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Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Aluminium was once used solely for saucepans, soft drink cans and aeroplanes. Now it's singularly responsible for taking the fat out of SUVs.

Aluminium was once used solely for saucepans, soft drink cans and aeroplanes. Now it's singularly responsible for taking the fat out of SUVs.

Clothing vehicles in lightweight materials means SUVs can stay spacious, off-roadable and intimidating in the freeway lane while demanding less power and fuel from an engine.

Although the trick works on Range Rover Sport's clever diesel and V6 petrol examples, the supercharged V8 here still hits the bar like Oliver Reed. But then if you can afford to buy a Sport, you can support its addiction to high-octane petrol.

Price

The HSE Dynamic is the performance-focused model of the 11 Range Rover Sport variants. Most of its appeal centres on its ability to do diverse tasks extremely well - sports machine, tow vehicle, competent off-roader, family wagon and commuter - so the $161,600 ask may be value to many buyers with one garage.

The HSE Dynamic gets satnav, eight-speaker audio, electric tailgate, leather and 21-inch wheels but the sunroof is a $4000 extra. No capped-price service program but servicing is annual and it has a superb 61 per cent resale value. The warranty is average at three years or 100,000km.

Design / Styling

It's all new but readily identified as one of the Range Rover family. The Sport has styling closer to the smaller Evoque than its big sibling. It is 150mm shorter than the normal Range Rover and 55mm lower, despite sharing the wheelbase and track.

Compared with the old model, it's a whopping 400kg lighter, making it a very different-feeling car to drive. Luggage space is big at 784Lto 1761L. Cabin trim is Range Rover specific with a twist - the elbow-friendly door frames are now angled (and less comfortable) - but fabrics and materials are first rate. Seven seats are a bonus though the last row is best for kids. The clever TFT instrument panel only highlights current speed and engine rev bracket, not the whole dial. The spare sits under the cargo floor, not the chassis.

Engine / Transmission

The all-aluminium body is baked like cheesecake to be tough yet very light. The Sport uses the 'big'' Range Rover platform but is trimmed in size. The 5.0-litre petrol V8 (375kW/625Nm) adds a supercharger so covers 0-100km/h in only 5.3 seconds. Fuel consumption, despite the eight-speed dual-range auto, is a claimed 13.8L/100km but in suburbia is closer to 18L/100km.

Drivetrain runs all wheels at all times though clever diffs move the delivery around to suit traction demands. There's five driving modes - from bitumen to mud and every obstacle in between - on a rotary console dial, hill descent and a simple button to engage low-range. Electronically-controlled air suspension alters ground clearance over a 185mm range. It also has active senses to almost neutralise bodyroll by leaning into corners.

Safety

Now a five-star vehicle, the Sport adds a portfolio of safety gear including electronic stability and traction control with trailer-sway control and rollover mitigation, LED daytime running lights, auto headlights with washers, auto wipers, heated mirrors and all-terrain technologies including hill descent control, gradient release control and hill start assist. The spare is full size.

Driving

It's tall, wide and imposing with an engine so sparkling that it needs to be reigned into avoid camera flashes. The V8 is the performance mill and has more exhaust music than the others.

Sometimes it can be too loud. Ride comfort is first class and the cornering - artificially flat as the air suspension fights bodyroll - is more sports car than SUV. The steering wheel diameter is reduced over previous models and makes the wagon less intimidating.

The square body aids parking (as does the sensors and camera) and it's only the same length as a Commodore. It simply laps up dirt roads and trails but this may be too lavish and expensive to push hard into the outback.

 

Pricing Guides

$72,645
Based on 115 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$57,878
Highest Price
$95,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
3.0 SDV6 Autobiography 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $81,990 – 85,850 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 HSE 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $59,860 – 84,997 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 HSE Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 Luxury 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $57,750 – 66,330 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 Luxury Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 SE 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $67,888 – 69,990 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 SE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8

“One car for all purposes. The V8 here is too thirsty and noisy for most. A V6 diesel saves tens of thousands of dollars.Range Rover Sport HSE DynamicPrice: $161,600Warranty: 3 years/100,000km, 3-year roadside assistCapped servicing: NoService intervals: 12 months/26,000kmResale: 61 per centSafety: 5-starEngine: 5.0-litre V8 supercharged, 375kW/625NmTransmission: 8-speed auto, 2-speed transfer; 4WDThirst: 13.8L/100kmDimensions: 4.9m (L), 2.0m (W), 1.8m (H)Weight: 2310kgSpare: Full-size”

Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist

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