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 on-road use. Available with an optional 510-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 2010 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.You May Not Like This Car If...
Though based on the smaller LR4 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 2010
For 2010, a new 5.0-liter V8 pumping out 375 horsepower replaces last year's 4.4-liter V8, while the Supercharged model receives a 510-horsepower version of the new engine and styling updates including subtle changes to the exterior and steering wheel paddle shifters. Improvements have also been made to the Range Rover Sport's brakes, suspension and Terrain Response System.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 greatly improved this year thanks to the big boost in horsepower and torque provided by the new 5.0-liter V8. The real performer, however, is the all-new 510-horsepower supercharged engine, which can bolt to 60 miles per hour in under six seconds. 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.
Though it shares the Range Rover's name, the Sport model receives a unique dash and interior. The wide center console houses the navigation screen, audio and climate controls, as well as the controls for the Hill Descent feature, adjustable suspension and Terrain Response System. Snug but comfortable seating offers good thigh support in the front bucket seats and roomy rear seat. Although Land Rover claims a 50-percent reduction in the number of switches, the Sport is filled with so much technology that it still requires a plethora of controls scattered over the dash, doors and steering wheel. The gauge lettering has been greatly improved this year, and the black-lettered LCD readouts that practically disappeared when viewed through polarized sunglasses are no more.Exterior
The Range Rover Sport manages to combine Range Rover's familiar cubist styling with a raked windscreen and a tapered roofline that makes the vehicle appear as if it is moving quickly, even when at rest. A two-piece rear liftgate allows easy access to the cargo area. The huge wheels and low-profile tires are visually stunning, yet quite adept off-road. The Supercharged model is distinguished by its bright mesh grille and side air intakes, as well as larger 20-inch wheels and tires.Notable Standard Equipment
The Ranger Rover Sport HSE comes equipped with a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8, six-speed ZF automatic transmission with CommandShift manual-shift mode, electronic air suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Terrain Response four-wheel-drive system, traction control, front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, bi-xenon headlamps, push-button start, fog lamps, eight-way power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, Park Aid, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone integration, harman/kardon LOGIC7 stereo with six-disc MP3/CD audio and 14 speakers and hard-drive navigation with voice recognition and seven-inch LCD view screen. The Supercharged model adds the supercharged 5.0-liter V8, 20-inch alloy wheels, front and rear heated seats, four-channel Brembo anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Adaptive Dynamics and Dynamic Response Suspension, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and premium perforated leather seats.Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the HSE trim include a Climate Comfort Package (heated front and rear seats, heated windshield, heated steering wheel and heated washer nozzles), the Luxury Package (climate control console, Cold Climate Package, automatic high beam control and adaptive headlamps), the Leather Package (leather trim on the dash, armrest and tops of each door), rear-seat entertainment system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, HD radio, locking rear differential, surround camera with tow assist and 20-inch alloy wheels. Options unique to the Supercharged trim include adaptive speed control and 20-inch five-spoke Diamond Turned alloy wheels.Under the Hood
The HSE comes with a powerful new 5.0-liter V8, which is almost as powerful as last year's supercharged engine, and is a vast improvement. Speed demons will want to opt for the supercharged version of the same 5.0-liter V8 which produces an astounding 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. The supercharger is most appreciated when passing at high speeds and scooting across bustling intersections. Away from the paved road, both engines have enough horsepower and torque to deal with any reasonable situation.
375 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
375 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18
5.0-liter V8 Supercharged
510 horsepower @ 6000-6500 rpm
461 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500-5500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $60,000 and levels off just over $70,000 with all the options. The Supercharged model starts around $74,000, but includes more features, and tops out around $85,000. If you forego the adaptive cruise control and Diamond Turned wheel options, there really isn't a drastic price difference between the two trims when fully equipped. Strangely enough, this fact makes the Supercharged model the "value leader." Similar vehicles in this price range include the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the BMW X6 50i and the resale value of the Sport is projected to be slightly below both.