Part agricultural implement, part the kind of car a Premier League footballer would use to ferry his family around Alderley Edge, what a blend of disparate concepts the new Range Rover Sport is, says Giles Smith in The Sunday Times. "The brief seems to have been to create a hulking great status-enhancing limo that nevertheless handles like a sports car while being, at the same time, strong enough for desert warfare". As unlikely as it may sound, it fulfils its brief.
On a track the Range Rover Sport proved capable of 120mph "without any detectable strain" or even wind noise, says Smith, and it seemed clear that "even the most onerous journeys would be rendered light in these polished and powerful surroundings". And luxury provisions abound: the car will send you a text message if you forget to close the windows, and the front seats can give you a massage.
It has an impressive breadth of abilities and feels genuinely sporty to drive, agrees AutoExpress. And the "excellent engine and ride comfort ensure that it has all the luxurious qualities you're expecting of a Range Rover". The price undercuts the bigger, standard Range Rover by around £20,000 too, so "the Sport looks like great value, especially when you consider you can have it with seven seats".
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It takes corners like a car two-thirds its mass and avoids the slight topple' of the taller, softer Range Rover, says Ben Oliver in Car magazine, and the acceleration is "borderline savage". This is a remarkable car that feels as planted and unperturbed as a fast German saloon.
Price: from £51,500.
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 diesel
Power: 288bhp. 0-60mph: 6.8 seconds
Top speed: 139mph
Economy: 37mpg (estimated)
Carbon dioxide: 199g/km
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