By Jason Allan
KBB Expert Rating: 7.2
With standout styling and an aura of exclusivity, the Range Rover Sport seems to inspire more lust than its more familiar BMW, Audi and even Porsche competitors. And with a 2014 redesign, the new model is even more deserving of that desire. Now more stylish, more capable and 800 pounds lighter, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is as distinct as ever, but improved fuel economy and an available 3rd-row seat also make it a more viable alternative to more common (but less pricy) midsize luxury SUVs like the BMW X5 and Audi Q7.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport almost looks too good to be true, but rest assured it's a perfectly practical SUV and as pleasing to drive as it is to behold.
Although this is an all-new model without a track record, Land Rover is not Lexus in terms of reliability history. So if hassle-free ownership is a top priority, you might consider another brand.
From the sleeker sheet metal down to the new aluminum unibody construction that's helped shave 800 pounds compared to its predecessor, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is a wholly new creation.
Driving Impressions We drove the 2014 Range Rover Sport over undulating English country roads, through tightly spaced old English towns, up muddy hills, into and out of the deepest water we've ever...... braved, and on an active English runway at 145 mph, and it was brilliant every step of the way. What ultimately impressed us most about the 2014 Range Rover Sport, however, was not how effortlessly it handled the extremes, but how pleasant it was around town and on the highway, where most of them will be driven most of the time. It's just a downright comfortable and responsive SUV, without any sign of the compromise we'd expect to result from trying to design and tune an amazing off-roader that's also supple and sporty on pavement.
On V8 models, the new Range Rover Sport can shift more torque to the rear outside wheel while turning, enabling quicker, smoother turns on the road, and tighter turns off it.
TERRAIN RESPONSE 2 AUTO
Range Rover Sport V8 models – and V6 models with the Off Road Pack – feature the next-gen version of the automaker's multi-mode Terrain Response system. The latest iteration includes an Auto mode that uses a variety of sensors to automatically choose the best setup for the current driving situation.
Premium materials meet tasteful design inside the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport, creating a passenger cabin that offers the modern feel of an Audi interior, but is perhaps a little more elegant in its simplicity. The Range Rover Sport's infotainment offering isn't as robust as what you'll find in the BMW X5 or Audi Q7, for instance, but it had all the phone and audio connectivity we needed in our two days with the car.Exterior
The pictures tell the story: The 2014 Range Rover Sport is pretty clearly the boldest, hottest-looking SUV in the segment. Still instantly identifiable as a member of the Range Rover family, the 2nd-generation Range Rover Sport better lives up to the promise of the Sport suffix, thanks in large part to sleeker, more contemporary front and rear styling.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport SE starts at $63,495 and includes an air suspension, multi-mode selectable Terrain Response, 60/40 split rear seat, front/rear parking sensors, an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, remote-sensing unlock and pushbutton start, infotainment voice control, dual USB ports, a hard-disk navigation system, and 14-way adjustable front seats.
A fully loaded 2014 Range Rover Sport Autobiography tops out at more than $107,000 with high-tech features like an adaptive cruise control system that works in slow-and-go traffic, "automatic" parallel parking, advanced blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera system, and a full LCD instrument panel. Performance-enhancing features include a 2-speed transfer case, torque vectoring and Terrain Response 2 Auto. Other available niceties include a panoramic moonroof, a 3rd-row seat and a 1700-watt, 23-speaker audio system.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport lineup includes two supercharged engines, both matched with a responsive 8-speed automatic transmission. According to Land Rover, V6 models will run to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while V8 versions will do it in 5.0 seconds. The added power of the V8 is nice, but we found the V6 plenty of engine for the svelte new Sport. Indeed, the automaker expects about 8 in 10 buyers to go with a V6 model.
3.0-liter supercharged V6
340 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg
5.0-liter supercharged V8
510 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
461 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP or "sticker price") of $63,495 and inches into the 6-figure range when fully loaded. It's pricier than competitors like the BMW X5 (also new for 2014) and Audi Q7, and more in line with the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6, neither of which offers a third row. The Kelley Blue Book number crunchers haven't yet published predicted resale value figures for this redesigned model, although we suspect it will continue to lag key competitors. But while the 2014 Range Rover Sport isn't the best value from a features-per-dollar perspective, it looks amazing, drives wonderfully and remains one of the coolest cars you can buy for the money.