From £48,9258

Land Rover’s chassis engineers faced a unique challenge with the Sport: combining on-road handling with the level of off-road capability expected of all Land Rovers while, at the same time, serving up a quality of ride to suit its day job of family wagon. No, none of the car’s ride, handling or off-road ability approaches perfection but the blend of all three is something to behold.

The Sport is stiffly sprung so the ride around town is more bearable than brilliant, but show it a decent road and you soon see why it has been set up that way. The combination of air springs, electronically controlled damping and active anti-roll bars produce exceptional primary body control. There’s little roll in corners and enough grip and steering feel to just about stand up its ambitious Sport aspirations.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Despite its 2.5-tonnes, the Sport has immaculate handling manners; your Nan could drive one

Yes, a BMW X5 handles better, but we suspect the tables would turn off-road. Extensive experience of the Sport in difficult conditions reveals the road-spec tyres to be the only obstacle standing between it and truly exceptional off-road performance – and the same is true of both petrol and diesel models. The 20-inch alloys should be the absolute biggest wheels you choose if you don’t want to overly compromise ride quality in the name of extravagant bling. 

Top 5 Sports SUVs

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster 2017
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    It's the slower and cheaper of the two AMG GT Roadsters, but these adjectives are harsh given this excellent open-top's broad range of talents
  • Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster 2017
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster arrives with an upgraded chassis over the Coupé and tweaks that make it even more thrilling to drive
  • First Drive
    29 March 2017
    Sporty GT Line styling gives Kia's city car the visual lift it needs to go toe-to-toe with its European rivals, and the 1.2-litre engine does a power of good for its drivability
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 110 SE Navigation
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    This is a first UK drive of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf, which comes with an updated infotainment system and a lower price. What's not to like?
  • Volkswagen Golf R
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    A facelift for the fantastically capable all-rounder delivers more power and new tech to the cabin, improving on an already exceptional formula