Here’s the thing. A BMW 530d SE Touring is, in real terms, nearly as spacious as a Range Rover Sport. The badge is at least as prestigious, it’s quite a lot quicker and has handling from another world.
It will use less than half the fuel of the Sport and warm the planet at half the speed. Experience of both suggests it is rather better built yet it costs more than £23,000 less and is probably no less likely to be driven off road. Viewed like this, you can perhaps see why the environmentalists are getting upset.
What they cannot be expected to appreciate is the sheer sense of occasion offered by the Sport or the character of the engine. They will not see that, because children sit high and can see out, it makes for a peaceful journey. And they’ll miss the fact that the Sport is a car of rare and real charm.
But the greatest achievement is not just meeting the likes of the X5 and Cayenne head-on in terms of dynamics, but it does so while remaining true to everything Land Rover stands for.
It would have been much easier to make a car that merely looked the part, and the result may even have been more capable for most users, most of the time. But it wouldn’t have been a proper Land Rover and, for Land Rover, that’s very important.
For all its flaws, this is a true Land Rover and a fine one at that.