New 2022 Range Rover Sport review

Nick Francis

04 Jan 2022

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The Range Rover Sport is one of JLR’s best-selling models, and it’s easy to see why. But the premium SUV market is a crowded one, so how does it stack up against the competition?

YesAuto Score:

90/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Great to drive 

+ Beautiful interior 

+ Your neighbours will be jealous 


CONS:

- Infotainment system embarrassed by competition 

- Cramped third row of seats

- SVR model expensive to run


Verdict: The Range Rover Sport has tonnes of kerb appeal and offers excellent interior quality, but it’s also a joy to drive. But if it’s the slickest infotainment system you’re after you should look at rival models from Mercedes, Audi and BMW. 



2022 Range Rover Sport: walking around it 


It’s might not be as sleek and streamlined as the Range Rover Velar, but we think the Range Rover Sport looks all the better for it. Stout and imposing, it dominates the road but at the same time manages to look significantly less frumpy and cumbersome than its bigger brother, the Range Rover. 


While the entry HSE trim offers relatively sober styling compared to the flashier HST and SVR levels, which add flamboyant dollops of carbon fibre trim in places like the boot lid and bonnet vents, no matter which trim you opt for this is a seriously good-looking SUV that will get you plenty of envious side-glances outside the school gates. 


Wheels range in size from 20-inch to 22-inch: the biggest rims really suit the Sport’s imposing frame, especially finished in black, and they actually don’t hamper the ride quality too much so you might want to add them for maximum kerb appeal. They cost around £1,600 though. 


The most shouty models in terms of styling are the range-topping, V8-powered SVR and SVR Carbon versions which go to town on the carbon fibre, including a panel on the bonnet. Land Rover also offers a bamboozling number of special editions, such as ‘HSE Silver’ which all come with slightly tweaked and unique designs. 



2022 Range Rover Sport: sitting inside it 


We dread to think how many cows are sacrificed for the interior of each Range Rover Sport, it’s absolutely coated in the stuff, but it makes the cabin feel very premium, especially if opted for in red or cream. Bit too blingy for your taste? You can also have brown or grey. And when your fingers aren’t touching soft leather they’re touching brushed aluminium or gloss-back plastic, not a penny has been spared.


Build quality is as good as anything from the Germans with no squeaks, rattles or worrying panel gaps, and all the important driving stuff, such as terrain modes, are controlled via a panel in the centre console which is in easy reach for the driver. A drive mode rotary dial that recesses when not in use is a premium touch, but it’s also the only switch that feels at all light and flimsy. Just don’t twist it too hard. 


Even entry HSE models come with a calming ambient lighting package and a frameless rear-view mirror, as well as full leather seats with 16-way adjustability and an electrically adjustable steering column. Jumping a level up to the HST trim adds things like illuminating treadplates and heated front and rear seats.



2022 Range Rover Sport: using the tech


The Range Rover Sport’s standard 10-inch infotainment screen is positioned perfectly within reach and can be adjusted in terms of angle, unlike the screen found in the Genesis GV80 which perches on top of the dash. But unlike the GV80 or something like the BMW X5 there’s no rotary dial or physical shortcut buttons, everything requires prodding the screen. 


There is a useful bank of shortcut buttons on the screen itself, including a home button, which makes bouncing around the menus relatively easy, although we would prefer them to be a bit bigger. The response time to inputs could be quicker too, it’s not nearly as reactive as BMW’s iDrive system or the latest MBUX programme found in Mercedes cars, but the graphics are sharp enough.


The all-important Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, for those who prefer their smartphone’s interface, but it can take a minute or two to pair up to the phone when the car is first started. Mercedes and BMW systems pair to phones quicker. 


Beneath the infotainment sits a second screen on which you can set up the climate control in both the front and back of the cabin, as well as select the same drives modes controlled by the rotary dial we mentioned earlier. Again, it uses touch-sensitive shortcut buttons to get to where you want to go but thankfully there are two physical dials for temperature, which are finished in a classy, knurled aluminium. 


If you want to get spending you can add a TV on the front fascia and in the rear of the front seat headrests, which could be attractive to parents who do long journeys with kids. Front and rear sensors and a reversing camera come as standard, which on a car of this size is reassuring to know. 


Other standard goodies include a high-quality Meridian sound system which is upgraded again on bigger engine models, but even in entry form does a fine job of cranking the tunes with clarity. It’s also important to note that all Range Rover Sport models offer no less than 12 power sockets, including two three-pin sockets. 



2022 Range Rover Sport: getting stuff in it


It only takes a casual glance at the Range Rover Sport’s huge size and boxy design to know that the cabin offers plenty of space. The throne-like front seats are surrounded by plenty of open space and the seats themselves offer big ranges of adjustment - higher spec models get 18-way adjustable seats, but 16-way seats come as standard. Armrests that can be folded away are a welcome touch on long journeys. 


The storage cubby in the centre console is wide and deep and has a handy built-in tray at the top for smaller items like keys and wallets. The glovebox opens automatically with the press of a button is deep and wide, and the door bins can swallow plenty of stuff, including large bottles of water. 


The outer rear seats are equally generous, passengers won’t struggle for head or legroom. The seats also slide forwards and backwards, as well as recline, so there’s no excuse for those in the back to complain about being uncomfortable. That is, except perhaps someone sitting in the middle seat, which is only big enough for an adult to do short journeys without feeling cramped and uncomfortable. An armrest with a storage tray folds down from the middle though, adding an extra degree of comfort for the outer passengers. 


To all the parents out there: the Ranger Rover Sport offers three Isofix points on the back seats. The Audi Q7 does too, but the BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 do not. 


Like the Audi Q7, Mercedes GLS and Volvo XC90 the Sport is available with a third row of seats, for an extra cost. Out of the three they are the most cramped, they only suit small children. In fact, Land Rover’s very own Discovery offers a bigger third bench. The outer seats of the second row in the Sport tilt forward to allow easier access to the back though, which helps matters. If you want to drive the SVR model or the hybrid P400e, you won’t have the option of seven seats. 


If you’re happy to do without the extra seats you’ll get a very respectable 784 litres of boot space to play with, which beats key rivals like the BMW X5 and X6, Audi Q7 and Q8, Mercedes GLE and Porsche Cayenne. It’s only beaten by the Volvo XC90’s 1,007 litres. Annoyingly, the Sport’s rear seats fold in a 60/40 split, whereas most rivals offer a more useful 40/20/40 split. 



Range Rover Sport: driving it


In true JLR fashion there’s a mind-boggling range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engine options to choose from. All non-SVR engines benefit from some form of electrification. The starting point is the D250 which features a 3.0-litre diesel mild-hybrid unit that knocks out 249hp and offers up to 34.1mpg. It will do the 0-62mph dash in 8.5 seconds, which feels a little sluggish for a car with the word ‘Sport’ in its name. 


Moving up to the D300 you get 300hp, a more respectable 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds and up to 33.1mpg. We have been running the D300 at YesAuto for a month now and we find it easy to achieve 32mpg by driving sensibly in Eco Mode, which is impressive as economy figures tend to way off the official WLTP rating in the real world.


Next up the chain is the 350hp D350 mild hybrid diesel, and by this point you’re paying a minimum of £86,055. It cracks the 62mph mark in 6.9 seconds and according to WLTP data offers up to 29.8mpg. 


When it comes to petrol, you can opt for the standard P400, which is a 400hp 3.0-litre unit good for a 5.9 seconds 0-62mph time and up to 27.2mpg. For an extra five grand or so you can get the P400e, a 404hp plug-in hybrid 2.0-litre engine that can travel up to 31 miles on electricity alone. This is far from class-leading, but it still makes it a sound choice for company car buyers. It covers ground from 0-62mph in a spritely 6.3 seconds. 


Sitting at the tippy top of the range is the Range Rover Sport SVR, the daddy of the lot most likely the version your favourite footballer drives. Under the bonnet it packs a 575hp 5.0-litre supercharged engine which propels the massive Sport from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 173mph. It sounds as gloriously brutal as it looks, but you’ll pay north of £100K to join the SVR club. 


The latest generation of Range Rover Sport uses an aluminium chassis, and it shows in how light and agile it is despite its size. It drives like a much smaller car, changing direction quickly and without complaint. The steering doesn’t offer a lot of feedback but show us a large SUV which does, and it turns with an accuracy and a lightness which is very welcome around town, where many Sports will spend most of their life. 


All Sport models come with air suspension which lowers the car when at a standstill for easier entry and exit, but also means it can adapt to driving conditions and styles. In the standard settings the car leans only a little and in the soft and predictable way you would want it to, but switching to Dynamic Mode flattens out the cornering experience impressively. The damping is excellent too, the Sport absorbs the rough stuff underneath to give a calming and peaceful ride. 


Even though the most off-roading most Sport owners will do is bumping up a kerb in Chelsea to park outside Whole Foods and dash in for some organic aubergines, it offers Land Rover’s legendary capabilities on a variety of slippery terrains - including snow, rock and sand - via the Terrain Response system. For most customers it’s just good to know it won’t let you down if you get caught out in a rain or snowstorm, which can happen anywhere. 



2022 Range Rover Sport: paying for it


For a full in-depth rundown on the Range Rover Sport’s prices, specs and YesAuto’s latest deals click here 


This is a premium car therefore it commands a premium price tag. For the entry D250 in HSE trim you’ll fork out £64,685, which rises to £68,575 in HST trim. Even so, this puts it roughly on a par with all of its rivals, except the Volvo XC90 which starts just under £60,000. 


As we mentioned, you’ll break the £100K mark for an SVR. Perhaps more worrying, it can only return up to 19mpg, and that’s when driving it like it’s made from spider’s webs, and this isn’t a car that encourages frugal driving. You’ll need the footballer wage to run an SVR without sitting up all night thinking of ways to save money, like making your own shoes and eating grass for six months of the year.


That said, we’ve found the official WLTP figures to be fairly accurate throughout the range, and that’s driving sensibly in Eco Mode rather than attempting some sort of mileage marathon. This means for us the sweet spot is the D300. The D250 feels a little underpowered for such a big car, and the D300’s 33.1mpg is not bad at all. 


If you have regular access to a charging point either at home or at work the P400e could make financial sense, the 30-odd miles of electric range is more than enough for the average daily commute and will easily cover day-to-day duties around town. It’s not the most leggy PHEV in the segment mind you.


In reliability surveys the Range Rover Sport gets average scores that fall short of the scores for cars like the BMW X6 or Mercedes GLE, but it scores higher than a lot of JLR products. From new it comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. 



2022 Range Rover Sport: comparing it 


The premium SUV segment is groaning with very good quality cars, and while none of them are necessarily better all-around than the Sport, some have it beat in key areas. 


If it’s out-and-out performance that gets you going then you’ll want to consider the Porsche Cayenne, which starts at three grand less than the cheapest Sport and packs more of a punch: 340hp and a 6.2-second 0-62mph time, as opposed to the D250 Range Rover Sport’s 249hp and 8.5 seconds. 


As we mentioned earlier, the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 have a more useful third row of seats, adults can actually sit in them without tucking their knees into their chins, but if you only need to shoehorn in a couple of small children the Sport’s rear bench is just about okay.


The biggest flaw we can level at the Sport is its slightly dim-witted infotainment system, which is beaten by the systems found in large SUVs from Audi, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. 


Compare these cars with the Range Rover Sport with YesAuto’s comparison tool here 


Frequently asked questions about the Range Rover Sport answered by YesAuto’s experts


Q: Why is the Range Rover Sport so expensive?

A: When compared to the other cars in the class the Range Rover Sport isn’t particularly expensive, but only in the sense that they all cost a significant amount of money. You’re paying for its size, premium cabin, powerful engines and, inevitably, its desirability. 


Q: Is the Range Rover Sport a 4x4?

A: All Range Rover Sport models are all-wheel-drive and come with Land Rover’s excellent Terrain Response system which tailors the AWD system for various slippery surfaces, inducing snow, rock and sand. It is one of the most capable cars off-road in its class. 


Q: Is the Range Rover Sport reliable?

A: In reliability surveys the Range Rover Sport gets average scores which fall short of the scores for cars like the BMW X6 or Mercedes GLE, but it scores higher than a lot of JLR products. From new it comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. 

Nick Francis

04 Jan 2022

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