The brief was to find a luxury SUV that would pull a 3 tonne boat, cruise round Australia and be off-road capable enough to explore the forest tracks.
So it was either the Cayenne, the X5 or the Sport. Tried them all and in the end bought the Rangie. It isn’t as amazing to drive as the Cayenne, probably the most driveable SUV that I have ever tried, and the technology isn’t as clever as the X5. But it has style, panache and oodles of under-stated luxury and as soon as I sat in it, I had to have one.
It’s proven to be a wonderful cruiser – smooth, quiet, refined and with all the technology you need to make a road trip a real holiday – adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring and the most amazing 19 speaker sound system. The seats are super comfy and the deisel and transmission super-smooth. It feels really up-together to drive and is great fun on Victoria’s country roads. It is docile and manoeuvreable around town with nicely weighted steering and good visibility.
So, overall impressions. The technology leaves something to be desired. What the infotainment system does is brilliant but how it does it is clunky and falls short of the BMW. It is brilliantly driveable and although not as tight and sporty as the Cayenne, it is a smoother ride. The 3 litre twin turbo isn’t quite as quick as either the Cayenne or the X5 equivalents but with 0-100kph in 7.2, it is quick enough for me and will be for most people. The quality of build is wonderful and is at least as good as it’s competition. Somehow though it has a presence, a wow factor that the other two just don’t have.
Whilst there are SUVs that do some things better than the Sport, I would be surprised if any of them do so many things as well.