Vital Stats

Engine:
SC 5.0L V8
Power:
510 HP / 461 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
5.9 Seconds
Top Speed:
140 MPH
Drivetrain:
Four-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
5,816 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
33.8 / 71 CU-FT
MPG:
12 City / 17 HWY
Base Price:
$75,645
Truth be told, I have always considered the Range Rover Sport to be something of a poseur in the Land Rover lineup, but there's one big reason this SUV is so popular in chic cities like New York and Miami – it has the boxy, instantly recognizable looks of a classic Range Rover but with a sportier demeanor. In fact, if sister marque Jaguar ever does get around to building an SUV (as has been rumored for years), I have the feeling it will have the ride quality, performance and handling similar to the Range Rover Sport, albeit with a greater on-road emphasis.

Coming in at just under $80,000, the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is no easy financial pill to swallow, but even now, with its replacement waiting just off-stage, it's just hard to say anything that bad about an SUV that is equal parts off-road, luxury and performance. Land Rover has kept the Sport fresh with a mess of small tweaks (new wheel and interior color options, etc.), and we thought spending a week with this generation would be a fine sendoff before the all-new 2014 model arrives.

Driving Notes
  • First and foremost, the performance of the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is a result of the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 under the hood cranking out 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. That's enough power to get this almost-three-ton SUV to accelerate from 0-60 in just 5.9 seconds, which is not too far off the pace from a Porsche Cayenne S. Moving that kind of mass takes a lot of fuel, and the engine isn't afraid to suck down the octane – I averaged just over 11 mpg for the week in mostly city driving.
  • My biggest disappointment with this Range Rover was how flat and uninspiring the exhaust note sounded (especially knowing how great the supercharged Jags sound using the same engine).
  • It's very unlikely you're going to see a Range Rover Sport tackling any serious trails, but that's not because it can't. While most Range Rover Sport owners likely consider off-roading to consist of splashing through big puddles in NYC or kicking up sand blown onto Miami Beach's Ocean Drive, the Sport is no less capable off-road than its brethren thanks to its height-adjustable suspension and Terrain Response System. There's even an off-road screen that lets the driver know the articulation of each wheel, whether the differentials are locked and the angle of the front tires.
  • Terrain Response takes the guesswork out of off-road driving by providing five simple modes that are all accessible at the push of a button (yes, the days of locking hubs and manual transfer cases are long gone for most modern off-roaders). Purists might take issue with this system – or similar ones used by Jeep and Ford – but it's hard to argue with the simplicity and user-friendliness that Terrain Response provides. Most of the Terrain Response settings are there to make off-roading easier, but the Range Rover Sport also comes with a Dynamic mode that tightens up the steering, throttle and transmission for a sportier feel.
  • Most of the time while driving the Sport, every bit of its weight and size is felt –especially when it comes to fuel economy – but I was surprised on numerous occasions by its small turning radius. At a local parking lot where some smaller sedans require a three-point maneuver for turning around, the Range Rover Sport managed the deed in one fluid motion. Another time while testing the off-road capabilities in loose sand, the tight turning radius again came in handy as I was able to confidently make some sharp turns without slowing down or stopping – very important when driving in loose terrain such as sand or snow.
  • Maybe it's the fact that I now live in Florida and have no need for a heated windshield, but my biggest pet peeve about current Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles is the tiny wires that run through the windshield for the heating elements. They are just small enough not to obstruct the driver's view but are also noticeable enough to be annoyingly distracting – especially at night when bright headlights are approaching. It's been years since I've had to worry about clearing thick ice from a windshield, so I'm not doubting this is a useful tool for owners in the North, but these thin, squiggly lines can sometimes be a distraction. Perhaps it should be an option.
  • Speaking of distractions, one of my favorites on the Range Rover Sport comes courtesy of the $1,200 Vision Assist Package, which adds a five-camera view around the vehicle. In theory, this is an excellent tool for off-road driving as it allows you to see nearby obstacles without actually having to get out of the car, but for some reason, the cameras operate at any speed, making for a pretty tempting distraction while driving.
  • An interesting part of the Range Rover Sport's design is that its instrument panel is actually positioned above the hood giving a commanding view of the road. Even with the seat in its lowest setting, I still felt like I was sitting up way too high. But this, along with Rover's relatively narrow window pillars, actually provided for excellent visibility while driving, a remnant of Land Rover's obsession with off-roading, where it's important to know exactly what immediately surrounds your vehicle.
  • In most of these pictures, I photographed this tester's air suspension in Access suspension setting to give it a lowered look, but its main purpose is to making ingress and egress easier. For optimal off-roading, the air suspension can also be raised (as seen above), giving it ample ground clearance. The vehicle automatically reverts to normal ride height when speed tops 30 miles per hour.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      dibbage
      • 1 Year Ago
      My 2 cents...Buy one 2 years old because these depreciate pretty fast. But if you must have the latest and greatest, wait for the next one.
        jagman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dibbage
        I think a good percentage of the people on this site are ill informed. I work at a Jaguar/Land Rover dealership. The Sport holds its value very well and we have a 75-85% repeat form one lease to another on the same model. My take is that most of the people who post comments could never afford a Range Rover, either new or used.
          dibbage
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jagman
          I drive an Evoque. Seems to be holding up well. But you can't deny the RRS depreciates. You can find the same model mentioned here in a 2010 for around $50k.
          dibbage
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jagman
          Sounds like a great sales tactic. You can't afford one...
      King of Eldorado
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree about the windshield heating wires, although it was a fairly minor annoyance unless the light hit them just so. A potentially more significant issue is the cost of replacing the windshield if it gets cracked. The wires came as part of a $700? cold weather package on the 2001 Discovery II that I bought new back then. I didn't really want the package, but omitting it would have required a special order, as this dealer ordered it on all of its inventory. I thought, "oh well, at least it includes heated seats," but those were so slow that I had already warmed the seat myself before they were noticeable. I loved that car though; wish I had kept it.
      rsxvue
      • 1 Year Ago
      Loving the Brembos!
      Frank Bevalaqua
      • 1 Year Ago
      I owned a Land Rover and would never buy another. The are the most unreliable POS's, guzzle gas, and have no resale value. Buy a diesel Mercedes GL instead
        Car Guy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Frank Bevalaqua
        For some reason I doubt you ever had one and are just parroting what you read...............
      miketim1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tho nice in certain ways it highly overpriced and depreciation will hit it fast not a good investment .. and this one looks old and dated SPECIALLY in this dull color.
      markscomments
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jeff, it's no more a "Poseur" than a Porsche Cayman is in the sportscar world. Not many people take their Porsches or Ferraris to the track either. Definitely a heavy vehicle, still quite nimble on the road and DEFINITELY OFF-ROAD too. If memory serves me correctly, it'll reportedly do the Nurburgring in 8:55 - so nice mix of both worlds. I am definitely excited to see what the next gen RR Sport offers both off-road and on the road :) When is the new model due? Geneva or New York next month?
      Spartan
      • 1 Year Ago
      For that kinda money, $80k, they could at least paint match the trim and side skirts. Other than that, they're nice and all, but I'd never put down $80k for one. Jeep can't get the Grand Wagoneer here soon enough.
        POWAAAAA
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spartan
        The autobiography model has paint matched lower trim. The HSE and supercharged models have the lower plastic exposed to prevent paint damage when off roading, and yes, there are people who take these off road.
          Spartan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @POWAAAAA
          I'm sure they were thinking of the .0000001% that will take their $80k RRS off road....or from a more logical standpoint, they were being cheap and wanted to give consumers a reason to buy the HSE and higher models.
      leomaccord
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hawt
      KaiserWilhelm
      • 1 Year Ago
      You would be a fool to buy this over the brand new Range Rover.
        dibbage
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KaiserWilhelm
        Not saying I would but the cost difference is pretty significant. Pushing 100k on the new Range (not even kidding).
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Carac
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just bought a new 2012 that was "rotting" on the lot for less than some of the used '12s on the market and I'm loving it. But I do agree, after hearing the same engine in the XKR and XKR-S, the RR's is too muted. You still get a little pop/crackle on the overrun, but I would love an aftermarket system that replicates the sound Jaguar gets out of this engine.
        POWAAAAA
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Carac
        A fairly common mod on the RRS is to remove the large center resonator under the middle of the car. It certainly makes the sound more aggressive.
      Hallelu Yar
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is design is OLD ALREADY...O.L.D. as in OLD!!!
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