2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

By January 27, 2021

The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is the shorter, sportier companion to the flagship Range Rover. The Sport is about five inches shorter and a bit lower, and it handles even better.

For 2021 it adds new special edition models. It also gets a more advanced climate control filtration system.

It can be had with a number of engines, from a base inline-6 to a torquey turbodiesel to a powerful V-8 to a plug-in hybrid. A third row, sized for kids, is optional.

The inline-6 is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city, 24 highway, 21 combined. The fairly rare turbodiesel is rated at 22/28/24 mpg. The plug-in hybrid earns 42 MPGe thanks to its 19 miles of electric-only range. Naturally, the V-8s are the gas guzzlers, at 17/22/19 mpg or 15/20/16 mpg for the high-performance SVR.

Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA have crash-tested the Range Rover Sport, but standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and parking sensors. Most versions add automatic high-beam headlights, though blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system are optional on many Sports.

Model Lineup

Made in England, The Range Rover Sport comes in a number of models including the base SE, HSE and SVR. The cost depends mostly on engine choices.

The 2021 Range Rover Sport SE with the inline-6 starts at around $71,000, but the price can be doubled with options and other engines. Standard equipment includes twin touchscreens for audio, climate, and vehicle settings, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The HSE Silver, for just under $80,000, adds a big sunroof, 19 speakers, and parking sensors. With the turbodiesel engine it’s about $81,000, while the plug-in hybrid goes for $84,000 and the V-8 nearly $90,000.

The Range Rover Sport SVR starts at $116,500. The Carbon Edition adds $15,000, and can run to $160,000 with all the options.

A 4-year/50,000-mile warranty comes with all Range Rover Sports. Unlike with Jaguars, that doesn’t include free scheduled maintenance.

Exterior

The Range Rover Sport is stylish, to say the least. It shares its good looks with its big brother the Range Rover, including a wide grille and clamshell hood. But the Sport’s smaller proportions wear better. The optional black roof is a handsome accent.

Interior

The twin touchscreens on the instrument panel are surrounded by beauty. The many options enable personalization of the cabin, including upholstery, door and dash trims, and even the headliner. The touchscreens are full of features but can take some time to learn.

The front seats feel like thrones, and offer a commanding view. Options include 16 ways of adjustment, cooling, heating, and massaging.

The rear seats have a decent 37 inches of rear leg room, a bit less than the full-size Range Rover because of the shorter wheelbase.

Cargo space is good, with nearly 28 cubic feet behind the second row, and more than 56 cubic feet with it folded. The optional third row is OK for two small kids, but too small for adults.

Driving Impressions

The base engine is a 3.0-liter inline-6 making a strong 355 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. There is an HST model that makes 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. Mild-hybrid technology helps it save fuel while cruising.

The 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 makes 254 hp and a hefty 443 lb-ft of torque. It suffers from a bit of throttle lag, but after that, the power pours on very smoothly.

The plug-in hybrid model, called P400e, can go 19 miles on electric power. It makes an awesome 398 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. It’s even more rare than the turbodiesel model.

The V-8 versions are very fast and very expensive. The supercharged V-8 puts out between 518 and 575 hp, depending on tune, and as much as 516 lb-ft of torque in the SVR.

Every engine is mated to a slick 8-speed automatic transmission, with all-wheel drive. Paddle shifters make quick passing easier, and mountain driving more enjoyable.

The Sport weighs more than 5,000 pounds but handles like a much smaller vehicle. A brilliant air suspension lowers the chassis to improve cornering in the twisties, as well as aerodynamics on the freeway. It can raise the Sport for 9.3 inches of ground clearance for trails.

The tires on the bigger wheels have narrower sidewalls that can give the Sport a somewhat flinty ride. The brakes are big, but obviously the standard wheels are big enough for the rotors, and they handle rough roads better.

Even though the Sport lacks a two-speed transfer case, it’s off-road ready. An Off-Road package adds the two-speed transfer case for $1,800, along with other traction controls and modes. This package is standard equipment on higher-trim Sports.

Final Word

Every Range Rover Sport offers grace and composure, as it handles well, rides well, and has a slick 8-speed automatic transmission. The Sport has six drivetrains to offer—but you can’t go wrong with the base inline-6.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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