From £48,9258

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.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Sports SUVs

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Land Rover range

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class
  • Ford Fiesta Vignale
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    We get a first taste of Ford’s poshest Fiesta in turbocharged diesel form
  • Seat Arona
    Car review
    17 November 2017
    Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?