The Range Rover Sport in some ways is the ideal size, shape and balance of the Range Rover model range. We road test the 2018 Range Rover Sport SDV8 HSE Dynamic.
For a large vehicle it cuts a svelte shape. From its low fully integrated family front grill is slopes in a linear fashion through to the rear. Its lines are subtle yet impressive.
The large 21″ wheel tyre combination fills the muscular bulging wheel arches (there is even a full size spare). This is one fine looking beast.
The Dynamic pack adds the following features over the impressively featured HSE. Dynamic Response (Active Roll Control), Terrain Response 2 Dynamic Program, Torque Vectoring, Top speed increase, Red brake callipers’, 21” 5 split-spoke ‘Style 507’ alloy wheels with Satin Grey Finish, Bright Sport Pedals and Illuminated treadplates.
Stepping inside the Range Rover Sport is like stepping into a lounge room. The front leather seats are sumptuously comfortable with adequate squab length and plush side bolsters for hips and shoulders.
They are multiply electronically adjustable as is electronically adjustable leather thick steering wheel.
The steering wheel itself houses a number of controls, that once you get used to them increase user efficiency. The 12″ customisable instrument panel allows the driver to select the view that best suits them.
This optional heads up display presents key data such as speed, navigation and gear position on the windscreen so you never have to take your eyes off the road.
It utilises lasers to avoid ‘washout’ and is configurable to your preferences
Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent, with clear rear view and large external side mirrors and the brilliant all round camera system displayed on the 10 inch screen in the centre stack.
Rear seat passengers are also treated to luxury and individually tailored seats. There is the optional rear seat entertainment with screens in the front seat headrests.
While there is plenty of head and shoulder room, the leg, knee room is a little restricted.
In contrast the boot space is quite large with a load tie down system along with the 60/40 split rear seats provides a flexible load area.
The console bin not only provides a good arm rest but houses a two stage bin arrangement with the USB ports etc.
Sitting next to the drivers hips is the transmission hub. This houses the electronic controls for some features such as auto stop start, hill descent control etc, in addition to the controls for the brilliant 4WD system.
The large 10 inch touchscreen houses the InControl Touch Pro’s next-generation hardware and software systems. Designed to advance Range Rover Sport’s connectivity and entertainment to the highest level, this is a system that takes a little getting used to.
It features a 10” Touchscreen, Touch Pro Navigation and a Range Rover Audio System. It also displays the surround car camera system as previously mentioned.
Drive and Engine
The SDV8 combines pretty good performance while not breaking the bank at the fuel pump. The SDV8 is powered by a 4.4L V8 Diesel that produces power of 250kW and torque of 740Nm.
This is delivered to the wheels through a silky smooth 8 speed transmission and dual range 4WD Selective Terrain Response system.
The Sport has adaptive dynamics along with torque vectoring, both of which enhance the handling dynamics.
The SDV8 will accelerate from 0-100kmh in 6.9 seconds and top out at 225kmh. The power delivery has a slight but noticeable lag early on but then feels linear and almost unstoppable.
It is almost a given that buyers of the Range Rover Sport are buying the aspiration of adventure rather than the actual participation. However that doesn’t diminish its capabilities.
The Range Rover Sport is an extremely capable off road vehicle. This is enhanced by the electronic air suspension.
The Range Rover dual range 4WD Selective Terrain Response system is amongst the best in the industry. Then there is the suspension.
Nobody sorts their suspension to balance the demands of varying road and off road conditions like Range Rover. They are simply the best.
To further complement the capability the towing capacity is 3500kg, with a tow ball rating of 350kg and electronic towing stability aids.
As you would expect the Range Rover Sport is packed with all forms of driver assistance systems.
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC),
- Low Traction Launch,
- Electronic Traction Control (ETC),
- Roll Stability Control (RSC),
- Cornering Brake Control (CBC),
- Hill Descent Control (HDC),
- Electric Parking Brake (EPB),
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD),
- Gradient Acceleration Control (GAC), and
- Gradient Release Control (GRC).
Additional driver assistance systems include: Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Rear and Front Parking Aid and Rear view camera.
Safety features include: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist, Customer configurable autolock, Power operated child locks, Front airbags, with passenger seat occupant detector and seat belt pre-tensioners.
- Occupant luxury
- On/Off road capability
Not So Good Bits
- No Apple/Android connectivity
- Acceleration lag occasionally
Range Rover Sport SDV8 HSE Dynamic has reasonable performance, but amongst the best 4WD capability in the segment. It will tow 3500kg with ease and cocoon its occupants in absolute luxury.
Overall it’s pretty bloody good. It is expensive and has a very long and expensive options list but has a well-deserved reputation.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Range Rover Sport SDV8 HSE Dynamic
- Engine: 4.4L SDV8 Turbo 250kW/740Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed AT 4WD
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: UK
- Warranty: 3 yrs/100,000km
- Price: From $165,448 RDAP