Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV Review: Improvements Left and Right

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Photo: K.Soltani
Get the best interest rate
Khatir Soltani
When performance and fuel frugality meet, it can pay off

•    Auto123 reviews the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV.

The 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV sets new standards for hybrid luxury SUVs. With its aesthetic and technical improvements, it's a player to be reckoned with. 

The SUV’s electric range of around 82 km makes it an attractive option, at least for those with the means. This plug-in version starts at $108,900, plus numerous options. Our test model, the Range Rover Sport P400 SV-Dynamic SE, had $23,266 in options for a total bill of $133,666.

Specifications sheet of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Dynamic S 

Specifications sheet of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Dynamic SE

 
2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV grey
2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV grey
Photo: K.Soltani

Land Rover 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV - What's new?

The model gets a facelift in 2023, and we now have a choice of gas-only, hybrid (VSHE) and plug-in hybrid (VHER) powertrains. Land Rover has quasi-promised an all-electric model, possibly later in 2024.

Streamlined exterior design
The 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV features an exterior design that blends clean lines with gently rounded contours, creating a silhouette that is both robust and uncluttered. This design respects the brand's characteristic visual identity while providing subtle updates for a contemporary appearance. 

The front grille, true to Range Rover design, combines with modern LED headlamps to reinforce its sophisticated look. The vehicle's proportions, though massive, are balanced, making it recognizable even from a distance. The contrasting black styling adds to the vehicle's hardened character. 

Last but not least, the door handles, which appear as soon as you approach the vehicle, are easy to grip, making it easy to open. 

Seating of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Seating of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Photo: K.Soltani

The interior
Step inside and likely your first impression is of the comfort and quality of the materials used for the seats and finishes. Soft leather, modern door finishes and tactile surfaces combine to create a refined, welcoming environment. 

At the heart of this space, the 13.1-inch infotainment screen attracts attention with its graphic clarity and its integration of several features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly, which enhance the user experience. There's no difficulty in navigating between the various functions.

Ditto for the climate control system, whose controls have their own space. Raising the temperature or switching to heated or ventilated seats is child's play. Simply press the temperature button to heat or cool the seat. The only hitch is that the temperature of the cabin, seats and steering wheel takes forever to reach the desired temperature.

In the rear, passengers have plenty of room to spread their legs, and can even lower their seat backs electrically to encroach on the immense 647-liter trunk. 

Multimedia screen of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Multimedia screen of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Photo: K.Soltani

Safety and technology
Land Rover offers its advanced Electrical Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) technology in this Range Rover Sport, powering a network of connected technologies including remote software updates. At the heart of the experience is the "Pivi Pro" infotainment system. This system offers an intuitive user interface and features designed to enhance the driving experience. Pivi Pro adapts to the user's habits, becoming an intuitive personal assistant. 

Also present are advanced driver assistance systems, including emergency braking, a 3D reversing camera, and many other safety features.

Powertrain of the 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV

The Range Rover Sport PHEV's mandate is clear: to merge performance and fuel economy. Its heart beats thanks to a 3.0-liter turbo engine coupled to an electric motor, offering a cumulative output of 543 hp. This combination ensures explosive acceleration and remarkably smooth driving, while offering significant electric range. 

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV tested
2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV tested
Photo: K.Soltani

In off-road mode
Given its heritage, this Range Rover is also a champion of off-road capability. This version combines a dynamic driving position with exemplary interior comfort, offering a unique driving experience both on and off the road. 

The panoramic visibility afforded by the elevated driving position means you can control the vehicle in any situation. This control is aided by the switchable-volume air suspension - a first for Range Rover - which ensures the vehicle's unrivalled agility and comfort, even over the most difficult terrain. 

Finally, the Terrain Response system offers a range of driving modes adapted to different driving conditions. Although the exact number of modes may vary according to specific vehicle configuration, the following are typically available:

  • - Auto: the system automatically adjusts vehicle settings to suit driving conditions.
  • - Comfort: optimizes vehicle settings for comfortable everyday driving on the road.
  • - Eco: designed to maximize energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
  • - Grass/Gravel/Snow: ideal for slippery, low-grip surfaces.
  • - Mud/Ruts: suitable for muddy or rutted terrain.
  • - Sand: specially designed for driving on sandy surfaces.
  • - Rock Crawl: used for navigating difficult rocky terrain.

Some models can also incorporate additional driving modes for specific conditions or driving preferences, such as dedicated towing or sports performance modes.

Exterior design of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Exterior design of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Photo: K.Soltani

Driving the 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV

To drive the Range Rover Sport PHEV is to glide along the road with disconcerting ease, especially for a large SUV weighing 2659 kg. When I drove it on a cold early November morning, I noticed that the electric motor didn't want to kick in straight away; it was taking its time. But once started, it switches from electric to petrol without you really feeling it, which is quite pleasant.

What's even more impressive is that, despite its weight, it doesn't consume much fuel. Over 330 km of mixed driving, we averaged 6.3 liters per 100 km, the consumption of a small car. 

In addition to driving comfort, this Range Rover Sport offers unrivalled comfort. The seats, while not heating up quickly, offer invigorating massage functions. In the rear, passengers also have plenty of room, and the trunk is a good size, offering 647 liters. 

As you can see, travelling inside this Range Rover Sport PHEV is a unique experience. We already liked the gasoline version driven earlier this year, and this hybrid variant appealed to us just as much.  

Competitors of the 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV

  • - Audi Q8
  • - BMW X5 50e
  • - Mercedes-Benz GLE (PHEV)
 
Profile of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Profile of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV
Photo: K.Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
As a car enthusiast, he tests and compares vehicles from different categories through the eyes of the consumer, ensuring relevant and objective reviews.
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada