By KBB.com Editors
Looking for something as plush as the big Land Rover Range Rover but with a more playful side? Try the smaller Range Rover Sport. The Sport's shortened wheelbase means slightly less passenger and cargo capacity, but the tradeoff in improved stability, ride and handling is well worth it. Off-road ability is not forsaken, either, and the Range Rover Sport can climb the steepest terrain with the best in its class, even with its performance tires that are oriented more toward pavement use. Available with an optional 390-horsepower Supercharged V8 engine, the Range Rover Sport is well equipped to compete with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 and Infiniti FX50.You'll Like This Car If...
The 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers the interior panache worthy of the Range Rover name, yet packages it in a vehicle that exudes a much more aggressive nature. If the price tag doesn't discourage you from taking your prized possession off-road, in the dirt the Range Rover Sport can make the novice feel like a pro, and make living with the experienced off-roader simply unbearable.You May Not Like This Car If...
Though based on the smaller LR3 platform, the Range Rover Sport still tips the scales at nearly 5,700 pounds. That substantial weight assures the big V8 will have a thirst for fuel, yet despite its size the Sport offers no third-row seat and only average cargo space.What's New for 2009
New for 2009 is the HST Limited Edition package that adds an Ebony leather interior, the Cold Climate Package and adaptive front lightening and adaptive speed control. All Range Rover Sports receive minor interior and exterior enhancements as well as new wheel designs.Driving It Driving Impressions
As big as it is, the Range Rover Sport's phalanx of electronic stability, ride and suspension controls make it one very impressive performance vehicle. Acceleration is good with the HSE model, but we much prefer the rush (zero to 60 miles-per-hour in 7.2 seconds) that comes from the Supercharged's 4.2-liter engine. The Dynamic Response system on the Supercharged model helps keep the vehicle level during sharp cornering. Off-road, the Range Rover Sport will astound you with its capabilities. The Terrain Response system adds an extra measure of confidence and Land Rover offers a number of off-road training and travel packages to help consumers understand the full benefits of its use.Favorite Features
Terrain Response System
This high-tech system includes five settings that optimize the traction and dynamic functions for the type of terrain selected. It's a terrific concept that gives the driver a real sense of confidence when off-roading.
The electrically operated center console cooler can hold up to four eight-ounce plastic bottles and keeps them cool no matter what the outside temperature.