo-diesel V-6 is $68,645), while the 550-hp supercharged V-8 SVR bookends the range at $112,345. But the SVR is not the premier vehicle in the lineup, if we’re to believe Land Rover; the flagship Sport, the company says, is the $95,445 Autobiography, which has a 510-hp version of the same supercharged V-8 and its own stylish exterior features and interior accoutrements. We tested a Range Rover Sport Autobiography listed at $111,837 after options.

Personal Space

Range Rover’s Autobiography label adds some heft to its already hefty SUVs; on the 2017 Sport model we tested, it brought perforated leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, three-zone automatic climate control, 16-way power heated and cooled front seats with memory, xenon headlamps, a special headliner, an 825-watt Meridian sound system, and aluminum interior accents. (These all are upgrades from the midrange Supercharged Dynamic trim.)


The $695 Corris Grey paint scheme lent our test vehicle a dramatic, shadow-lurking vibe, which was enhanced by the blacked-out roof, the $1700 Stealth package that adds dark-satin exterior accents, and the $1800 22-inch satin-black wheels. Even without this look, the Sport is one of the best-looking vehicles around, SUV or not, but we definitely dug this particular configuration. Our Sport also had the $4450 1700-watt Meridian audio system, the $900 Climate Comfort package (four-zone automatic climate control and a center-console cooler), the $1600 Drive Pro package (adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist), the $650 tow package, $400 Advanced Tow Assist, a $1300 head-up display, $900 Park Assist, $800 18-way massaging front seats, a $537 Protection package, and a $310 full-size spare tire. The one major upgrade left off was the $2200 Rear Seat Entertainment package with 10-inch screens attached to the backs of the front-seat headrests.

Yet, even with all the trimmings and the rich leather smell, the Sport made a somewhat tepid first impression. This Range Rover greeted us with a black infotainment screen for about 30 seconds after our initial startup. Once that was resolved, further electronic wonkiness occurred when a Bluetooth phone conversation became garbled, then cleared up, then abruptly ended when communication was handed off to our phone. When it’s functioning right, the system is cleanly designed and ergonomically friendly.

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The interior is filled with quality materials and has the premium look and feel of all Range Rover Sports, but given the Autobiography label and the $100,000 price tag, we felt slightly let down. The buttery-soft leather was wrinkled and slack in places on the rear seats, where there was a conspicuous lack of USB ports. The front seats were stiff, and the dark-aluminum interior trim wasn’t so much elegant as reminiscent of something in a far lesser vehicle, as the metal felt as if it were coated in plastic. The paddle shifters felt small and criminally flimsy, too.

Goes Everywhere—and Quickly

The Range Rover Sport has the juice to warrant its label, packing a direct-injected, supercharged, and intercooled 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 510 horsepower. Despite being installed in an SUV weighing nearly 5600 pounds, the eight-pot jolted the Range Rover Sport to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.7 seconds on all-season tires, during which significant squat gives the driver a true sense of launching. The fully electric Tesla Model X is much quicker, teleporting to 60 mph in a blistering 3.3 seconds on high-performance tires but without (obviously) the hearty and satisfying 5.0-liter roar of the Sport. The Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S 4MATIC and the BMW X5 M both ripped to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. These German performance SUVs also cost more.

The Sport gained back a few performance points against the Model X on the skidpad. Where the Tesla managed 0.86 g, the Sport reached 0.92 g. That said, it’s not exactly a cornering champ. While the grip is excellent for something this large, there’s a lot of body roll that can take time to get used to; the GLE63 and the X5 M, helped by their high-performance tires, bested the Range Rover Sport’s skidpad grip, marking 0.95 and 0.96 g. Such on-track comparisons, though, don’t reckon with Range Rover’s reputation for go-anywhere off-road ability, which is reflected in the Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires.

Among truly off-roadable SUVs, the Range Rover Sport is one of the best choices. When considering the seven trim levels, though, we think this Autobiography adds more cost than it does benefit. By sacrificing a few amenities, a buyer could choose the Sport Supercharged—the entry-level V-8 model—and still get an extremely nice interior and excellent performance. Or, for only a bit more cash outlay, the SVR sits at the top of the mountain, regardless of the marketing department’s argument that the Autobiography carries the prestige flag.


2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged V-8

VEHICLE TYPEfront-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED$111,837 (base price: $81,645)

ENGINE TYPEsupercharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injectionDisplacement305 in3, 5000 cm3Power510 hp
2500 rpm

TRANSMISSION8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONSWheelbase: 115.1 inLength: 191.2 inWidth: 78.1 in Height: 70.1 inPassenger volume: 108 ft3Cargo volume: 28 ft3Curb weight: 5564 lb

C/D TEST RESULTSZero to 60 mph: 4.7 secZero to 100 mph: 11.0 secZero to 130 mph: 19.7 secRolling start, 5-60 mph: 5.1 secTop gear, 30-50 mph: 2.5 secTop gear, 50-70 mph: 3.5 secStanding ¼-mile: 13.1 sec
109 mphTop speed (governor limited): 140 mphBraking, 70-0 mph: 175 ftRoadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.92 g