2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport drives like a sporting sedan, only it also has that unique dimension of four-wheel-drive mobility and everyday practicality that you expect from an SUV. It's always impressively sporty and utterly luxurious, whether you're driving to a summer concert at symphony hall or following the road to a winter adventure in the snowy mountains. And if you specify the optional third-row seat, you can take six friends with you.
For 2017 the Range Rover Sport’s wide-ranging capabilities have been enhanced with a now-standard suite of active safety features for all models, including autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. A new low-traction launch mode also makes pulling away on slippery surfaces a no-stress affair. Finally, an updated infotainment system featuring a larger 10.2-inch touchscreen also makes its debut this year.
For all this, the Range Rover Sport is indeed an SUV and not a car, so it weighs in at more than 2.5 tons in its most powerful Supercharged and SVR guises. Combine this weight with those thirsty V8 engines, and you end up with particularly poor fuel economy. The optional turbodiesel powertrain boosts this husky truck's EPA estimates up to a respectable 24 mpg combined, and it's worth considering for those who'd like to avoid some of the potential pain at the fuel pumps.
Now that Americans have thoroughly embraced utility vehicles as a daily ride in all kinds of driving, there are lots of SUVs with sport-oriented personalities to choose from, including the Audi Q7, BMW X6, Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Porsche Cayenne. The Range Rover Sport with its full-time four-wheel-drive systems stands apart from them in its go-anywhere, all-terrain mobility, and it'll even climb a mountain trail in street-oriented 20-inch tires without dragging its undercarriage across the rocks (if that's your thing). It also has a softer, British-style interpretation of luxury than its rivals.
The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard are front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. New to the standard safety equipment list this year are adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
Other available safety features include a surround-view camera system and a nifty self-parking system that handles both parallel and perpendicular parking scenarios. Its automatic space-exit feature ensures that you won't pull out in front of passing traffic or nudge the parked cars around you.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Range Rover Sport Supercharged came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is about average for SUVs of this size and weight, though underwhelming given the model's sporting pretensions. An SVR model stopped in 122 feet.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a midsize luxury SUV offered in five basic trim levels: SE, HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography and SVR. Five-passenger seating is standard, with a power-folding third row that boosts capacity to seven passengers available on all trims except the SVR.
Standard features on the SE trim include 19-inch alloy wheels, a self-leveling air suspension with automatic height adjustment for loading and unloading, xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, power-folding heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, a hands-free power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, and keyless ignition and entry.
Within the cabin you'll find dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, 14-way power front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting and a cargo cover. Also standard are a navigation system, voice-activated control for the convenience electronics, a rearview camera, a new 10.2-inch touchscreen, InControl Apps suite, Bluetooth (phone and streaming audio), and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite and HD radio and a USB port. Finally, all Range Rover Sport models get a standard collection of new safety features, including autonomous emergency braking, a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, and an innovative Advanced Tow Assist that guides the driver while backing up with a trailer.
To all this standard equipment, the HSE adds 20-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a panoramic sunroof, perforated leather upholstery, heated front seats and upgraded interior trim.
The Supercharged trim level adds a V8 engine in place of the standard V6, a more sophisticated four-wheel-drive system (featuring low-range gearing for low-speed challenges and handling-enhancing torque vectoring for livelier handling), adaptive terrain-sensing drive settings (Terrain Response 2 Auto), adaptive suspension dampers, body roll stabilization and shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The Autobiography adds flashy 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, various other exterior styling enhancements, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, tri-zone climate control, extensive leather trim, 16-way power-adjustable and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a flat-screen virtual instrument cluster, a cooler box in the front console, a surround-view camera system and a 19-speaker Meridian sound system.
The high-performance SVR provides most of the Autobiography's features, adding or substituting SVR-specific 21-inch wheels, unique bumpers, sport-tuned suspension and steering, sportier transmission programming, special interior and exterior styling and trim details, and front and rear sport seats.
Many of the standard features on the higher trims are available as options on lower trims. Other options include 22-inch wheels, a towing package (with a full-size spare tire in two-row models), quad-zone climate control, cooled front and rear seats, a 23-speaker Meridian audio system and a rear-seat video entertainment system. A Driver Assistance package adds a head-up display, a self-parking system (with both parallel and perpendicular capability, plus automatic space exit) and 360-degree parking sensors.
The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is available with a choice of three engines. SE and HSE models come standard with a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Available as an option is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that produces 254 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Supercharged and Autobiography versions of the Range Rover Sport get a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. The SVR uses a version of this same V8 that's been tweaked to produce 550 hp and 502 lb-ft. All three engines utilize the same eight-speed automatic transmission, though the SVR version is enhanced with sportier programming.
At the Edmunds test track, a Range Rover Sport Supercharged sprinted from zero to 60 mph in a blistering 4.6 seconds. The SVR improved only a smidge to 4.5 seconds.
As you'd expect from Land Rover, every Range Rover Sport is equipped with full-time four-wheel drive. The SE and HSE come standard with a light-duty, single-speed all-wheel-drive system, while the Supercharged model is equipped with a two-speed transfer case (optional on the SE and HSE) that provides high- and low-range gearing for more serious traction challenges, including off-roading. The standard Terrain Response system features driver-selectable modes that optimize the vehicle's powertrain, suspension and electronics for increased traction on various surfaces, while the available Terrain Response 2 Auto variant (bundled with the two-speed transfer case) includes an additional adaptive mode that automatically optimizes settings while you drive. Also available is All-Terrain Progress Control (i.e., crawl control), which maintains a preset speed (up to 20 mph) over difficult terrain.
EPA fuel economy estimates start with the V6, which comes in at 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway), a somewhat disappointing result given that Porsche's more powerful 420-hp Cayenne S gets 20 mpg combined. The diesel produces a significantly better 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway). The supercharged V8 is rated at 16 mpg combined (14 city/19 highway), a predictably inefficient result for a 510-hp truck. Expect the same or a bit worse from the SVR.
All Range Rover Sports except the SVR can tow up to 7,716 pounds; the latter drops to a still-respectable 6,600 pounds.
Though it may seem unlikely for a vehicle this size, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport comes by that "sport" designation honestly. Although its reflexes on mountain roads might not be quite as sharp as those of the Porsche Cayenne, this luxury SUV corners with confidence, while its air springs ensure that you don't have to endure the harsh ride quality associated with other SUVs equipped with sport-tuned suspensions.
And when traction is compromised by ice, snow or mud, the Range Rover Sport shines brightly, not only due to the programmed modes built into Land Rover's Terrain Response system's electronics but also a body configured to keep its undercarriage from dragging across the rocks. It's probably unlikely that this vehicle will see anything more challenging than a slippery boat ramp or a snowy ski resort, but keep in mind that you'll need to opt for the available low-range transfer case if you hope to tackle boulder-strewn trails on the way to the mountain-bike trailhead.
As far as powertrains go, the standard V6 seems anemic when pushed hard, so it's really best for highway cruising. The supercharged V8 engines give you the power you want when you've got a full load of people or just want a more sporting drive, and abundant acceleration is on tap whenever you feel the need. The available turbodiesel engine falls between these two extremes, with a bit of initial lag followed by some serious get-up-and-go at middling rpm. This excellent engine makes the expected diesel noises in around-town driving, but the clatter quickly falls away as speeds begin to climb.
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers a stylish space with an especially sleek look, thanks in part to the new oversize center-mounted touchscreen. The quality of the materials is excellent, including supple leather upholstery and available wood trim. While you're in motion, road and tire noise is also subdued, something that not every large SUV can deliver.
The standard front seats are comfortable, and the available 16-way sport seats are even more supportive. The seating position is low relative to that of other Land Rover models for a more sporty impression, yet visibility is still good all around. Rear seats are adult-friendly in the outboard positions; as is often the case the center portion is considerably less accommodating. The available power-folding third-row seat is useful for young children, just as with third-row seats everywhere.
That new standard 10.2-inch touchscreen responds to smartphone-like gestures, including swipe and pinch-to-zoom, and it also features crisp graphics and rapid response times that make for easier access to settings and controls. We like the ability of the InControl App system to integrate Apple and Android-based smartphone apps right into the display.
The Range Rover Sport is shorter overall than a standard Range Rover in order to make it more responsive during driving, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that it offers 27.7 cubic feet of stowage behind the second-row seats. Fold all the rear seats down and you end up with 62.2 cubic feet of space, which is less room than in some compact crossovers but on par with the space in competitors such as the Porsche Cayenne. The foot-operated power tailgate makes it easy to load cargo even with your hands full.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.