The Range Rover Sport was close to the top of most judges’ score sheets. The combination of a powerful, refined diesel engine, excellent stability and a luxurious cabin was hard to beat.
Sprinting from 30-60mph took just 11.6 seconds, making the Range Rover Sport one of the quickest cars in this year’s tests.
The Sport’s braking was even more impressive. It’s not easy stopping over 4.5 tonnes from 30mph in just 10 metres, but that’s exactly what the Range Rover’s frisbee-sized disc brakes did.
Surprisingly, however, the Sport didn’t perform as well as the Land Rover Discovery in the lane-change test, being pulled around slightly on the higher-speed runs. Even so, the Al-Ko ATC system showed there was little movement from the caravan when slowing down from 70mph.
Leave the caravan behind and you won’t believe a 2.5-tonne 4×4 can corner so well. The steering has been much improved with the 2010 model, so the Sport is more satisfying to drive than before.
Land Rovers usually pick up high scores in the practicality judging and the Range Rover Sport is no exception. There’s room for a full load of holiday luggage, a full-size spare wheel, a Trailer Stability Programme and self-levelling suspension. Even the handbook’s towing section is better laid out and more detailed than most.
We prefer the Discovery, though. It’s less expensive, more comfortable and has two extra seats. Nonetheless, the Range Rover Sport is quite a car.