You have to climb up into a Range Rover; it’s part of the appeal. However, with its Access suspension setting selected, the new Sport sits 10mm lower than the last, so the process is less of a stretch than it was previously.
The Sport’s cabin is lavish, stylish and substantial, and also much more inviting than the typical premium SUV from Germany. Land Rover has managed to develop the car in two opposing directions simultaneously, making it more usefully versatile and more luxurious. From inside, at least, the Sport really has come of age.
Up front, you sit higher than in the average 4x4 but also quite recumbent, in what is now described as the ‘sports command driving position’, which feels about 80 percent ‘classic’ Range Rover and 20 percent ‘new’ Evoque.
Your view out is excellent, but it’s the sheer square footage of expensive materials you’ll marvel at. Our test car had beautiful Ivory leather on the door cards and across the fascia as well as on the seats, as well as tactile aluminium veneer decorating a raised centre console that brings the exterior’s high-design appeal inside.
The climate control switchgear and joystick gear selector reminded us of those in a Jaguar F-Type, but they’re no less fitting. The instruments are conventional and clear and the touchscreen multimedia system – now navigated via touch-sensitive pads rather than buttons – works well.
It's also pleasing to find that the standard Bluetooth phone system works well, although we had to connect twice to successfully stream audio. The sat-nav system is functional, too, but it's starting to look a little dated and it could be faster. The Sport is the first Land Rover to be offered with a colour head-up display however, which can relay sat-nav instructions.