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2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Review: The Renewal

2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto 123
  • EPA Category: Luxury midsize SUV
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    Khatir Soltani
    This SUV can compete with the best in its class in terms of driving pleasure and comfort, but the price of entry is a consideration
    The all-new 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    The all-new 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto 123
    • Auto123 reviews the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Here's what you need to know.

    The Range Rover Sport mid-size SUV is positioned as the smaller brother of the big Range Rover. Available in Canada with either gasoline-only or hybrid powertrain, the vehicle features all-wheel drive and an adjustable air suspension system. It offers excellent handling and driving modes that can adapt to all types of terrain. 

    The Sport designation applies here not primarily because it's sporty at heart, but simply because it's smaller than its big brother. That said, frankly, we thought beforehand that we'd be dealing with a big, clunky SUV. Not at all! A nice surprise awaited us.

    White 2023  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    White 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    What's new for 2023?
    It’s a fairly complete redesign for the Range Rover Sport this year. 

    In Canada, there are only two engines available, while elsewhere there are four. You can choose between a 3.0L, 6-cylinder engine with 395 hp in the base version, or a 3.0L, 6-cylinder engine in a hybrid system with an output of 434 hp. 

    Note that south of the border and in Europe, plug-in hybrids are already available. 

    Design of 2023  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Design of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    The exterior
    The third generation is handsome looking. The typical Land Rover shape is immediately noticeable, but with a roof that slopes backwards, which sets off a nice demarcation of the platform's well-formed body belts. 

    Our tester had the black roof option, which highlights the details on the lower part of the vehicle. 

    Up front, the design changes dramatically from the previous version. The stealthy grille and the very high LED lighting are reminiscent of the front of the new Jeep Wagoneer. The vehicle gets the same design at the rear with horizontal tapered and high placed lights. 

    Range Rover Creative Director Gerry McGovern describes the new model as a modern expression of vehicle design that amplifies the unmistakable sporty character of the Range Rover Sport. The exterior and interior are designed with advanced technologies to deliver exceptional aerodynamic performance, with a drag coefficient of just 0.29.

    Interior of 2023  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Interior of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    The interior
    The interior of the new Range Rover Sport is equally sophisticated, with a driving position characteristic of the brand. The high position gives extraordinary visibility all around the vehicle. Then there's the level of comfort, which approaches stratospheric heights. It's rare to come across leather seats as comfortable, plush and enveloping as those in the Range Rover.

    The driver's spot in the cabin is designed like a cockpit, with all controls easily accessible. The high, angled centre console is also quickly reachable to operate and easily mastered. 

    Interior of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Interior of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    We drove this vehicle in fairly cold weather and the heated seats were used often. It's a pity that it takes to steps to activate them and adjust the heating level – in contrast with the heated steering wheel, activated quickly via a button on the steering wheel. 

    We also noted the long delay before the seats and the steering wheel start to heat up. Fortunately, the cabin heating system is quicker to activate.  

    In the back, as in the front, luxury takes precedence over everything else. The quality is there and everything you can touch exudes craftsmanship.

    The 903 litres of useful cargo space behind the second row - and expandable to 3,341 litres when the second row is folded down - will allow you to store all your luggage. 

    Strong points

    • Interior finish quality
    • Controls
    • Multimedia screen

    Weak points

    • Heated seat and steering wheel
    The new white 2023  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    The new white 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    Safety and technology
    The Range Rover Sport is equipped with a wide range of standard driver assistance features, among them automated emergency braking, lane keeping assist, 360-degree exterior camera and traffic sign recognition. 

    The new model is equipped with EVA 2.0 technology that allows remote updates for 63 electronic modules, ensuring that the vehicle remains on the cutting edge of innovation. 

    Also noteworthy is the next-generation air purification system that filters PM2.5 particles and uses nanoe X technology to eliminate odours, bacteria and allergens. A second nanoe X device is installed in the second row for consistent air quality throughout the cabin.

    We could go on about all the technological options inside this 2023 Range Rover Sport. Just keep in mind that you'll feel like you're in a cocoon both in the front and in the back.

    Wheel of 2023  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Wheel of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    The drive
    The 3.0L turbocharged and electronically supercharged inline 6-cylinder engine produces 395 hp. The four-wheel drive configuration is standard, as is an 8-speed ZF transmission. Air suspension is standard with optional electronic roll control, which gives a sense of total control of the vehicle.

    In daily use, we can confirm that this big SUV is fun to drive. Despite its midsize body, the 2023 Range Rover Sport is indeed an off-road-capable SUV. The advanced four-wheel-drive system and multiple exterior environment management modes allow you to go off-road with confidence. 

    It's clear from the first few turns of the wheel that the drive delivered by this SUV is more dynamic than it is sedate. This Range Rover Sport takes off at an incredible speed as soon as you touch the right pedal. Push it, and its true sporty nature is fully revealed.

    The other surprise is the fuel consumption. Despite a weight of 2309 kg, we managed without much effort to register under 10L/100 km on the highway. In the city, we were averaging around 14L/100 km in cold weather. We've seen much worse with smaller, less-powerful SUVs.

    However, on several occasions on bad roads, we were concerned by the cracking noises coming from the front doors, even though our vehicle had not yet reached 5,000 km on the road. Not very reassuring! 

     

    Strong points

    • Comfort
    • Fuel economy – yes that’s right!

    Weak points

    • High-sitting vehicle
    • Creaking sounds – build quality?
    Front of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Front of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    The final word
    Before we got behind the wheel of the third-generation Range Rover Sport, we had our doubts about its performance. Wouldn't it be better to opt for a BMW X5, a Mercedes-Benz GLE or a Porsche Cayenne, rather than this Range Rover which, in our preconceived opinion, lacked sportiness?

    After a week of testing, we found it hard to let go of the keys to this luxury SUV. Frankly, the Range Rover Sport can compete with the best in its class in terms of driving pleasure and comfort, especially with the Porsche Cayenne.

    The design of the Range Rover Sport is another positive. This model has a very classy and luxurious feel that sets it apart from other vehicles in its class. Space on board is another strong point, the vehicle offering a spacious and comfortable interior, perfect for long trips.

    Although the engine is not the most powerful in its category, the vehicle is so enjoyable to drive it makes you want to extend your trips. The performance is there and power is sufficient for pleasant and dynamic driving.

    However, the question of price remains. The Range Rover Sport is not cheap, with a starting price of $101,750. That does, however, include a 395-hp light-hybrid powertrain as well as a host of other features. Our test model was an SE version that retails for $108,450, to which Range Rover added $18,441 worth of extras. 

    While the price is high, the Range Rover Sport offers a luxurious and sporty driving experience that is well worth the cost for those looking for the best in its class.

    Rear of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Rear of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    Here are a few of your questions about the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport:

    How reliable is the 2023 Range Rover Sport?
    The Range Rover Sport has had reliability issues in the past. J.D. Power's reliability data shows that the model scored below average for its class in 2021. Owners have reported problems with the electrical system, brakes, engine and transmission.

    However, Land Rover has made significant improvements to the new 2023 Range Rover Sport, which may help improve reliability. 

    Specifications sheet of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Dynamic S

    Specifications sheet of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Dynamic SE

    Specifications sheet of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport First Edition

    Specifications sheet of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Dynamic HSE

    Logo of 2023  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
    Logo of 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Photo: Auto123

    The competition

    Porsche Cayenne: It is considered one of the most direct competitors of the Range Rover Sport in terms of performance and ride quality.

    BMW X5: It offers a spacious interior and many luxury features.

    Mercedes-Benz GLE: This SUV rivals the Range Rover Sport in terms of comfort, performance and on-board technology.

    Lexus RX: This Japanese luxury SUV offers a refined interior and a quiet driving experience. Less sporty than the Range Rover Sport.

    Audi Q7: An aging model. It's outdated compared to the comfort its competitors can provide. 

    Test conditions

    Weather conditions: Winter with snow days
    Type of road: Suburban
    Speed: 29 km/h average
    Kilometers driven: 327 km
    Duration of the test: One week

    EVALUATION

    80%
    Performance
    8.5/10
    Design
    7.5/10
    Space on board
    8/10
    Technology/Safety
    8/10
    Fuel economy
    8/10
    Overall value
    8/10
    Khatir Soltani
    Khatir Soltani
    Automotive expert
    • 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