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2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/4/2017

Con: Hefty curb weight, limited rear seat headroom, sloping liftgate compromises cargo space, questionable reliability.

Range Rover Sport HSE models are powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 375 hp and 375 pound-feet of torque. The Supercharged model features a blown version of that V8 that churns out an impressive 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is the only gearbox available.

Included on all Range Rover Sport models is a permanent 4WD system with a two-speed transfer case and the Terrain Response system. This system optimizes the powertrain, suspension and electronics systems for increased traction based on five different settings: general, grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts, sand and rock crawl. Properly equipped, Range Rover Sport models can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

Fuel economy estimates for the naturally aspirated engine are 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined, while the Supercharged model is expected to achieve 12/17/14 mpg.Range Rover Sport HSE models are powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 375 hp and 375 pound-feet of torque. The Supercharged model features a blown version of that V8 that churns out an impressive 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is the only gearbox available.

Included on all Range Rover Sport models is a permanent 4WD system with a two-speed transfer case and the Terrain Response system. This system optimizes the powertrain, suspension and electronics systems for increased traction based on five different settings: general, grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts, sand and rock crawl. Properly equipped, Range Rover Sport models can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

Fuel economy estimates for the naturally aspirated 4.4-liter engine are 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined, while the Supercharged model is expected to achieve 12/17/14 mpg.

Body: The 2010 Range Rover Sport is a midsize SUV available in HSE and Supercharged trim levels.

The HSE comes standard with 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, foglights, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, an adjustable air suspension and adaptive damping, keyless entry/ignition, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, power front seats, driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a navigation system with off-road tracking, a rearview camera and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon Logic 7 stereo with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, USB port and separate iPod connection.

An optional Luxury package adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, a heated windshield, heated washer jets, heated front and rear seats, available piano-black trim, premium leather upholstery, additional driver seat adjustments and a cooler box. The Supercharged model includes all of the above plus steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, Brembo front brakes, a Dynamic Response suspension system (enhances on-road and off-road handling), a unique grille and upholstery and satellite radio.

Stand-alone options for all models include a rear differential lock, various wheel styles, upgraded leather upholstery, a 360-degree parking assist camera, satellite radio and a rear-seat entertainment system with LCD screens mounted in the front headrests. Adaptive cruise control is optional on the Supercharged only.

Interior: One feature that most SUV drivers praise is the commanding view of the road, afforded by a high seating position. The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport takes this positive a step further by giving passengers a similarly clear view thanks to its elevated rear stadium seating. These raised rear seats may limit headroom for taller adults, though. Otherwise, the cabin can comfortably accommodate four adults. As in all Range Rovers, these occupants are surrounded by supple leathers, rich wood trim and top-notch materials.

Compared with the previous year's dash, the multitude of buttons and switches have been reduced by half, making for much easier operation. The quality of that switchgear, and indeed the rest of the dash, has been dramatically improved. Also new for 2010 is the inclusion of a towing assist system that works in conjunction with the optional surround camera. This system displays the predicted path of a towed trailer when backing up. Carrying over from previous models is the Sport's maximum cargo space of 71 cubic feet. This capacity is about average for this class, but the sloping rear window can hamper the loading of large and bulky items.

Safety: The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport features antilock disc brakes (more powerful Brembo brakes are fitted to the Supercharged model), hill-descent control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Traction and stability control with rollover protection is also standard on all models.

Supercharged models equipped with the Adaptive Cruise Control system also benefit from the built-in Advanced Emergency Brake Assist system. This system uses the forward-looking radar to determine if a collision is imminent and primes the braking system. In extreme cases, the system will even initiate braking.

Pro: Refined road manners, powerful supercharged V8 engine, iconic Range Rover name and styling, high-class cabin, theoretically capable of tackling off-road conditions.

Driving: Even though the 2010 Range Rover Sport is billed as a more nimble cousin to the top-of-the-line Range Rover, it still falls victim to some of the same pitfalls. A hefty 5,500-pound curb weight is the primary culprit, which is about 1,000 pounds more than an Infiniti FX50. This year's power increase helps to hasten acceleration, though, bringing estimated figures within striking distance of the competition.

This year's revised Dynamic Response system and adaptive suspension dampers offer up a bit more cornering ability, but truth be told, most owners won't be using the Range Rover Sport to slice and dice through twisting mountain passes. Despite the "Sport" moniker, we contend that the vast majority are more interested in a plush, quiet and smooth cabin -- something this "baby Range Rover" delivers in spades.

Edmunds Say: The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers a bit more maneuverability than the larger Range Rover without losing any of the comfort, power, style or prestige that accompanies its range-topping stablemate.

What’s New: The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport receives a number of mechanical and feature updates. Underneath some minor exterior styling revisions are all-new V8 engines and a revised six-speed automatic transmission. Chassis refinements include updates to the brakes, active damping and Terrain Response systems. The interior is further refined with a revised control layout, a new hard-drive-based navigation system, available paddle shifters for the Supercharged model and a 360-degree parking assist camera.

Introduction: Land Rovers have come a long way from their utilitarian safari roots. There was a time when these supremely capable off-roaders once roamed the African plains as freely as the animals migrating across the Masai Mara. Nowadays, spotting one of these current luxury SUVs in the wild is as likely as spotting a Cape buffalo in Times Square. Somewhere along the way, the brand lost its status as a savannah-taming truck, to become a status symbol for the well-to-do.

The 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is the latest progression of the premium luxury SUV intended primarily for city dwellers. As the name would imply, the Sport model is a more nimble and maneuverable variant of the larger Range Rover. In reality, the Sport has more in common with the midrange LR3, as they share many of the major chassis components -- but with the higher-output Range Rover V8 engines. As such, the Range Rover Sport is marketed as a sport touring SUV, with greater road-going performance and a reduced focus on off-road prowess. Despite this urban focus, though, the Range Rover Sport still possesses plenty of wilderness-taming capabilities.

The vast majority of changes for the 2010 Range Rover Sport are indeed aimed at increasing its appeal to wealthy buyers seeking luxury and street performance. The most notable change comes in the form of two new direct-injected 5.0-liter V8s. The base V8 is rated at 375 horsepower, a significant 70-hp bump over last year's 4.4-liter V8. The supercharged V8, meanwhile cranks out a whopping 510 hp, a boost of more than 100 hp compared to last year and in the same league as the new BMW X5 M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Notably, fuel economy hasn't suffered as a result of the power increase (though admittedly, those mileage numbers are still quite abysmal).

This newfound power goes a long way toward making this 5,500-pound SUV feel more alive. But what should really be weighing on a buyer's conscience is Land Rover's reputation for reliability, something that's been poor in the past and is still a big question mark now given the brand's new Indian ownership. For this reason, we suggest a serious look at competing luxury SUVs like the X5/X5 M, Infiniti FX50 and Porsche Cayenne -- all of which are less likely to cause mechanical headaches. But for those who still desire a luxurious cabin, status, capable on-road handling and off-road capabilities, the 2010 Range Rover Sport is still one of the few games in town.

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