From £51,5508
JLR’s new-gen straight six is super-refined and free-revving, though complex-feeling at times. Will suit urban-driven Range Sports very well.

Our Verdict

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport offers just the right dynamic twist on the well trodden SUV formula

  • First Drive

    Land Rover Range Rover Sport HST 2019 review

    JLR’s new-gen straight six is super-refined and free-revving, though complex-feeling at times. Will suit urban-driven Range Sports very well.
  • First Drive

    Range Rover Sport P400e 2018 review

    Plug-in hybrid version of Range Rover Sport should win plenty of fans on pecuniary appeal. Drives well enough, although it isn’t the pick of the breed

What is it?

The new Range Rover Sport HST: a special new trim level for Land Rover’s ever-popular Cayenne rival which gives us our first taste of a key component of the company’s developing engine portfolio – the first six-cylinder motor of the ‘Ingenium’ engine family.

JLR is moving away from V6 engines and towards straight sixes for a few reasons: because it can develop the latter using modular block architecture related to that of its four-pots, but also because straight sixes are more easily packaged with the ever more complicated induction and exhaust systems that modern engines use, and they also deliver well-known relative advantages in mechanical refinement.

The Range Sport’s new ‘P400’ unit is just under 3.0 litres by volume, and it uses twin-scroll turbocharging, electric supercharging and mild hybrid electric motor assistance to make 396bhp and 406lb ft of torque. It effectively replaces the car’s old 3.0-litre V6 supercharged option, slotting into the lineup just below the P400e plug-in hybrid on price, but slightly above it on acceleration and top speed. And, while you can have it in a more ordinary trim level, Land Rover is marking the engine’s introduction with a special trim derivative called HST.

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What's it like?

Your first impression of the new motor is one of refinement. Gaydon has gone to considerable lengths to make the P400 the smoothest and most discreet engine available in the car at any price – by fitting near-silent timing chains and the like – and the effort’s paid off pretty clearly.

The HST starts and runs very quietly indeed around town, and shifts gear almost imperceptibly on a steady throttle. There’s a slightly slurred shift quality about the way it swaps cogs at times, and also an occasional gentle surge of torque on upshifts that comes unannounced – but almost nothing else to mark each gear as it engages.

Extend the engine’s revs in manual mode and, even in a 2.2-tonne car, the straight six is responsive, flexible and potent; in something half-a-tonne lighter, it’d be ready for a sporting application already – assuming a more positive and consistent shift quality could be tuned in. Power delivery is very linear; the engine pulls beyond 6000rpm notably more freely than JLR's four-pot Ingenium turbos. Audible character, meanwhile, is great: smooth and reserved at low speed, yet quite tuneful through the higher reaches.

Our short test drive didn’t grant a chance to get a really accurate impression of what the HST’s everyday fuel economy might be, but did suggest that 25mpg is achievable on a mix of urban and country roads. Explore the engine’s full range of performance and you’ll see fuel economy drop quickly into the high teens. Anyone expecting economy on a level with that of a SDV6, then, might therefore be in for a slight disappointment – although, if you drive moderately, it certainly seems possible to get a respectable return.

The HST’s ride and handling is for the most part as we’ve reported of other ‘L494’-generation Range Sports – and both still bear comparison pretty well with the very latest arrivals in the luxury 4x4 set. For such a high and heavy car, it remains a very pleasant surprise to find how agile and precise the car feels at cross–country speeds, and just how cleverly its body control juggles a tied-down sense of control with fluent long-wave bump absorption. As a result, the Range Sport still seems like the sort of car that a keen driver should gravitate towards, in a field of very accomplished but often quite remote-feeling luxury SUVs; today, just as it did in 2013.

The one footnote to mention is that our test car’s low speed ride did suffer a bit for the fitment of optional 22in alloy wheels. Although supple at higher speeds, the HST picks up on sharper ridges and raised ironwork in slightly fussy, unbecoming fashion. Thankfully, smaller rims are available.

Land Rover’s 2017 facelift for the car widely updated the Range Sport’s interior, and as a result it doesn’t look or feel quite as old as you might imagine. Gaydon’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system has plenty of graphical slickness and is easy to use with familiarity, and the mix of materials around the rest of the cabin is generally appealing to the eye and to the touch. 

Should I buy one?

Honestly, I’d avoid the more garish touches (that’s ‘pimento’ two-tone leather, for the record, and it’s an option; the carbon exterior trim isn’t) and the bigger alloy wheels of HST trim. Given how refined this car is in other respects, its shortfall on low-speed ride jars just a little bit – but it can probably be either mitigated or avoided almost entirely with a better wheel choice.

Otherwise, the new P400 engine seems to suit the Range Rover Sport very well, proffering much of the accessible torque and easy drivability of the multi-cylinder diesel versions, as well as a refinement and richness to compare with a V8 petrol. Most buyers should probably stick with an SDV6, but you can well imagine this becoming one of the go-to Range Rover engines for the firm’s metropolitan clientele. It should also serve very effectively, I dare say, in more driver-focussed Land Rovers and Jaguars in the not-too-distant future.

Range Rover Sport HST specification

Where Broadway, UK Price £81,250 On sale now Engine 6cyls inline, 2996cc, turbocharged/supercharged petrol; with 48v mild hybrid assist Power 396bhp at 5500rpm Torque 406lb ft at 2000rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic Kerb weight 2210kg Top speed 140mph 0-62mph 6.2sec Fuel economy 27.4-24.9mpg (WLTP Combined) CO2 WLTP figures unavailable Rivals Porsche Cayenne S, Mercedes GLE 450

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Comments
19

11 July 2019
"Will suit urban-driven Range Sports very well"
Why would you drive this monstrosity in a city?

11 July 2019
Andrew1 wrote:

Why would you drive this monstrosity in a city?

 

Speed bumps.

12 July 2019
Andrew1 wrote:

"Will suit urban-driven Range Sports very well" Why would you drive this monstrosity in a city?

 

Perhaps because you either live in one, work in one, or both.

11 July 2019

Truly tasteless, truly hideous.

I'm only responsible for what I say, not what you understand...

11 July 2019

Surprised the Ingenium I6 engine has emerged like this rather than being publicised more, as it's an important unit for JLR

11 July 2019

The roll out of their straight six engines is just weird. Why is it taking so long?

11 July 2019

Everyb0dy can earn 247$+ daily... Y0u can earn fr0m 6000-12000 a m0nth 0r even m0re if y0u w0rk as a full time j0b...It's easy, just f0ll0w instructi0ns 0n this page, read it carefully fr0m start t0 finish... It's a flexible j0b but a g00d eaning 0pp0rtunity..g0 t0 this site h0me tab f0r m0re detail thank y0u .

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zaini

D-B

11 July 2019

In more important news, as reported everywhere else, JLRs just-reported last quarter sales are down 11%

12 July 2019

Read a bit more .. in the UK despite the market being down overall JLR were up at record levels, and Jaguar are up 20% year on year in the UK.

So you carry selecting the doom and gloom like the press without looking at the true figures.

Mike

11 July 2019

Ban these ugly, inefficient vehicles from sale & import into the UK pls & thanks.

Ban SUVs ASAP!

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