Luxury for all occasions

Wow. As Brendan from Duncan & Ebbett reeled off the extensive list of specs for the Range Rover Sport, wow was a word that featured often.

You wouldn’t think to look at it, but this shining example of luxury motoring is, underneath, a machine of wonderment.

Usually, motor vehicles are seemingly named at random, with little or no meaning behind them. Some names place emphasis on being sporty, some on being cute.  Never was a car more aptly named than the Range Rover. This thing can go anywhere, it can literally take you the full range.

Everyone knows that these Range Rovers rarely make it outside the city boundary, and that’s a real shame.

Underneath the image is a masterpiece of engineering. We’ll start with the body. 

Forget steel, this is made with aluminium and magnesium, which means it’s light and strong. This weight saving allows for more engineering, so let’s dig deeper.

Air suspension, three ride heights, self-levelling, to keep as many wheels on the road (or more accurately, any terrain) as possible.

Descent control, snow, gravel and mud surface settings, a wading depth in water up to 850mm – that’s roughly the top of the tyres – and in auto mode, the Terrain Response 2 system can even sense these terrains for you, to a degree.

The Range Rover Sport is a mixture of its siblings, the smaller Evoque and the full blown Range Rover. It inherits more of the luxury and size from the Range Rover, and the sportiness and agility of the Evoque.

Our test model, the lower mid-range SDV6 HSE, was a testament to both. Its 3.0L V6 SDV6 diesel engine is a stunner. And with 600Nm of torque and 215kW of power, the get up and go was there in spades.

Plus, a 3500kg towing capacity outstrips your average commercial vehicles and utes, and the 20 inch brake callipers ensure that it all stops too.

With all that technology and off-road ability usually comes a trade off in road handling. Not the case with the Range Rover. Once on the black top, it’s smooth, refined and the pinnacle of luxury.

The low centre of gravity and wide footprint prevents the usual SUV roll, and the power and performance from the engine allow it to sail along without a care.

Even more impressive is the fuel economy – with the size of the vehicle and a 3.0L engine, you wouldn’t expect miracles. Some how Land Rover has pulled it off though, with just 7.5L/100km combined average fuel consumption!

With figures like that, you could get to Mars on a thimble full of diesel*. *Almost certainly highly exaggerated.

The cabin is a wondrous place to be. You could certainly swing a cat in here, and not just any cat either.

There’s room to swing a Savannah or Chausie, and a few of their friends. Enough cat-swinging, I like cats and none were swung in the course of this review.

As you’d expect from this level of motoring, the furniture is well appointed and the gadgets are all there. I think I’ll leave the details to the 73-page brochure and 10-page options and extras booklet. The leather is soft, seating comfortable and the surrounds make it a nice place to be.

The upgraded Meridian 825W sound system brought music to life – a 1700w upgrade is available too. I can only imagine that to be like having the infamous BBC Symphony Orchestra in the back seat.

The sheer amount of options, colours, styles and tweaks available is mind-blowing. 

Everything from the ordinary floor mat to the personalised illuminated treadplates, which literally do put your name in lights, with a subtly back-lit etching of your name (or text of your choice) in the front door sills.

Wheels, body colours, roof colours, grille types, under-shields, even a solar-attenuating windshield – wow. The list is endless, and you’ll have a lot of fun making yours unique.

Prices start from $125,000 for the 3.0L TDV6 SE to $185,000 for the 5.0L V8 Supercharged Autobiography Dynamic.

A choice of three diesel, one diesel-hybrid and two petrol variants are available across the range, with the 5.0L V8 Supercharged model capable of an eye-watering 225km/h. If you’re shopping for an SUV for all seasons, terrains or even a post-apocalyptic earth, go and see Duncan & Ebbett on Hewletts Rd.


Range Rover Sport

Engine: 6-cylinder, turbo-diesel
Displacement: 2993cc 215 kW
Transmission: 8 speed Adaptive Automatic
Drive System: 4-wheel-drive
Price From: $143,000
Dealer/contacts: Duncan & Ebbett,
115 Hewletts Rd, Mount Maunganui.  
Ph: 07 928 1280.


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