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2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Td6 Long-Term Arrival Review

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/18/2016 Angus MacKenzie, Robin Trajano

Another year, another Range Rover, and at first glance this one doesn't quite add up. I've gone from a snarling, supercharged 510 hp to a humming, turbocharged 254 hp. The sexy 22-inch wheels and Italian racing red Brembo brake calipers have gone, too, and the top speed's been clipped by 25 mph to a mere 130 mph. But I'm playing a numbers game with the 2016 Range Rover Sport HSE Td6. I want to find out whether less can deliver more.

One Range Rover Sport departs and another arrives. I'm swapping 510 hp of supercharged V-8 for 443 lb-ft of turbodiesel V-6.

The Td6 badge on the tailgate of the handsome Montalcino Red Sport HSE means the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine that's new for the 2016 Range Rover family in the U.S. is under the hood. The Td6 engine might only have 254 hp, but it boasts a healthy 443 lb-ft of torque at just 1,750 rpm. That's a mere 18 lb-ft less than the punchy 5.0-liter V-8 that powered the Sport Supercharged Dynamic I've just handed back, delivered 750 rpm lower down the rev range.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6 front three quarter in motion© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6 front three quarter in motion My $83,510 HSE Td6 cost precisely $10,436 less to drive off the showroom floor than the Supercharged Dynamic, and apart from V-8 with the go-faster chip, the big wheels and tires, the red Brembo calipers, and the $1,800 Aruba Gold premium paint, it's more or less identically equipped. The $2,620 front Climate Control & Visibility package—$90 more expensive than it was last year—delivers 16-way power front seats that are heated and cooled, adaptive xenon headlights, a blind-spot sensor, and reverse traffic detection. The Terrain Response 2 off-road system and low-range transfer case were standard on the Supercharged Dynamic; on the HSE Td6 they are part of the $1,750 Extra Duty package.

Adaptive cruise cost $1,295—same as last year—but the 825W Meridian Premium Audio sound system was a bargain this time around, only costing an additional $1,100, compared with the $1,940 Land Rover charged for it previously. The most costly option is the $2,900 Driver Assistance package, which adds lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic perpendicular and parallel parking, 360-degree park distance control, and a head-up display to the Range Rover Sport's suite of capabilities.

Launching a diesel-powered vehicle in the U.S. in the aftermath of #Dieselgate might seem a tad misguided, but Land Rover's plans were locked and loaded well before the Volkswagen scandal exploded. However, #Dieselgate appears to have had little impact on sales of diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi SUVs, and the Jaguar Land Rover North America folks report 20 percent of all Range Rovers are currently being ordered with the Td6 engine.

Why? Twenty-two, 29, and 25, that's why. Those numbers are, respectively, the EPA city, highway, and combined fuel economy figures for the HSE Td6. Now, the Td6 costs $1,500 more than the 340-hp, 332-lb-ft, 3.0-liter, supercharged gas V-6 that is the base engine across the Range Rover lineup, and which the EPA rates at 17/22/19 mpg city/highway/combined. But with diesel currently cheaper than the unleaded premium the gas V-6 requires (as I write, it's 50 cents a gallon cheaper at the local Chevron in El Segundo) in theory the more fuel-efficient Td6 should pay for itself in less than 30,000 miles, after which the savings at the pump are all gravy.

The math looks even more compelling in the context of the Supercharged Dynamic's EPA ratings: 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined. According to the Monroney stickers I'm going to spend 43 percent less on fuel over the coming year.

We'll see. Let the numbers game begin.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Td6
BASE PRICE $72,445
PRICE AS TESTED $83,510
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.0L/252-hp/443-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,326 lb (50/50%)
WHEELBASE 115.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 190.9 x 81.6 x 70.1 in
0-60 MPH 7.6 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.8 sec @ 86.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 120 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.80 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.6 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 22/29/25 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 171/130 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.90 lb/mi

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