• Seamless power delivery; flawless fit & finish; excellent fuel economy
  • Brake pedal modulation; transmission step between 1st & 2nd gear; optional Bluetooth

7 / 10

Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
by Matt Brogan

It’s not hard to see why the Range Rover Sport is still considered off-road royalty

Model Tested:

  • 2010 Range Rover Sport 3.0 TDV6; 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel; six-speed automatic; five-door wagon: $99,900*

Options (As Fitted):

  • Metallic Paint $1800; Sunroof $3170; Powerfold Mirrors $900

CarAdvice Rating:

Words by Matt Brogan | Pics by Brendan Nish & Land Rover Australia

At first glance the new Range Rover Sport might look suspiciously the same as the old one, but to dismiss the value of the technological improvements and increase in overall refinement found in this year’s model on appearance alone would be nothing short of injudicious.

Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test

Boasting a raft of changes from the superseded model, which has been with us since 2005, the amelioration of the Range Rover Sport sees a fresh engine line-up, new six-speed transmission, revised steering and ‘Terrain Response’ systems, an updated interior and, believe it or not, some modified exterior styling cues that make this year’s model unarguably the best one yet.

Testing the entry-level Range Rover Sport TDV6 this week, we find a leather-clad interior worth a million in prizes. It’s seamless blend of wood, aluminium and flawless hide is impeccably well put together, loaded with all the mod cons you’d expect at this end of the price spectrum, and as comfortable – and indeed as British – as a deep buttoned Chesterfield by the hearth of an open fire.

The captain’s chair-style front seats are the ultimate in off-road opulence offering a supportive and cogent driving position that is entirely electrically adjustable in all the usual directions. Console mounted controls for the smooth-shifting six-speed CommandShift automatic transmission, sophisticated Terrain Response suspension and all-wheel drive settings, and Electronic Park Brake all fall easily to hand from the comfort of a 110-degree adjustable arm rest.

All the technology in the world isn’t worth a cent if it isn’t a joy to use, fortunately Range Rover have made all the controls and functionality of its latest Sport model as straightforward as using the household fridge. The pellucid Harman Kardon stereo, concise seven-inch touch screen satellite navigation system and even the rudimentary layout of the dual-dial instrument panel enjoys simplicity of function even the most technologically challenged dolt could master in a heartbeat.

Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test

The large leather-wrapped steering wheel is adjustable for tilt and reach and offers thumb-operated controls for the Sport’s instrument panel-mounted multi-function display (which includes vehicle settings and trip computer controls), audio system, cruise control and (optional) Bluetooth operation.

With a standard feature list that reads like War and Peace, the Range Rover Sport includes such highlights as dual-zone climate control air conditioning, eight airbags, cruise control, single-CD tuner with iPod integration, auto headlamps and wipers, and keyless pushbutton start.

Beneath that vast clamshell bonnet lays perhaps the most impressive upgrade to lower-spec Range Rovers in years, an infallible twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre LR-TDV6 engine. Capable of delivering 180kW of power and a brawny 600Nm of torque, this is the engine low-end Rangey’s always deserved, and is an impressive 40kW/160Nm improvement on the out going model.

Power delivery is seamless, with absolutely no turbo lag whatsoever, and although it still feels like the runt of the litter compared to such offerings as the mighty 375kW supercharged V8, the 3.0 TDV6 tackles highway hills and the off-road obstacle course without raising a sweat. Best of all the LR-TDV6 uses a miniscule amount of fuel at 9.3L/100km (combined, as tested), a triumph considering the Range Rover Sport’s 2535kg tare weight.

Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test

In detracting from what’s otherwise a highly polished performance, the Range Rover Sport did stumble, if only very slightly, in a couple of areas.

The first was the obvious step between first and second gear when upshifting at low speeds. This small but distinguishable ‘shunt’ came as an unwelcome recurring visitor to what otherwise proved to be a smooth and decisive transmission – so good we barely bothered with the manual (+/-) override (steering wheel mounted paddle shifts are also available as an option at $430).

Secondly the Sport’s brake pedal modulation is a little on the irregular side at very low speeds, meaning that achieving a comfortable soft stop of the meaty 360mm front / 350mm rear discs when approaching the lights is almost impossible.

While the low-profile hoops on the Sport’s stylish 15-spoke, 19-inch alloy wheels are not ideally suited to serious off-road use, they do offer an almost sporty feel on-road, bolstering the sharp steering and first-class chassis for a level of handling that is, on-road at least, the top of its class. Range Rover’s intelligent fully independent, air suspension makes the ride quality akin to that of off-road royalty and is adjustable through three self-explanatory height settings (Access/Normal/Off-Road).

The horizontally split, two-piece tailgate allows easy access to the 958L cargo area which can be extended to 2013L thanks to the practicality of split fold rear seats, and for those wanting to tow where no man has towed before, the Range Rover Sport offers a 3500kg braked towing capacity. A full-size matching alloy wheel is also included as standard equipment, slung beneath the exterior of the cargo floor.

Five-star ANCAP safety comes courtesy of front, side and full-length curtain airbags (for a total of eight), while electronic aids include ABS braking with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist, Roll Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Stability Control (which automatically compensates when towing) and Traction Control. All five seating positions offer adjustable head restraints and three-point inertia reel seatbelts with front seat passengers adding pyrotechnic pretensioners to their belts.

Optional equipment includes high-beam assist, surround camera system, reversing camera, front parking sensors (rear parking sensors are standard) and Adaptive Cruise Control with Advanced Emergency Brake Assist (a full option price list is included below).

The Range Rover Sport is a competent, comfortable and classy machine offering a true best of both worlds approach to the luxury SUV segment. Coupling excellent fuel economy with confident performance the Sport is very nearly a bargain at $99,900*, and would easily trounce any market-sector rival in an off-road arm wrestle.


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    *Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.

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    Range Rover Sport Review & Road Test
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    • Classic

      I have never been a fan of wood grain trim, but the wood grain seen in this Land Rover appears to be by far the least offensive I have ever seen. It actually looks quite good.

      • Martin

        I know hey. I was thinking the same thing! Maybe it’s the symmetrical-ness of it and the fact it isn’t very shiny? Good on them.

        • Baddass

          The wood is very nice, sort of similar to the stuff in the XF. The whole interior is a massive step up from the previous Sport, which was hardly luxurious. This moves it closer to it’s big bro, which is good for those who can’t shell out an extra 60k for the Vogue.

    • Johnny2step

      Looks fantastic. Tata is doing a great job pumping the money into Land Rover that ford should have.

      The revised interior really takes it to another level.

      • AB

        I reckon all these upgrades were in the pipeline before Tata took ownership.
        Also how do you reckon Land Rover got to where it is now? The money came from somewhere

    • Tony

      2.5 ton

      i think i would rather get the normal Range Rover… Sport is a bit compromised

      but i don’t think i need a 2.75 ton tank

      • Johnny2step

        The RR vogue adds an extra 60k premium onto the price of the sport. If you have the money, you would definately get the vogue.

        But, as a competitor to the x5 and etc, this car is spot on for specification and style.

    • Audifile

      Hey guys how about an update on the upgraded Audi Q7 and how it compares to the RR. It has been 3 years since a report on the Q7.

    • http://www.pandorahut.com/ Pandora console

      This car comes into the premium SUV segment and it represents a shift in focus for this SUV-oriented luxury brand. While traditional Land Rover models have combined unbeatable off-road performance with the amenities of a luxury sedan.

      • Lagoza

        Not bad for an Indian car made by the poms :)

    • adrian fox

      All good and well but what about the poor resale value?

    • Nat Redgrave

      i just dont understand why you dont like the “optional bluetooth” when if you read the specs its actually a standard feature across the whole range of disco 4, range rover sport and range rover vogue so it seems a bit weird

    • Phil Lamont

      I’ve been lucky enough to get one of these on loan from ULR for the last week and it’s quite simply brilliant. The wife reckons I need lessons on smooth braking and this review will restore her confidence in my driving but it is only a minor criticism and wouldn’t turn me off buying one. Slight jerkiness between 1st and 2nd is also true but again, not something that would deter potential buyers. Positives abound: refinement, style, presence (loved seeing reaction of Landcruiser types as I literally looked down on them!) but best of all is the engine. I found it hard to believe it only does 9.3 sec to 100. This thing really hooks up and hammers off the line. Dynamics similarly brilliant. Was so stable and confidence inspiring around bends even a vehicle weighing 800 kg less would be proud to boast this level of handling. Also an effortless joy to drive in heavy traffic and tight parking situations. Amazing. I will own this car before I die.

    • Greg Milner

      I bought one of these almost a year ago now (June 2010) I love it. I’ve owned a handful of four wheel drives (Pajero, Prado) and none even comes close to this. (And the Prado Grande was a $75K-odd gouge when I bought it in ’04.)
      I can’t fault the Sport, apart from that little gearbox niggle at low speeds.
      Does it go? Yep, even before I had the ECU remapped. It now shoves out a stump-pulling 700nm of torque, and 207kw, more than the existing 3.6 V8.
      And no, it’s not just a Toorak Tractor for me. My wife and I are about to embark on a 6,000km trip to the Gibb River Rd and Mitchell Plateau, towing a one-ton camper trailer.
      (And yes, I’ve put some decent Goodyear MTR offroad tyres on the standard 19″ rims, leaving the 20s and Pirelli PZeros in the garage:-)

      • Caprice Owner

        who did your ecu remap??

    • James

      Orverpriced,My dad likes them but there to big I like small cars like Holden Barina Spark,Holden,Citreons etc.

    • Brad

      Someone needs to proof read these reviews better. They sound and read as if written by a rank amateur and are grammatically incorrect in sections. Same with other reviews i have read on this site – i’d say by the same author perhaps!

    • mike

      What a car! Test drove all other competitors and it was like chalk and cheese. Worth every cent and gives me endless pleasure. What a car!

    • http://www.rapidtuning.co.uk/locations/ Custom Car ECU Remapping and Chip Tuning experts. Offering a mobile service across Northern England and Southern Scotland.

      Hello There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. That is a very smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

    • Alex Parker

      I’ve been a landcruiser driver for more years than I can remember though I drove a 2011 sport twin turbo deisel the other day and I loved it can anyone tell me about reliability good or bad please .

    Range Rover Specs

    Car Details
    SPORT 3.0 TDV6
    Body Type
    4D WAGON
    New Price
    Private Sale
    $54,120 - $61,500
    Dealer Retail
    $52,360 - $62,260
    Dealer Trade
    $41,600 - $49,200
    Engine Specifications
    Engine Type
    Engine Size
    Max. Torque
    600Nm @  2000rpm
    Max. Power
    180kW @  4000rpm
    Pwr:Wgt Ratio
    Bore & Stroke
    Compression Ratio
    Valve Gear
    Drivetrain Specifications
    Drive Type
    Final Drive Ratio
    Fuel Specifications
    Fuel Type
    Fuel Tank Capacity
    Fuel Consumption (Combined)
    9.2L / 100km
    Weight & Measurement
    Kerb Weight
    Gross Vehicle Weight
    Not Provided
    Ground Clearance
    Towing Capacity
    Brake:3500  Unbrake:750
    Steering & Suspension
    Steering Type
    Turning Circle
    Front Rim Size
    Rear Rim Size
    Front Tyres
    255/50 R19
    Rear Tyres
    255/50 R19
    Wheel Base
    Front Track
    Rear Track
    Front Brakes
    Rear Brakes
    Front Suspension
    Double wishbone, Air Springs, Gas damper, Self levelling, Anti roll bar
    Rear Suspension
    Double wishbone, Air Springs, Gas damper, Self levelling, Anti roll bar
    Standard Features
    Control & Handling
    Traction Control System
    Trip Computer
    Xenon Headlights
    Side Front Air Bags
    Optional Features
    Power Sunroof, Rear seat enhancement pack
    Control & Handling
    Adaptive Drive, 20 Inch Alloy Wheels
    Cruise Control Intelligent/Active, Reversing Camera
    Premium Sound System, Television
    Metallic Paint, Tow Pack
    Service Interval
    12 months /  15,000 kms
    36 months /  100,000 kms
    VIN Plate Location
    Mid Driver Side Chassis
    Country of Origin
    United Kingdom