2014 Range Rover Sport V8 SC HSE Review By John Heilig


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THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig

Model: 2014 Range Rover Sport V8 SC HSE
Engine: 3.0-liter supercharged V6
Horsepower/Torque: 340 hp @ 6,500 rpm/332 lb.-ft. @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with Command Shift
Wheelbase: 115.1 in.
Length x Width x Height: 191.0 x 78.1 x 70.1 in.
Tires: P235/65R19
Cargo: 27.7/62.2 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down plus 17.3 cu. ft. under luggage cover
Economy: 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway/21.5 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 27.7 gal.
Curb Weight: 4,727 lbs.
Sticker: $72,645 (includes $895 delivery, $9,150 options)

The Bottom Line: Range Rover builds some of the most capable off-road vehicles, but the Range Rover Sport also qualifies as a damned good highway tourer. Like any good SUV it is well behaved at highway speeds, and maneuvers confidently in urban situations.

The “all new” 2014 Range Rover Sport is not going to shock anyone with its revised styling and underpinnings. The traditional Range Rover “high riding” style is there. It gives you the feel you are above the traffic. While this might lead to top-heaviness in other SUVs, it isn’t the case with the Sport. Overall it has decent handling (for a truck), although we spent more time during our week behind the wheel on Interstates.

That said, we felt the Range Rover Sport is a very comfortable driver. It has 14-way power front seats. If you can’t be comfortable with all those adjustments, then you’re way too picky. There is also good side support in the front seats.

Both front seats have fold-down arm rests, but these aren’t really necessary thanks to the large center console. The console is not only large volume, but it also contains USB, AUX and two 12-volt outlets.

There is very good power from the supercharged V6 engine. Even though the Range Rover Sport weighs a healthy 4,727 pounds, there is no feel that it is underpowered. The 8-speed automatic transmission is smooth. The BMW-built shifter has an interesting DRL pattern. I have used it before and while it isn’t my favorite (I’m an old PRNDL fan), using it requires just a little more thought and probably is safer in the long run.

Range Rover has included start-stop technology in the Sport. This feature, like in hybrids, shuts the engine off at prolonged stops (lights and stop signs) to increase fuel economy. An interesting feature is when you park the RRS and push the “P” button on the shifter, the engine shuts off for the night. There’s no need to push the start/stop button because the vehicle has done it for you.

Being a Range Rover, on the center console alongside the shift lever is a veritable plethora of terrain choices – hills, height adjust, ice and snow, and side angles where one side is higher than the other. We have had the privilege of driving and riding in assorted Range Rovers on some pretty interesting terrain and can vouch for the corporate ability to test your fortitude, even when you’re certain the vehicle is going to tip.

There’s a somewhat confusing main screen that displays audio and navigation choices. It requires a short learning curve, just don’t do it while you’re driving.

The large sun roof extends back to the second row seats and adds airiness back there. Rear seats have very good legroom, with the added advantage of a flat floor for any potential center passengers. The outboard rear seats seem like bucket seats, although they provide minimal side support. There are reading lights for the rear passengers, a nice feature.

Being at heart a “standard SUV,’ the Range Rover Sport has a very good cargo area with a power hatch. Under the cargo floor is a full size spare. The rear seats fold 60/40 for additional cargo area.

The Range Rover Sport is a truly international vehicle. It is built in the United Kingdom with 67 percent UK parts and 19 percent German parts (the transmission).

The all-new Range Rover Sport continues Range Rover’s solid reputation for sturdy sport utility vehicles that somehow give the impression they are a bit more capable than any others on the road. The Sport’s ability to handle highway driving and off-roading with equal aplomb is its strongest virtue.

2014 The Auto Page

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