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It may only be 2015, but there's a new 2016 Model Year Range Rover Sport on the market. Has it changed much? This is our first UK drive
7 August 2015

What is it?

The new 2016 Model Year Range Rover Sport may look just like the 2015-year version but this particular one is fitted with the new 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel engine, which is more than a little different. It has a bit more oomph courtesy of a power hike to 302bhp but, more usefully, some extra torque, taking the maximum output to 516lb ft - the same as a LaFerrari V12.

What's it like?

You might think that with an extra 14bhp and 74lb ft of torque, the new model would feel noticeably quicker but the truth is, it doesn’t. In any case, the SDV6 has always felt pretty gutsy.

The dash from rest to 60mph still takes 6.8 seconds, but it’s the additional surge in the mid-range – from 2000-3000rpm – that makes this such an effective motor, even in a two-and-a-bit-ton car. Also, because the eight-speed automatic gearbox is determined to keep the engine in this rev-range, the minute you prod the throttle, it’s nearly always there, at your disposal, whether you’re in town or cruising on the motorway.

Two issues remain, however. Off boost, when you're pulling out of side turnings, for example, it can take a while for the turbos to spool up and get going.

Also, if you’re pootling around town at, say, 25mph, and put your foot down, the Rangie suddenly becomes overly eager. It drops a gear, the two turbos spin up, and the abruptness and amount of torque catapult you unexpectedly. 

There seems to be slightly more engine noise than before, in the form of a deep bassy thrum at about 2500rpm. However, it’s not unpleasant and adds to the general throatiness that’s always been a part of the JLR V6 diesel experience.

Lower CO2 emissions of 185g/km have dropped the SDV6 down two tax bands compared with the old model, while it’s almost 3mpg more economical on the combined cycle. It’s also now Euro 6 compliant.

Elsewhere, things are much the same as before. This Autobiography Dynamic version comes with handling gizmos such as Adaptive Dynamics, Torque Vectoring and Dynamic Response, which combine to make the Sport handle very well indeed.

The steering is sharp and direct, without being too aggressive on turn-in, and although there’s little real feedback, it weights up nicely as you add on more lock. It’s amazing how little body roll there is, considering the height of the vehicle and the weight the springs have to contend with. The Sport feels as agile as any SUV bar, perhaps, a Cayenne.

Refinement is excellent. Barely any vibration from the SDV6 engine breaches the cabin, which is also superbly isolated from high-speed wind and road roar.

In town, the ride on the 21in wheels is a bit lumpy. The car never crashes over bumps but does thud heavily on broken surfaces. You can almost feel the amount of unsprung mass that’s moving around beneath you. Also, for this tester, the brakes lack some bite at the top of their travel but work effectively beyond it.

Inside the Sport it’s the usual sumptuous Range Rover experience. On this model, that includes lashings of leather, turned aluminium trims on the dash and doors, and a luxury suede headlining.

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The infotainment system, despite some upgrades for the 2016 model year that includes an app to remotely lock and unlock your car, still feels rather ponderous compared with the excellent iDrive system in a BMW X5. The 8.0in touchscreen is of a quite low definition by today’s standards, too, but does get sharper surround-view cameras, which are used to create the new bird's eye parking feature.

Finally, if you’re constantly struggling to open a boot with your hands full of shopping, the Sport has the answer to your prayers. The new Gesture Tailgate feature means a quick waggle of your foot under the rear bumper is enough to pop the tailgate open.

Should I buy one?

We were always happy to recommend the old model and this new version remains every bit the great car that one was, with a few subtle tweaks.

There are cheaper luxury SUVs (this Autobiography Dynamic has shot up by £1600, and now costs £77,850 before options) and smoother riding ones, too. None, however, combine the luxury the Sport offers together with its handling poise, agility, off-road ability and, of course, its badge.

Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic

Location Surrey; On sale Now; Price £77,850; Engine 6 cyls, 2993cc, turbodiesel; Power 302bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 516lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic; Kerb weight 2115kg; 0-60mph 6.8sec; Top speed 130mph; Economy 40.4mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 185g/km, 35%

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Comments
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Will86 9 August 2015

@Adrian987

The RRS is clearly a very good car, and in a lower spec nearer £50k it makes more sense, for those fortunate enough to have the money. But I maintain that on this £77k model, with its obvious bias towards on road dynamics and huge cost, it's off road abilities are not very relevant yet they compromise the rest of the car.
Winston Churchill 9 August 2015

Will86 wrote: The RRS is

Will86 wrote:

The RRS is clearly a very good car, and in a lower spec nearer £50k it makes more sense, for those fortunate enough to have the money. But I maintain that on this £77k model, with its obvious bias towards on road dynamics and huge cost, it's off road abilities are not very relevant yet they compromise the rest of the car.

I think it depends where you live. There are many places that have very harsh winters indeed where the technology is very useful. There is a temptation to view a car through a uniquely British lens which I don't believe is right. I think you'll also find that, with the right tyres, this car is almost unstoppable off road.

289 9 August 2015

@ will86

Well, we haven't managed to get rid of the irritating wasp that is WC, but amazingly we have shamed him into making an actual comment about a motorcar....even if it was a bit feeble and stating the bleeding obvious....huge progress, and a first I think.
WC obviously types very slowly if he thinks I have spent 'hours' on my posts.....about 10 minutes might be closer to the mark. And I didn't write an essay on the RRS boot...if he bothered to read it (which he should if he is going to comment on it).......it was about keyless entry per se !
Winston Churchill 9 August 2015

289 wrote: Well, we haven't

289 wrote:

Well, we haven't managed to get rid of the irritating wasp that is WC, but amazingly we have shamed him into making an actual comment about a motorcar....even if it was a bit feeble and stating the bleeding obvious....huge progress, and a first I think.
WC obviously types very slowly if he thinks I have spent 'hours' on my posts.....about 10 minutes might be closer to the mark. And I didn't write an essay on the RRS boot...if he bothered to read it (which he should if he is going to comment on it).......it was about keyless entry per se !

Another post about me! 289, May I suggest you get your husband to post here in the future? He might be able to tone down the hormones and remove all your irrelevant posts (all of them in this thread)? Thanks.

289 10 August 2015

@ WC

Ah well...that improvement didn't last long....back to (inaccurate) type!
Will86 8 August 2015

Good but £77k Good?

Given no one will realistically take a £77k car off road, is its off-road ability really anything more than something to brag about? If you leave the 4x4 capabilities out of the equation and try not to be badge snob, you're left with something that's luxurious, pretty brisk, handles tidily, rides reasonably well and is quite practical. I can think of many cars for tens of thousands of pounds less that would fit this criteria - think what you could do with the money left over...
Winston Churchill 8 August 2015

Will86 wrote: Given no one

Will86 wrote:

Given no one will realistically take a £77k car off road, is its off-road ability really anything more than something to brag about? If you leave the 4x4 capabilities out of the equation and try not to be badge snob, you're left with something that's luxurious, pretty brisk, handles tidily, rides reasonably well and is quite practical. I can think of many cars for tens of thousands of pounds less that would fit this criteria - think what you could do with the money left over...

You could also compare a Ford Mondeo with a Bentley and that would be just as useful a comparison.

289 9 August 2015

@ WC

...and still you roll on...like a dog being sick...never ending.
Winston Churchill 9 August 2015

289 wrote: ...and still you

289 wrote:

...and still you roll on...like a dog being sick...never ending.

No one cares.

289 9 August 2015

@WC

WC wrote." No one cares"

Eureka...you have got the message!...now wobble off -there's a good chap

bowsersheepdog 9 August 2015

289 wrote: ...and still you

289 wrote:

...and still you roll on...like a dog being sick...never ending.

You're absolutely correct. He has nothing to say, he just can't stand anybody disliking what he likes.

Winston Churchill 9 August 2015

bowsersheepdog wrote: 289

bowsersheepdog wrote:
289 wrote:

...and still you roll on...like a dog being sick...never ending.

You're absolutely correct. He has nothing to say, he just can't stand anybody disliking what he likes.

Ladies, you've both spent significantly more time in a pre-menstrual tizz about me than you have talking about the car. Especially 289 who has devoted over an hour to his soliloquys. Surely it's easier to ignore someone? One has to deduce that someone who writes a polemic about a boot lid and then spends an hour going after another person has entirely too much to say. I wonder who you are, 289. I think we've seen you here before haven't we? Which incarnation are you this time? FAIL.

Adrian987 8 August 2015

@Will86, the answer has to be yes or no

Whatcar summarised it by saying "If you have got the money, the Rangie is really in a class of its own." They also liked the RR Sport HSE enough to award it large SUV of the year, but they did say the Mazda CX-5 (a £40k saving) or BMW X3 (a £27k saving) could have easily won the award and would suit many buyers, so for them, it could be a no.
Cobnapint 7 August 2015

Faultless to date...?

Did you get yesterday...? Give it time....

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