Range Rover Sport 3.0-litre SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic
Urban Dictionary: Chelsea Tractor. Any expensive 4×4 that is driven in an urban environment as a status symbol ( typically for the school run) and will never be driven off-road. In the north of England, Cheshire replaces Chelsea. Thanks to the success of large SUV’s the term ” Chelsea Tractor ” has become synonomous with all vehicles in this category, specifically the Range Rover Sport Mk1. I have lost count of how many times I have been told the story of a large SUV driver on the school run juggling dropping off the kids, whilst simultaneously drinking a latte & talking on their mobile phone. But before all SUV drivers get on my case, the truth is that lots of drivers in all sorts of cars do exactly the same thing every weekday morning.
Because a large SUV stands out we tend to notice it happening more in a Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne, than we would in a Passat or Focus. And ,despite the back handed comments, the popularity of these cars just increases year on year & that is why in 2013, Land Rover launched a new lighter, more frugal Range Rover Sport which made it’s way to Company Car in September. The Mk1 Range Rover Sport may have been incredibly popular, but it was neither sporty, based as it was on the rugged but heavy architecture of the Discovery, nor particularly great to drive. This latest version of the Sport is based on the all new Range Rover’s aluminium chassis which has made it sportier & more fun to drive, whilst simultaneously improving fuel economy & emissions, although the soon to be launched Discovery Sport will shatter both of these with CO2 emissions of just 119g/km. From the outside it’s unmistakably a Range Rover & if anything it’s actually more discreet than it’s predecessor, which might put off some. Because of it’s sheer size though, it’s hard to miss & certainly in the terracotta-army land of north Cheshire, it’s already selling well. Furthermore, it’s extremely practical. There’s 784 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place & a commodious 1,761 litres with them folded. You can even transport seven people & five adults will be moved in complete comfort. All the seats are extremely comfortable & as are the head rests. The interior has been lovingly crafted from top quality plastics & a real bonus is the simple to use dashboard & ubiquitous SatNav found in the Jaguar range which is really one of the better systems out there. The standard equipment on the Autobiography would be more than sufficient for most, but to keep my passengers happy, my test car came with a 1,700w Super Premium Audio System, a rear-seat entertainment package including three pairs of Bluetooth headsets which work with an on-board television. Why do passengers get all the fun ? On the road, the auto gear box is both smooth around town & gruff when pushed with the 292 bhp engine sparkling when accelerating on the motorway thanks to it’s 442 lb/ft of torque. I like the majority did not take my test car off-road, but judging by the suspension on-road, this would surely be a pleasure as well. Costing almost £75,000, the Range Rover Sports fuel consumption may not be a priority for it’s average customer to worry about, but it actually wasn’t that bad as I averaged 28.9 mpg in my seven days driving, slightly down on the official urban figure of 32.5 mpg. Plainly, the Range Rover Sport will not allow drivers to cheat the tax man with CO2 emissions of 199g/km, but as I have already mentioned, Land Rover are launching a new Discovery Sport model in 2015 intended to appeal to company car drivers with emissions of 119g/km. That is a car I am already looking forward to driving. Overall then my review is actually quite short & sweet, because at almost 75K one could argue that the Range Rover Sport shouldn’t just be good but should actually be very, very good. However, as a warning, there are plenty of very, very expensive cars one can buy which miss the mark & in some cases by quite some way. This though is not the case with the Mk2 Range Rover Sport, which manages to effortlessly combine luxury motoring, with off-road capability & to my mind is brilliant & is actually well worth it’s price tag. If you are lucky enough to be on the luxury SUV radar then this new model is hard to beat. A Diego Costa 4.5/5.