The Sport is all the performance SUV you'd ever need – and frankly, all you'd ever want as well
Andrew Frankel Autocar
30 December 2014

If I were a car, I’d be an SUV, because I’m large, slow and fond of the outdoors, yet less brave than I want you to think.

I’d like to be a quick-witted technophile like the BMW i8 – the car I’d have chosen if the snake-hipped Mr Prior hadn’t been so quick out the blocks – but I’m not. 

The problem is that I don’t much like SUVs. In fact, I’ve been slagging them off for years. They’re cumbersome, profligate, wasteful and only fun in the one environment they’ll never visit. But I had to think of something.

Then and from nowhere, the idea of the Range Rover Sport appeared. I wasn’t worried, for random hilarious thoughts tinged with just a hint of plausibility do occasionally bubble to the surface of my mind before bursting.

But the Range Rover Sport-shaped bubble didn’t burst. It bobbed. Up and down like that bloody plastic submarine that wouldn’t sink in the bath when I was a kid.

I could, of course, stop thinking about it whenever I liked, but that’s not solving the problem; it’s just walking into the next room. Every time I returned, there it was. Bob, bob, bob. So I had to give it serious thought; like a bad dream, it was the only way to rid it from my mind. 

Did I like how it drove? Tick. Did I like how it looked? Double tick. Did I feel pleased or cheesed off on Monday morning when I threw open the curtains and saw it waiting for me? Embarrassingly pleased. Double tick, underlined with added happy face.

So I showed it to Mrs Frankel, who doesn’t dislike SUVs. She despises them. I asked her what she thought it cost and, despite being far more intelligent and better read than I, she chimed in at £100k, or about £30k more than the cost of this car.

Next, I drove it hundreds of miles and concluded that no SUV capable of carrying seven people ever came within a county of steering and handling this well. The performance is good, too, and the ride and the refinement – everything, in fact, save the discount-rack navigation. 

But it’s the interior that gets it on to this website. Forget where you are, what you’re doing or who you’re with; it’s enough just to be on board. I like the ghostly dials, the sumptuous upholstery, the slabs of metal and, okay, the elevated driving position, too. Ignoring every purpose of the car to which it is attached, this is an environment in which I want to stay.

Which is why if I were an SUV, I’d be a Range Rover Sport. Or at least I’d like to be.

Come back tomorrow as we reveal another star car of 2014

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport offers just the right dynamic twist on the well trodden SUV formula

Join the debate

Comments
5

30 December 2014
"Did I feel pleased or cheesed off on Monday morning when I threw open the curtains and saw it waiting for me? Embarrassingly pleased. Double tick, underlined with added happy face."

For me this sums it up, its more about what it says about you than what you say about it. However what you think it says about you may not be the truth you wish to hear. Do you get the sense that I may be with you wife on this one

2 January 2015
audiolab wrote:

"Did I feel pleased or cheesed off on Monday morning when I threw open the curtains and saw it waiting for me? Embarrassingly pleased. Double tick, underlined with added happy face."

For me this sums it up, its more about what it says about you than what you say about it. However what you think it says about you may not be the truth you wish to hear. Do you get the sense that I may be with you wife on this one

Heaven forfend that an object that a consumer purchases should ever give them pleasure! I get the impression in here that some people - normally 4x4 haters - would prefer us to be in a communist state where everyone is given the same and precisely no more than they need. Very resentful, left wing approach to life. Joyless too.


30 December 2014
One of the photos has the driver dressed in green wellies, what I presume to be a tweed jacket and cloth cap - how many buyers fit the outdoor landowner profile? If you really want to dress up as a typical Range Rover sport buyer... answers on a postcard.

30 December 2014
I can't see the pictures.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals