2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Although off-road capabilities have always been part of the Range Rover Sport's appeal, owners of this midsize luxury SUV typically spend more of their time driving in town than they do fording streams or climbing over rocks. The first-generation Sport catered to that reality, as it was more on-road-focused than its bigger brother, the Range Rover.
But the original Range Rover Sport was also heavy, even by SUV standards, and that dragged down fuel mileage and kept it from feeling truly sporty around turns. Moreover, while its interior was nice enough, it wasn't as richly furnished as some rivals in this class. The company has addressed all these issues in the fully redesigned 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. It should be right up your alley if you're looking for a do-it-all utility vehicle loaded with high-end ambience.
The improvements on the 2014 Range Rover Sport begin with a significant diet. Thanks to a new all-aluminum chassis shared with the standard-size Range Rover, it has lost more than 700 pounds by Land Rover's estimates. This, along with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, results in higher fuel economy ratings. And if the supercharged V8 is still too thirsty for you, there's a new supercharged V6 that provides solid performance and even better mpg.
In spite of its weight loss, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is actually longer and wider than its predecessors, and this has opened up more passenger room in the cabin and allowed Land Rover to offer a third-row seat for the first time. The third row is just for children, and small ones at that, but it broadens the Land Rover Range Rover Sport's appeal in this class, as competitors like the BMW X5 and Lexus GX 460 also offer seven-passenger seating.
Land Rover has also applied many of the Range Rover Evoque's design cues to the Sport, which now looks sleek, attractive and expensive. Looks do not deceive either, as the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport costs quite a bit more than either the BMW or Lexus, or the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Only the X5 will keep up with the Range Rover Sport on a curvy road, though.
Stiff competition also comes from the 2014 Porsche Cayenne. which costs about the same as the Land Rover when comparably optioned. The Porsche lacks the Range Rover Sport's third-row seat and off-road capability, but offers a wider range of engine options and is one of the best-handling SUVs known to man. As is often the case, your decision will hinge on your priorities. If you're expecting your next midsize luxury SUV to accompany you on all of life's adventures regardless of the terrain, the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport should be on your list of candidates.