2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Putting The Sport In Sport
For a mark that prides itself in tradition, the Land Rover brand has seen quite a transformation recently with all-new highly modernized versions of their iconic Defender and the Range Rover. Well, now it’s time for a total revamp of the Range Rover’s smaller sibling, the Range Rover Sport. And it looks like it learned a lot from its big brother.
How much is too much? It’s an age-old question, and when it comes to Range Rover, it seems to be getting to that point as the brand is continuously upping its game when it comes to both refinement and style, yet at the same time ratchets up the already legendary off-road abilities of their vehicles. Last year it was the Range Rover itself, for 2023 there’s an all-new Range Rover Sport.
Our test vehicle is one of few limited First Editions, and boy does it start this 3rd generation of the Sport off with a bang, packing a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 523-horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque. Technically the P530 if you’re down with Land Rover engine nomenclature, there are also 2 different mild-hybrid inline-6s available along with a PHEV.
Sure, Land Rovers are all about conquering territory off pavement, but we were actually more interested in getting this British bulldog to the track, as it definitely puts the sport in Sport, leaping off the line with an immense feeling of power, and tearing down the track like few other SUVs on the road. We hit 60 in just 4.8-seconds. This Range Rover Sport’s overwhelming sensation of thrust doesn’t really subside at any point in time through the ¼-mile, and the exaggerated roar from the exhaust enhances the experience even more.
Gear changes in the 8-speed automatic are aggressively quick, yet surprisingly smooth as you hear them more than feel them. All told, it’s a swift and smooth 13.2-seccond ¼-mile ending at 109 miles-per-hour.
The biggest change to come to all Land Rover vehicles in recent years is that their on-pavement performance is getting closer to rivalling their legendary off-pavement abilities. And here, a new Dynamic Air Suspension with adaptive dampers transforms this 5,500-lbs. tank into an agile missile. It felt stiff, composed, and incredibly dialed in through our cone course; with rapid response and minimal body roll. All-wheel steering, torque vectoring all-wheel-drive, and even selective braking means there are a lot of things going on in the background to make this happen, but that’s mostly where they stay, in the background.
Much like when it comes to off-road, where you can dial in the proper Terrain Response setting for your conditions, and let the Sport figure everything else out.
As with the Range Rover, the Sport seems to express the very definition of sleek muscular sophistication, with tightly wrapped body panels and a very dynamic stance.
All the modern styling elements are here, short overhangs, smooth grille, the slimmest headlights ever on a Land Rover, strong shoulders, flush door handles, and yes, those are 23-inch wheels crammed in there.
Now inside, there’s a whole new level of refinement. The cabin is feature packed and exquisitely outfitted, with a bit of a minimalist vibe having very few actual controls and an almost Scandinavian look. Seats are supremely comfortable, working with Cabin Air Purification Pro to not only pamper you, but shelter you from the outside world as much as possible. All materials are fantastic, even if you replace the typical leather with sustainable Ultrafabrics, which we found to be a quite nice alternative. Front seats are not only 22-way adjustable, but have been reshaped to provide more legroom for rear seat passengers. Screen time happens on a pair of crystal-clear widescreens; a well-hooded 13-inch interactive driver display behind the steering wheel, and a 14-inch touchscreen mounted low in front of the dash for Pivi Pro infotainment.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the V8 are 16-City, 21-Highway, and 18-Combined, consistent with our test average of 18.7 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
Prices start at $84,475, but going all in for a First Edition will set you back $122,975.
The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is truly a modern SUV no matter how you choose to define that; mega performance whether it comes to trail or track, wrapping owners in extreme luxury and style, with plenty of tech along for the ride. If you’ve got the bucks, the Sport delivers a boatload of bang!
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
- Engine: 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8
- Torque: 553 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.2-seconds at 109 mph
- EPA: 16 City / 21 Highway / 18 Combined
- Horsepower: 523
- 0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg.)
- MW Fuel Economy: 18.7 MPG (Premium)