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2018 land-rover Range Rover Sport

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a more nimble and less expensive alternative to the full-size Range Rover flagship. The Sport boasts the highest level of performance ever offered on a Range Rover and it offers occasional-use third-row seating, a first on a Range Rover-badged vehicle.

Recent Changes
For the latest model year, the Range Rover Sport receives a new infotainment system and a redesigned front end.

Overview
Visually, the Sport borrows design cues from the fourth-gen Range Rover and the smaller, dynamic-looking Evoque. It tips the scale at a full 800 pounds less than its predecessor by adopting a Range Rover-derived unibody platform and making extensive use of weight-saving materials like aluminum.

In spite of the weight loss cure, the Sport stretches 2.5 inches longer than before, space that largely benefits the passengers in the rear seats

Life aboard
The Range Rover Sport offers a luxurious interior that features soft-touch materials, leather upholstery, a sport-inspired steering wheel with a small diameter and aluminum trim on the dashboard as well as on the door panels.

The instrument cluster consists of two round analog gauges with a five-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen mounted in between them. It can be configured by the driver to provide a wide variety of information about the car and its surroundings.

The center stack features an eight-inch high-resolution color touch screen that groups the 'ute's entertainment, connectivity and navigation functions into a single easy-to-use bundle that includes Bluetooth connectivity and a voice command function. The infotainment system can also be controlled by buttons and knobs.

To keep passengers connected on the go, the Range Rover Sport offers three USB ports and numerous 12-volt power sockets spread out throughout the cabin.

A new, fully-independent air suspension helps the Sport navigate over difficult off-road conditions. More front and rear wheel travel and pneumatically cross-linked air springs simulate the kind of articulation formerly only available with solid axles, which further improves the SUV's formidable off-road capability while creating a silky-smooth ride.

Trunk space checks in at 27.7 cubic feet with five passengers aboard, a figure that increases to 62.2 cubic feet with the second row folded flat. Designed for children and teenagers, the optional third row of seats eats up most of the SUV's cargo capacity when in use but conveniently folds flat into the trunk floor when not needed.

Under the hood
SE and HSE models come standard with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that makes 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes 6.9 seconds, and top speed is reached at 130 mph.

SE and HSE trims can be ordered with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine at an extra cost. The six makes 254 horsepower and 440 lb-ft. of torque, and it returns 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The mid-level HSE Dynamic model gets an evolution of the V6 tuned to make 380 horsepower. The extra grunt allows the HST to reach 60 mph from a stop in less than 6.9 seconds.

Supercharged and Autobiography trim levels are powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that churns out 518 horsepower thanks in part to a supercharger. Both models accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about five seconds and reach an Autobahn-worthy top speed of 140 mph.

Selecting the optional Dynamic Package adds aluminum pedals, gloss black trim on the outside, wood trim on the dashboard and the door panels, bespoke badging on the tail gate, red brake calipers and a top speed that is electronically limited at 155 mph.

SE and HSE models are fitted with a single-speed transfer case, while Supercharged and Autobiography trims benefit from a two-speed unit. All Range Rover Sports regardless of engine can tow up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped thanks in part to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission

Trim level breakdown
In spite of its entry-level vocation, the base SE trim comes relatively well equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED tail lamps, rear fog lights, tinted windows, heated mirrors, an auto-dimming interior mirror, a power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, a power-adjustable steering column, a rear-view camera, keyless entry, parking sensors, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel and a 380-watt Meridian sound system. SE models also boast Automatic Access Height, which automatically lowers the air suspension when the SUV is in Park.

Selecting the HSE trim adds 20-inch alloys, automatic headlamps with high beam assist, front fog lights, Homelink, heated front seats, aluminum door sills adorned with the Range Rover logo and an adjustable arm rest.

Next up in the Range Rover Sport hierarchy is the Supercharged model, a name that is a little misleading because nearly every model in the lineup is powered by a supercharged engine. The trim level boasts torque vectoring and shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

Also included in the Supercharged trim is an updated version of Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which optimizes the SUV for a variety of different off-roading and inclement weather situations. Like all V8-powered Sports, the Supercharged trim brings All-Terrain Progress Control, which acts as a low-speed cruise control.

The range-topping Autobiography model features a level of luxury capable of rivaling the finest German sedans on the market. Standard features include 21-inch wheels, a full-size panoramic roof, a configurable interior mood lighting, premium floor mats, a blind-spot detection system, a surround camera, HD Radio and a dual-tone horn.

The list of options includes an eye-catching two-tone paint job, a wide array of alloy wheel designs that range from 19 to 22 inches in diameter, a gesture-controlled power tailgate, wood trim on the dashboard and on the door panels, a third row of seats, a rear-seat entertainment package, a premium audio system, adaptive cruise control, and HD Radio.

Buyers can order an optional Driver Assistance Pack that includes Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Parallel Park, Park Exit, Perpendicular Park and 360-degree Park Distance Control.

Occupant safety
All Range Rover Sport models regardless of trim level come standard with side, seat-front, thorax and pelvis airbags for both front passengers.

The Sport also comes with a host of electronic driving aids including Electronic Traction Control, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Emergency Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control, Hill Descent Control and Roll Stability Control.

Key competitors
In terms of driving dynamics, the Range Rover Sport competes against the BMW X6, the Mercedes-Benz GLE and the Porsche Cayenne S.

The Infiniti QX80 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS fall in roughly the same price range but both are more focused on passenger comfort than on performance