Saturday 18th November 2017
Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page

 



First drive: Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.

First drive: Range Rover Sport SDV8
Range Rover Sport gets more powerful V8 diesel engine.

 



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> Land Rover reviews

| First Drive | Zurich, Switzerland | Range Rover Sport SDV8 |

Overall rating: 4 4 4 4 4

Range Rover Sport gains a 4.4-litre V8 turbodiesel engine to add more performance over the SDV6, though the differences aren't perhaps as marked as you might expect.

Key Facts

Model tested: Range Rover Sport SDV8 Autobiography Dynamic
Pricing: 81,550
Engine: 4.4-litre V8 turbodiesel
Transmission: four-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic
Body style: five-door SUV
Rivals: BMW X5 50d, Porsche Cayenne Diesel S
CO2 emissions: 229g/km
Combined economy: 32.5mpg
Top speed: 140mph
0-62mph: 6.9 seconds
Power: 339hp at 3,500rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 1,750- to 3,000rpm

In the Metal: 4 4 4 4 4

Given the Range Rover Sport's traditional role as the more athletic understudy to the flagship Range Rover, its second-generation styling is remarkably restrained. Where the old car was a bit extrovert the new Range Rover Sport pleases with its relative simplicity of line and neat detailing front and rear. It looks a touch heavier, though in a more substantial, high quality way than just mere bulk, it now of a quality to really make you wonder why you'd spend the extra on its larger relation.

The same is true inside, particularly in the single Autobiography trim that the SDV8 is offered in. The dash and centre console are very smart and functional, though as ever the touch-screen satnav looks really old and isn't particularly user friendly either. Otherwise it's bang on inside, with a great driving position, decent visibility and high quality finishes on all the control surfaces.

Driving it: 4 4 4 4 4

Sitting at the top of the range, priced identically to its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol relation, the 4.4-litre SDV8 has a lot to live up to. Naturally it's down on power in comparison to that Supercharged model, but while its 339hp cannot hope to match the 510hp output of the petrol engine it makes up for it with a torque advantage. Seven hundred Newton metres betters 625Nm, giving the SDV8 greater and easier flexibility. The numbers say it'll reach 62mph in 6.5 seconds, trailing that supercharged Sport by 1.5 seconds.

So it lacks the ferocity of its petrol relative, but the pay-off is far greater economy. Officially it'll manage 32.5mpg on the combined cycle, a good 10mpg more than the petrol's official figure, and while neither is likely to match them, the gap should remain about the same. The SDV8's biggest issue though isn't the flagship petrol model, it's the smaller SDV6.

Given the V8's 47hp and 100Nm torque advantage it should perhaps feel a bit quicker than its V6 relation, but while you'll walk away from the V6 being impressed you'll do the same from the V8 wondering why you've spent the extra. It's not slow, and the noise it makes is actually rather appealing when you're working it hard, but the V6 seems to over deliver where the V8 seems to under.

The eight-speed transmission shifts with a clean smoothness that's all but imperceptible, while the suspension rides with real composure. There's a touch more roll in the bends than its obvious Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5 rivals, but that translates to a better ride overall. The steering is decently weighted and quick in its response, while off-road it'll romp away from its competitors with ease.

What you get for your Money: 3 3 3 3 3

The SDV8 Range Rover Sport will only be offered in a single trim level, that unsurprisingly being the line-up topping Autobiography. That should mean you'll have everything you should need as standard, but then there's always the opportunity to dip into the extensive options list if you've money to burn.

Worth Noting

The SDV8 Autobiography occupies a price point that's busy in the Range Rover Sport line-up. For your 81,550 you could also have the 3.0 SDV6 HEV (hybrid diesel) Autobiography Dynamic, or the 5.0-litre Supercharged petrol Autobiography Dynamic. If you want a pair of extra seats in the rear of all of them you'll need to find another 1,600.

Summary

What should be the best Range Rover Sport in the line-up does impress, but the difference on the road between it and its SDV6 relation aren't as marked as we'd anticipated. Given the SDV8's single, top price specification, the SDV6 remains the best all-rounder for now, while if you want a more overtly sporting diesel SUV both Porsche and BMW offer more focused (if less able in the mire) alternatives.


Kyle Fortune - 8 Nov 2013









  www.landrover.co.uk    - Land Rover road tests
- Land Rover news
- Range Rover Sport images

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.



2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 

2014 Range Rover Sport SDV8. Image by Land Rover.
 






 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2017 ©