2006 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Let's talk about luxury SUVs for a minute, specifically the super premium off-roaders from Land Rover. In 2005, Land Rover began a complete overhaul of its model range with the all-new LR3 replacing the Discovery. Now for 2006 it's Range Rover's turn, with two higher output V8s and the new Range Rover sport. Big changes for England's ultimate SUVs indeed.

Whether you opt for the standard pedigree, or the new Sport hound, the expanded 2006 Land Rover Range Rover pack is clearly all-road royalty. Aimed at a younger, more aggressive buyer, and created from the same unibody architecture as the LR3, the 2006 Land Rover Range Rover Sport wears familiar slab-sided styling, but with a more aggressive facia and the sporting fast-back roof of the original Range Rover. Its sporting nature is also evident by a tauter length and shortened 108-inch wheelbase, down over 5 inches from the LR3 and traditional Range Rover.

Power pours from either of two Jaguar-based V8s - a 4.4-liter 32-valver with 300 horsepower and 315 pound feet of torque for the HSE, or our test Supercharged 4.2-liter 32 valve V8 with 390 horsepower and 410 pound feet of torque.

Each is linked to a new ZF 6-speed automatic with manual mode, and full-time 2-speed 4-wheel drive with locking center differential.

On the track, the Sport energetically ran a 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and a quarter mile of 15.3 seconds at 92 miles per hour. Acceleration has more bottom end punch than previous Rovers.

On the squiggly, the Sport is the best handling Rover we've ever tested, feeling far more car-like than SUV. The Sport's fully independent suspension uses double-wishbones with electronically-controlled air-springs and Automatic Load Leveling. Plus, our tester's new Dynamic Response System, that counteracts body roll, boosted both handling and ride comfort over the LR3.

To stop our Supercharged Sport is an all-disc ABS system with four-piston Brembo front calipers. Stops averaged a longish 145 feet, but were stable as a slab of granite.

Packed with technology, the Sport includes the LR3's Terrain Response system which ties all of the Sport's traction aids together into a single control, aiming for maximum grip in any condition.

The system offers five different terrain settings, from general on-road driving, to slippery conditions like snow and gravel, to three for off-road conditions.

Inside the Sport the traditional Range Rover posh also takes a sportier style. The ample mid-size 5-seat cabin features a tall console, nicely contoured seats, and all the usual top-end Range Rover comforts.

Six airbags include side curtains for both rows of seats.

EPA estimates for the Supercharged Sport call for 13 city and 18 highway. Our test results were at the low end of 13 miles per gallon. The naturally aspirated HSC is about 10% better.

2006 Land Rover Range Rover

Complementing the new Sport is the revised 2006 Land Rover Range Rover. Gone are the BMW V8s, replaced with the same Jaguar power as the Sport. But being the top level Land Rover, power ratings are slightly higher than the Sport. The standard 4.4-liter is rated at 305 horsepower and 325 pound feet of torque, while the Supercharged 4.2-liter delivers an even 400 horsepower and 420 pound feet of torque. That makes the Range Rover the most powerful Land Rover ever.

At the track the heavier Supercharged Rover sprinted from 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, and through the quarter mile in 15.4 seconds at 94 miles-per-hour. There was a little stumble off the line, but at 2,000 rpm it took off like a rocket.

Shifts from the 6-speed automatic gearbox were smooth and crisp in both manual and automatic modes. Since it lacks the Sports anti-roll system, the Range Rover does have more lean in corners and less feel through the steering. Still the ride on-road and off is very comfortable. Stopping our Supercharged-tester were all-disc brakes with Brembos up front. Here distances were much better at 125 feet from 60.

2006 exterior changes to the Range Rover are minimal but noteworthy. The standard model gets a new grille, revised power vents, a redesigned front bumper, new headlights, taillights and 19-inch alloy wheels. Supercharged models don a mesh-design grille, power-vents, black-on-silver badges and 20-inch alloys.

So, which will you choose? To ride the Range in the big Rover, it's $74,950 for the HSE model. Supercharge it and dole out $89,950. The sharper Range Rover Sport HSE goes for $56,750. And if you've any left to spare, the Supercharged Sport is $69,750.

So, whether you're cruising on-road or off, 2006 brings two distinct Range Rover breeds that allow you to go anywhere you please with man's best friend along for the ride.


  • Engine: 4.2-liter 32-valve V8
  • Horsepower: 390
  • Torque: 410 lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 6.9 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.3 Seconds @ 92 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 145 Feet
  • Supercharged Range Rover Sport:
  • EPA: 13 MPG city/18 MPG highway
  • Mixed Loop: 13 MPG
  • Supercharged Range Rover: