You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged Long-Term Verdict

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/6/2016 Angus MacKenzie, Motor Trend Staff

Dusk is settling softly over the desert with a warm sigh, the pink sky purpling behind the mountains to the east. Ahead, the empty road stretches down the broad valley, sweeping gently left and right through the sagebrush.

We cruise at 110 mph or so, with occasional bursts beyond 120 on the longer straights, keeping to the center of the road, watching for wildlife on either side, and scanning the horizon for the distant twinkle of headlights. The chassis feels utterly planted and totally composed, the long-travel suspension effortlessly soaking up the heaves and hollows while deftly controlling unwanted body motions.

The road head-butts a low range of hills at the end of the valley. Fast, open sweepers give way to a snake-wriggle of tarmac up and over the ridge. I snick the shifter to the left, into Sport mode, and attack. The supercharged, 510-hp V-8 rumbles and digs deep as 5,430 pounds of aluminum and steel charge up the hill.

2015 Land Rover Range rover Sport Supercharged front three quarters 04© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Land Rover Range rover Sport Supercharged front three quarters 04 Corner. Hard on the brakes with the left foot, and the Brembos instantly wash off the excess speed as I start to pull the steering wheel off-center. No need to touch the paddles; the eight-speed ZF drops two, three gears, perfectly matching revs along the way. There's minimal, beautifully controlled body roll as we turn in, and the meaty Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires bite as we rush the clipping point. Wait for it ... wait for it ... there! Squeeze on the gas pedal, unleash the rumble, and feel the torque-vectoring rear differential help rotate the big beast through the turn.

Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, and within a couple of miles it's all over. A steady stream of lights in the distance signals we're nearing the main highway. Time to ease up, sit back, crank the 825-watt Meridian sound system, and cruise back into to town. It was a fitting farewell to the 2015 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged.

One year, and 20,626 miles. Fuel consumption averaged 15.0 mpg, not that far off the claimed CAFE combined city/highway figure of 16 mpg. With the 27.7-gallon tank, the theoretical cruising range computes to about 400 miles, a figure we reached four times in practice. The worst mileage of 9.0 mpg came after 170 miles of hustling along surface streets to get around particularly brutal L.A. traffic; the best of 20.4 mpg came after more than 300 miles cruising across the high plains of northern Nevada. The onboard trip computer proved hopelessly optimistic, routinely inflating the mpg numbers by anywhere between 10 and 20 percent.

Mechanical issues? None. The 15,000-mile service—new oil and oil filter, washer fluid topped off, a check of brake and tire wear, plus a factory upgrade of the sat-nav software—was routine apart from the $175 spent to correct our wheel alignment. The windshield suffered a small star fracture in the top left-hand corner thanks to a stone thrown up by an oncoming semi near Boise, Idaho, and some thoughtless klutz near Yosemite managed to inflict the mother of all door dings right on the right-hand rear wheel fender lip.

Land Rover of South Bay in L.A. quoted $1,069 to fix the door ding. I gritted my teeth and said no, though it meant a silent curse almost every time I parked the Rangie. Even after a year, I could never resist an over-the-shoulder glance to admire the rakish sheetmetal hunkered down over those big wheels, the pale gold pearl paint shimmering liquidly in the SoCal sunshine. Inside, you don't get the metal trim on the vents, or around the power window switches as on the big Range Rover, but the dark brown and warm beige color combination was a refreshingly elegant alternative to the usual black, and proved easy to keep looking good.

2015-Land-Rover-Range-Rover-Sport-interior© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Land-Rover-Range-Rover-Sport-interior What didn't I like? As with my previous Range Rover, the infotainment user interface was annoyingly clunky to use, requiring too many stabs at the slow-to-respond touchscreen to access functions and information. The Sport's one-piece tailgate makes loading easier than the two-piece unit on the big Range Rover, but the rear seat backs don't lie flat when you flick them forward, compromising the usable load space. And the 22-inch wheel/tire combo wasn't optimal in extreme snow/slush, or off-road, where I constantly worried about pinching a sidewall. If I had my time again, I'd probably stick with the standard 21-inch rims, or maybe even 20s.

When I took delivery of the 2015 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged a year ago, I wanted to test a pet theory, that today's fast, powerful, lavishly equipped luxury SUVs really are all-weather, all-road grand turismos, cars that will take you pretty much wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go there, in style and comfort. And after almost 21,000 miles behind the wheel that included racing winter storms in Idaho and Wyoming, mooching along dirt trails in the Joshua Tree National Park, and several runs from L.A. to the Bay Area with U-Haul trailers attached, the Range Rover Sport has proven the point. It is a genuine, and genuinely useful, GT, an effortlessly quick and comfortable trans-continental cruiser.

More on our long-term 2015 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged:

Motor Trend Real MPG Chevron logo 02© Provided by MotorTrend Motor Trend Real MPG Chevron logo 02

Our Car
SERVICE LIFE 13 mo / 20,404 mi
BASE PRICE $81,020
OPTIONS Dynamic package ($2,750: digital instrument panel, Oxford leather, 155-mph limiter, stainless steel pedals), Front Climate Control and Visibility package ($2,530: heated windshield, xenon headlights, blind spot monitoring), Meridian 19-speaker sound system ($1,940), metallic paint ($1,800), adaptive cruise control ($1,295), 22-in wheels ($1,200), Rover Tow package ($650: hitch receiver, tow electrical connector), Protection package ($537: all-season floor mats, cargo floor mat), wheel locks ($134)
PRICE AS TESTED $93,856
AVG ECON/CO2 15.0 mpg / 1.29 lb/mi
PROBLEM AREAS None
MAINTENANCE COST $0 (oil change, inspection)
NORMAL-WEAR COST $175 (alignment)
3-YEAR VALUE* $50,682/$53,100/$56,600
RECALLS Front passenger airbag sensor, door latch, second row seat, brake vacuum hose
*ALG lease residual/IntelliChoice trade-in/retail (at 42,000 miles)

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD
ENGINE TYPE Supercharged 90-deg V-8, alum heads/block
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 305.1 cu in/5,000cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 9.5:1
POWER (SAE NET) 510 hp @ 6,000 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 461 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
REDLINE 6,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 10.6 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE/LOW RATIO 3.31:1/2.21:1/2.93:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 18.3:1 (on center)
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.8
BRAKES, F;R 15.0-in vented disc; 14.4-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS 9.5 x 22-in, cast aluminum
TIRES 275/40R22 108Y M+S Continental CrossContact LX Sport
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 115.1 in
TRACK, F/R 66.5/66.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 191.0 x 78.1 x 70.1-72.6 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 8.4-10.9 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 24.3-33.0/24.9-31.0 deg
TURNING CIRCLE 39.7 ft
CURB WEIGHT 5,430 lb
WEIGHT DIST., F/R 50/50%
TOWING CAPACITY 7,716 lb
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 39.4/39.1 in
LEGROOM, F/R 42.2/37.0 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 60.7/59.5 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R 62.2/27.7 cu ft
PAYLOAD CAPACITY 1,404 lb
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING 6,834 lb
GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING 14,550 lb
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.6 sec
0-40 2.4
0-50 3.3
0-60 4.4
0-70 5.7
0-80 7.1
0-90 8.8
0-100 10.7
0-110 13.1
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.2
QUARTER MILE 12.9 sec @ 108.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 121 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.86 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.8 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,500 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/yes
AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/50,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 27.7 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 14/19/16 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 241/177 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.22 lb/mile
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 14.4/19.5/16.3 mpg
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

2015 Land Rover Range rover Sport Supercharged front three quarters 02© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Land Rover Range rover Sport Supercharged front three quarters 02
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon