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Range Rover Sport Puts the Emphasis on Sport

Paul Meyers

The Land Rover Range Rover sits at the top of the luxury SUV segment as one of the only vehicles on the road today that offers both a handsomely styled interior and exterior, and bona fide off-road underpinnings. The only issue: a majority of Range Rover owners never drive a single mile off the paved roadways. For those people, we recommend the 2011 Range Rover Sport.

Yes, it’s smaller, but that doesn’t mean that it should be discounted as a lesser Rover. In fact, its size is what makes it the perfect cruiser for the suburban jungle. The car’s new range-topping 5-liter supercharged V-8 engine churns out 510 hp and 461 ft lbs of torque, which puts it up against the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X5M in terms of performance. Unfortunately, with a weight of roughly 5,500 pounds, the Rover Sport falls to the bottom of the list in terms of zero-to-60 mph times.

What is lost in performance, however, Land Rover makes up for in interior appointments and comfort levels. Unlike the standard Range Rover (whose cabin has a sort of old-world charm of wood and leather), the Sport features a more contemporary interior with a modern and tech-savvy console display. The seats, while still upholstered with the best leather, feature a stadium-style setup so that rear passengers are afforded the same view of the road as those in the front. While this may seem odd, it is a huge convenience when taking a road trip with a full car—especially for those prone to carsickness.

All in all, the Sport handles twisty roads and inclement weather with ease (thanks in large part to its Dynamic Response system and adaptive suspension), and it offers up exhilarating bursts of speeds with a torque-filled, rev-happy engine. For those who plan to stick to the asphalt, the $60,495 Range Rover Sport is a just a few points away from perfection. (www.landrover.com)

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