Part 2 of our review / road tst of the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 litre TDV6 HSE
Land Rover has had a thorough play with their range for 2010, a big part of which has been shoehorning in the latest lumps from Jaguar. The Range Rover Sport now comes with the 5.0 litre S/C engine from the XFR and the rather wheezy 2.7 litre diesel is swapped for the much livelier 3.0 litre from the XF.
Not the 3.0 litre from the XF diesel S, mind you – that would have trampled all over the 3.6 TDV8 – but the slightly more pedestrian version with 242bhp. Still, that’s a huge improvement over the old 2.7’s rather underwhelming 188bhp. And it’s that version we’ve had to play with for a week – the Range Rover Sport 3.0 TDV6 HSE.
I’d begun to believe that the only colours available for the Range Rover Sport where Black And Silver. And that 22” alloys and privacy glass were compulsory. But our Range Rover Sport turned up with a very classy-looking Nara Bronze paint job and relatively understated alloys.
The paint job transforms the car. It no longer looks Chav-tastic, but understated. Even with its slightly chintzy new grill (two bars on the grill for the RRS, three for the daddy – the Range Rover) and now ubiquitous LED running lights it conspires to look at home in its own skin. A very promising start.
But the subtle changes to its more polished and stylish exterior pale compared to what Land Rover has done with the interior. This is what the RRS should have been like from the start; a sporty interpretation of the Range Rover. Lots of quality materials in a cocooned and frankly very appealing cabin. Gone are the scratchy black plastics and gloomy ambience to be replaced by a very convincing new look.
The button-fest that used to be the RRS dash is replaced by a new touchscreen from Jaguar which tidies things up a treat. There are a plethora of toys to add to the mix from the terrific surround camera system (5 cameras around the car at your disposal) to the adaptive cruise and adaptive lights (which make fast, night-time drives on motorways a doddle) and even a fridge under the centre console.
Not all these toys are standard – our car had pushing on £7k of extras – but they add to the feeling that Land Rover has moved the Range Rover Sport more upmarket in this 2010 version. So it looks better – inside and out – than the old version. But come on, a 3.0 litre diesel in a 2.5 tonne car – even the very good 3.0 litre diesel from the XF – is going to be a joke. Still, that’s what we’re here to find out.
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