At a glance
Efficient and refined, bigger yet lighter, the second generation Range Rover Sport is now a serious contender in the SUV market that can stand up against its competitors. The new model offers comfort, practicality and class. An improved package, including better technology, means that drivers can now match their rivals on the tarmac as well as winning hands-down off-road. Although it is expensive, some consider this to be the best and most sophisticated SUV in the world right now. If it sounds appealing, but you cannot afford the full purchase price, then leasing a Ranger Rover Sport is always an option.
Background of the Range Rover Sport
Formerly based on the Discovery – neither sporty nor a true Range Rover – the original ‘Sport’ was sensible, practical and lacking in a dynamic driving experience. In spite of its problems, Range Rover Sport lease deals meant that it remained a popular choice, especially with business people who used the Range Rover Sport business lease to obtain a smart and professional looking car that would turn heads both at the office and at the golf course. These former problems have all been addressed in the updated version, which has taken its inspiration from the innovative engineering of the fully-fledged Range Rover.
In 2012, the Range Rover was completely redesigned and the development team for the ‘Sport’ soon followed suit, using ideas implemented on the Range Rover to inspire the development of the new and improved sporty version of the popular SUV. The main aim in the process was to become a credible rival for some of their biggest competitors in the sports SUV market. These included the BMW X5 and the Porsche Cayenne.
Overall driving experience
The weight of the original car significantly hampered the driving experience. It was cumbersome, heavy and the complete opposite of what you would expect from a sports SUV. So, have the changes made to the second generation Range Rover Sport improved the driving experience any? In a word, yes.
The new model is now more refined and significantly lighter than its predecessor. This is in part down to the use of an aluminium monocoque chassis inspired by the fully-fledged Range Rover. This has led to an improved and more involved driving experience. In general, it now delivers on its promise and drives like a sporty SUV, a claim its predecessor simply could not make.
If you are looking for the model that offers the best driving experience in this range, then opt for the 306PS SDV6 diesel. In terms of driving experience, this has some advantages over other models. Opting to include the ‘Dynamic’ pack will only improve your experience further. It includes a low-range gearbox and an upgraded Terrain Response system with an auto button which makes this particular model ideal for driving off-road.
Build and design
People who are interested in the visual aesthetics of a car will find the second generation Range Rover Sport much more pleasing than the original. Formerly known as a boxy and heavy looking car, its appearance couldn’t be more different now. The whole look has been streamlined and would now best be described as sleek, contemporary, refined and sophisticated. Some of the original features that define the Range Rover Sport remain, including the side fender vents, the floating roof, powerful wheel arches and the clamshell bonnet. However, changes to the design include a sloping roof line, a streamlined profile and a faster windscreen angle.
The vehicle is now a lot more accessible to a wider range of clientele. Although one of the appealing things about owning an SUV is the need to step up to climb in, this ruled out the old model for anyone with mobility issues. Now, the design includes a lower access, meaning that it is an option open to everyone.
Once inside, you will also notice some changes. First of all, the seat is slightly lower now, although it can be easily adjusted to suit your driving needs and maintain comfort levels. Plus, the steering wheel is chunkier which improves grip, the centre console is higher and the gear stick has been made more purposeful. The bigger wheelbase has made the rear of the car more spacious too, something that was woefully lacking in the old model. There are now better seating choices, with sliding seats and a seven-seat option. Even with the additional seats, passengers will not feel cramped. On the downside, the boot capacity has dropped slightly from that of its predecessor, but most people will find that they still have sufficient room to meet their needs.
Model and market
There is a fairly large price gap between the different models available, so there are options for different budgets and the expectations individuals have of the car. The greater diversity has widened the appeal of the once exclusive and elusive vehicle, allowing more people to enjoy the improvements made by Range Rover. You can now expect to pay anything from £60,000 to £85,000 depending on what you choose.
For example, the entry-level SDV6 model will cost around £12,000 less than a Range Rover with the 258PS TDV6 engine fitted. This also applies if you compare the Range Rover Sport with other models fitted with a supercharged 5.0-litre petrol V8 engine. However, there is an exception to the rule. In terms of price, there is little difference between the Range Rover at V8 diesel level and the Range Rover Sport.
To put this in simpler terms, there are basically two levels. At the lower end of the spectrum is the 306PS SDV6 diesel, priced between £60,000 and £75,000, depending on the specifications, and the Range Rover Sport lease deal 2015 can make this an affordable option for everyone. On the opposite end of the scale are the three more sophisticated options; diesel/electric hybrid, 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol and the SDV8 diesel. The top specification models are all priced at just over £80,000. If you would prefer to drive one of these models, then it is still worth considering some of the Range Rover Sport lease specials that are available.
There are only four trim levels to choose from, so options are pretty limited. However, regardless of which model you choose, you can expect the car to come with the standard kit. This includes climate control, leather seat trim and sat-nav. Overall, you can expect a fantastic package regardless of the trim that you choose.