2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged SUV (5.0L V8 Supercharger 4x4 8-Speed Automatic)
Driven On 11/7/2013
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged is much improved over the previous generation. This multi-talented SUV can deliver sportscar thrills on bumpy backroads and tackle off-road terrain with ease while pampering with luxury. Fuel economy suffers, and the price is steep, but its closest rivals cost even more.
PerformanceThe Range Rover Sport Supercharged is impressive. It accelerates with purpose and its backroad cornering ability defies logic, although our instrumented handling numbers proved only so-so. The RR Sport is also a superbly capable off-roader.
With 510 hp from the supercharged 5.0-liter V8, the 5,470-lb Sport gets to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which equals the pricier Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The 8-speed automatic shifts quickly.
Needing 124 feet to stop from 60 mph, the Range Rover Sport's braking performance is acceptable for the class. The pedal does soften slightly after repeated hard use, though.
Steering feel and accuracy are impeccable on twisting mountain roads, yet appropriately light when parking.
Although it's hard to trust something this big, the RR Sport tackles backroads with the utmost confidence and speed. It's still not as agile as the considerably lighter Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Easy to drive, even in tight spots. Forward collision warning is too sensitive, but can be shut off and stays off. Auto start/stop and optional adaptive cruise control function perfectly.
Towing capacity tops out at 7,716 pounds, which is comparable to other luxury SUVs. Trailer stability control is standard.
Tackling steep rocky grades is made effortless thanks to the sophisticated Terrain Response system and two-speed transfer case. But wheel articulation is far better on the non-Sport Range Rover.
ComfortThe Range Rover Sport exemplifies luxurious comfort. Four adults can easily log hundreds of miles and arrive as fresh and unfatigued as when they departed.
Optional 16-way adjustable front seats (heating/cooling for all passengers) have ample padding and support, endowing the Range Rover with a comfort level competitive with luxury sedans.
With Terrain Response set to Auto, the ride is pleasantly cushioned and readily smooths out bumps in the road. Imperfections are felt, but never intrusive in this mode.
Wind and road noise are insulated enough to be barely detectable, far better than the Cayenne. Engine growl is really only heard when driving with exhuberance, and even then, it sounds great.
InteriorA thoroughly modern design, excellent materials and meticulous craftsmanship make the Range Rover Sport's cabin one of the best in the segment. The infotainment interface is slightly behinds the times, but still works acceptably.
All controls are within reach and logically placed. The infotainment interface looks a bit outdated and requires digging through menus to perform simple functions.
The standard air suspension can be lowered three inches to permit easier loading. Big door openings with few impediments further improve access, but the large doors make tight parking spaces tough.
There is no shortage of head and legroom up front, or in the rear outboard seats for adults. The rear middle seat is suitable for smaller passengers only.
Forward visibility is excellent, though the windshield heating elements can distract some drivers. Rear visibility is poor, but the standard rearview camera takes away some guesswork.
Interior storage is plentiful and the optional cooler box works well. Cargo capacity behind the rear seats is on par with the Porsche Cayenne at 27.7 cu-ft, as is the maximum of 62.2 cu-ft.
ValueWith a base price of $79,995 and an as-tested price of $94,085, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is priced well beyond most budgets. Poor fuel economy is also notable. It is, however, more affordable than the Lexus LX 570 or Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Interior materials are top-notch and will satisfy discerning tastes. Tight fitment of elements further enhances the experience; even during heavier offroading no creaks or squeaks were heard.
The Sport is equally good off- and on-road and isn't as costly as some of its less versatile rivals. The generous feature content adds to the Sport's appeal.
Among luxury vehicles, the Land Rover's options either meet or beat competitors in terms of pricing. It's also worth mentioning that the V6-powered Sport model starts at only $63,495.
Low EPA estimates of 16 mpg Combined (14 City/19 Hwy) are typical for the few rival SUVs. Our highway-heavy evaluation loop netted us just 17.2 mpg and we averaged only 12.4 mpg overall.
Land Rover's 4-year/50,000-mile basic and powertrain warranties are similar to other luxury SUVs, although Lexus covers the powertrain for 6 years/70,000 miles.
Only the first scheduled maintenance is complimentary. Lexus includes the first year and Porsche offers a pre-paid maintenance program. Roadside assistance is covered for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Fun To DriveExceptionally high on-road limits give the Range Rover Sport a wildly entertaining spirit. Combine that with its proven ability to conquer the wilderness and there's nothing else quite like it.
The Range Rover Sport feels solid and reassuring in every condition. Its high performance capabilities will impress drivers of any stripe, but it remains well mannered for mundane daily commuting.
"Sporty" and "rugged" define this Range Rover, but so does "luxurious sophistication." It'll be the classiest car in the woods. And perhaps even at the valet stand.
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