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Steering, suspension and comfort

Sitting on air springs that emit very little low-speed ‘sproing’, the Sport benefits from its hefty kerb weight at urban speeds, its body easing away surface imperfections and potholes in impressive fashion.

Not quite so impressive, perhaps, as its bigger Range Rover brother, but little worse, and considerably better than most of the competition.

The stability control can be a little keen in the wet

As standard, base-powered Sports come with 19-inch alloy wheels, but even those fitted with the optional 20-inch alloys are a pleasure to ride in.

Mercedes-Benz GLE is similarly absorbent, but the Sport retains more composure at speed. You can discount most of the others; a Porsche Cayenne, for example, gets nowhere near the Sport’s level of ride comfort.

What the Cayenne does deliver, albeit hardly surprisingly if you consider how much farther a Range Rover Sport ought to be able to travel off road, is superior fast-road and limit-handling characteristics.

The Sport offers instead more versatility, along with a greater breadth of purpose and abilities. The Sport is hardly slack when it comes to outright dynamics, though. It steers with pleasing weight and slickness and has a control of its body movements that’s the equal of any large SUV other than a Cayenne or an X-series BMW.

In completely standard form the Range Rover Sport chassis isn't that bad. There’s pitch and dive under braking, turning into a touch of stabilising understeer at the initial limits of grip. The stability control is subtle but can be switched out, after which it’ll only chime in when it thinks a rollover is likely.

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Understeer can be prominent, or neutralised with delicate braking followed by throttle. That’s useful off road, where you can tighten the line of a car that’s running wide. 

Variants with active anti-roll bars and a torque-vectoring rear differential offer greater agility still, particularly mid-corner and on corner exit, but given the girth and the ruggedness of the Sport, it’s an unqualified success.