2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

By October 8, 2019

Blend handsome lines with luxurious trappings and an abbreviated Range Rover shape, and the result is a Range Rover Sport. Despite smaller dimensions, the Sport stands alongside its full-size sibling while it draws its own glances with a bolder, more angular look.

A new turbodiesel edition joins the lineup for 2019, as do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for the infotainment system. Also new are a wade-sensing system and additional functions for the Sport’s safety suite, led by stop-and-go capability for available adaptive cruise control.

Six trim levels are offered: SE, HSE, HSE Dynamic, Supercharged Dynamic, Autobiography, and SVR.

In moderately-priced models, a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 whips up either 340 or, in HSE Dynamic trim, 380 horsepower. Higher-performance Sports get a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, with 518 horsepower. Topping the performance chart is the SVR, whose V-8 churns out 575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. Despite 2.5-ton weight, an SVR can reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, versus 5.0 seconds for the 518-hp V-8.

Turbodiesel models use a 3.0-liter V-6 that develops 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet; a rare plug-in hybrid model is now offered as well. Land Rover also is adding mild-hybrid powertrains and inline-6 engines to the lineup; more on that will come in the 2020 model year.

With any engine, a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission works with full-time four-wheel drive. Locking differentials are available.

No crash-testing agency has evaluated the Range Rover Sport (or any other current Land Rover model).

Some of the latest safety technology is available or standard, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system.

Model Lineup

Prices do not include $1,295 destination charge.

SE V-6 ($67,500) includes the supercharged 340-horsepower V-6, leather upholstery, 14-way power front seats, 19-inch wheels, keyless ignition, 250-watt audio, and automatic emergency braking. 

HSE V-6 ($72,990) comes with a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, upgraded leather seats with 16-way adjustment, 380-watt audio, blind-spot monitors, and front/rear parking sensors, as well as a surround-view camera system.

HSE Dynamic V-6 ($82,950) comes with the 380-horsepower engine and 21-inch wheels, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, 19-speaker premium audio, 22-way heated/cooled front seats, and black exterior accents.

 

Supercharged Dynamic V-8 ($86,500) contains the 5.0-liter, 518-horsepower V-8, along with a two-speed transfer case, 16-way power front seats, red brake calipers, adaptive suspension, electronically-controlled differential, and air suspension.

Autobiography V-8 ($97,500) gets the supercharged 518-hp V-8, 21-inch wheels, 22-way front seats, 825-watt 19-speaker audio, soft-close doors, and a heated steering wheel.

SVR V-8 ($114,500) upgrades to the supercharged 575-hp V-8, with sport exhaust, sport-tuned air suspension, 16-way performance seats, aluminum paddle shifters, uprated brakes, and SVR exterior accents.

 

SE Td6 Diesel ($69,500) is equipped similar to SE V-6.

HSE Td6 Diesel V-6 ($75,000) is equipped similar to HSE V-6.

 

HSE Plug-in Hybrid ($79,000) is equipped like the HSE V-6. 

Autobiography Plug-in Hybrid ($88,990) is equipped similar to gas-engine Autobiography.

Exterior

For those who consider the full-size Range Rover to be a little too large, its Sport companion might be deemed just-right in dimensions. Clean lines and sporty details meld with a lower stance and steeply-angled back window to give the Range Rover Sport a distinct personality. At the same time, it shows a strong family resemblance.

Body lines, angles, and LED lights differ little from the bigger Range Rover. So does its basic profile. Even so, with its chunky grille, short tail, and blacked-out roof pillars, the Sport conveys a solid impression. Faired-in headlights and a sloped roofline also depart from the full-size SUV’s long-lasting design theme.

Wheels are wider and fender flares larger on the performance-focused SVR.

Interior

Nearly every cabin surface is covered with lush, supple leather or subtle wood. These trim choices give the swanky, modern cabin a touch of old-world charm. Borrowed from other Range Rover models, a twin-touchscreen infotainment system is now installed.

Space in the Sport is only about 3 cubic feet smaller than the bigger Range Rover offers. Five adults fit neatly inside. Anyone needing more space can choose the longer-wheelbase version, but the available third-row seat is best omitted.

Front occupants can expect comfort comparable to the larger Range Rover, though the seats are set more deeply. Second-row seats are excellent for two adults, who get deep sculpting and 37-inch legroom. A third passenger can manage, but will be less comfortable than those in outboard positions.

Whether they’re wood, metal, plastic, or leather, interior materials rank among the best.

The upper 10-inch touchscreen deals with infotainment, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The lower screen offers touch-sensitive climate control and vehicle-system selections. A separate 12.3-inch display replaces conventional gauges.

Behind the rear seats is space for 27.7 cubic feet of cargo. Folding the seatbacks expands volume to 62.2 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

In nearly every aspect of performance, including ride and handling, the Range Rover Sport is impressive. The Range Rover Sport is capable of coping with terrain that would bring most crossover SUVs to a halt.

Whether on smooth pavement or barreling through mud, the Sport model displays stunning capabilities, even exceeding those of the larger Range Rover. Deliberate body control and fluid ride comfort can feel more like an adeptly-executed midsize sport sedan than a utility vehicle.

Acceleration is ample with 6-cylinder power, but performance brightens in a Sport that’s packing a V-8. Reaching 60 mph takes only 5 seconds with the 518-horsepower V-8. Moving up to the 575-hp version in the SVR might be tempting, but that SVR gets loud and brash, perhaps negating its enhanced swiftness.

Turbodiesel Sports are a little slower than comparable gas-engine models, but they’re quiet and devoid of clatter.

Each Sport eases through mud, snow, or gravel with admirable determination. Selectable drive modes can alter shift quality, throttle tip-in, and traction control. A Sport can even wade through up to 33.5 inches of water, with assistance from the new wade-sensing system.

Powerful engines translate to marginal fuel economy. The Supercharged V-6 is EPA-rated at 17/23 mpg City/Highway, 19 Combined. The V-8 is EPA-rated at 17/22/19 mpg (15/20/16 mpg for the SVR). Choosing the turbodiesel raises the EPA rating to 22/28/24 mpg.

Final Word

The 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport delivers supreme comfort combined with nearly unmatched capability, off-road or on-pavement. Understated but gorgeous styling adds to its appeal. The best bet may be HSE trim, but even the base SE model is amply-equipped.

 

Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.