The Land Rover Range Rover Sport enters 2018 with a host of updates, including an all-new hybrid powertrain that makes the Sport the first Land Rover to work toward the company's promise of complete electrification by 2020.
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2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Overview
What's New for 2018
Headlining the changes for 2018 is the introduction of the plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV), a Jaguar Land Rover first. This new powertrain marries a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor juiced by a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. The combined total of 398 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque is enough to propel the SUV from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds.
If they avoid mashing the throttle, drivers can eke out up to 31 miles of zero-emissions, near-silent electric driving. Beyond that, the gas and electric motors work in tandem to efficiently hustle the big Range Rover everywhere and anywhere. In the classic Land Rover spirit, "everywhere and anywhere" is truly that; the system is designed to offer full-electric and hybrid capabilities even once the pavement ends.
Charging the battery takes seven and a half hours when plugged into the standard 10-amp home-charging cable. A larger 32-amp wall box shortens charging times to two hours and 45 minutes. A Range Rover Sport PHEV will start at $79,295 including the destination charge, but will not be available in the US until summer 2018 as a 2019 model.
Other updates include a restyled front fascia, a new dual-screen infotainment unit, more charging points (bringing the total count to 14) and an Active Key, which replaces the standard key fob with a wearable wristband designed to be waterproof as well as tolerant of extreme temperatures.
Choosing Your Range Rover Sport
With an all-you-can-eat buffet of engine choices and trim levels, it can be difficult deciding what to spring for and what to leave on the table. Five available engines range from the mild 3.0-liter diesel six cylinder with 254 hp to the wild 575-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8. Certain engines are only available on certain trim levels.
Regardless of engine or trim, all Range Rover Sports are equipped with the off-roading chops that built Land Rover's reputation. This means standard features like hill descent control and the ability to wade into water up to 33.5 inches deep.
Option packages available across all trims include the Towing Package, the Drive Pro Package (which adds driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control), the Climate Comfort Package (adding four-way climate control and a refrigerator in the front center console), and the Park Pro Package (which equips the SUV with self-parking technology). Note that the prices of these packages may change depending on trim level.
Unless a buyer harbors a personal credo stipulating that nothing less than eight cylinders will do, the lower-tier six-cylinder trims – particularly the HSE and HSE Dynamic – provide ample amount of luxury, performance, and capability without the six-figure sticker-price shock. For those trying to rove the land as fast as possible, the SVR is the only way to go.
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Review
SUVs are valued for their space, comfort, off-road ability, and all-around muscle. In most models, you get one or two of those attributes. The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport takes them all and turns them up to the maximum level. It’s one of the most capable SUVs on the road, and one of the most customizable to boot. With three engines and six trim levels, there’s a Range Rover Sport for anyone with deep enough pockets.
The supercharged V8 might pump out some impressive numbers, but, in our eyes, the star of the engine lineup is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel. It has nearly as much torque at 440 pound-feet, but it still manages an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon combined. It’s quiet and refined enough for long drives, and you’ll be glad for the efficiency at the gas pump. And it all comes at just $2,000 more than the base engine.
It’s easy to inflate the Range Rover Sport’s price to well north of $100,000, but there’s no need. All Sports are all-wheel drive and come with plenty of luxury inside: leather seats, heated front seats, dual 10-inch touchscreens, keyless ignition, and so on. It’s worth stepping up to the HSE trim for a panoramic roof and a few key features like blind spot sensors, parking aids, and power heated mirrors. It also opens up useful packages like the mountain-ready Off-Road Package.
If it were up to us, this is the Range Rover Sport we’d get:
- Model: 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE
- Engine: 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6
- Output: 254 hp / 440 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
- Options: Turbodiesel engine ($2,000), Climate Comfort Package ($1,385, sliding panoramic roof, heated steering wheel, center console refrigerator compartment, twin-blade sun visors, four-zone automatic climate control), Off-Road Package ($1,785, two-speed transfer box, all-terrain progress control, terrain-response system, adaptive damping).
- Base Price: $73,345 (including a $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $78,515
The Range Rover Sport is one of the best performing SUVs available, on or off the road. It helps that it's so customizable. Want one to tow your boat? No problem. There’s even a towing assist package to get you going. One to ford rivers and conquer mountains? Easy. Range Rover’s off-road prowess is legendary; 9.3 inches of ground clearance, more than 10 inches of wheel travel, and 33.5 inches of fording capability mean the Sport will go just about anywhere. One that will go zero to 60 mph in under five seconds? Yep, there’s one for that, too. The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 produces a prodigious 518 horsepower and turns the Sport into a track-ready rocket.
Other than the diesel, the powertrains are thirsty (though a hybrid-electric is on the way). And if you want top performance, you’d better be ready to pay top dollar – the racy SVR trim starts at $114,595. Still, it’s hard to find a downside to the Range Rover Sport’s all-around performance.
Land Rover pays close attention to styling, and the Range Rover Sport doesn't disappoint. Blacked out pillars leave an elegant floating roof, while swollen wheel arches lend a hint of sportiness. If anything, the interior, which is swathed in wood and leather and has premium materials wherever you look, is even better. The ultra-modern dual-screen console is the cherry on top.
For up to four adults, the Range Rover Sport is roomy as can be. Add any more, and things start to get tight. The middle seat is adequate but not spacious, and the optional third row is cramped. Self-driving tech is a polarizing topic these days, but Range Rover’s safety systems aren’t as present as they are in some rivals.
The Best and Worst Things
It’s hard to pick just one best thing. Offroad credentials? Powertrain? Styling? Interior? It’s all good. The biggest downside is the one it can’t get around: the price.
Right For? Wrong For?
The 2018 Range Rover Sport is right for the family who likes to adventure on the weekends. It'll pull around-town duty in utmost style, then handle the snowy roads to the ski area with equal panache.
It may be too much car for more practical buyers. Towing capability and cargo space don’t require big-league spending, and mainstream brands have been upping their game in the luxury department. For the budget-minded buyer, other SUVs will be capable enough.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport excels in almost every category. It’s a vehicle with a firm sense of identity – Range Rover knows what they’re good at, and they continue to deliver. The Range Rover Sport shines in every aspect you'd want in an SUV, and it looks good in the process.