REVIEW: 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE – Two Rows, No Compromises

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The Range Rover Sport HSE perfects the two-row luxury SUV formula.

The Range Rover Sport is a two-row, five passenger luxury SUV with outstanding on-road manners and off-road capabilities that offer no limits. The Range Rover Sport HSE includes the features and amenities one expects of a luxury SUV, but in a size that fits in a parking space or normal garage.

The Range Rover Sport with its base, 340 hp engine starts at about $66K, about where the Lexus RX 350 leaves off, but well below some other luxury two-row SUVs. There are five further steps including diesel and V8-powered Range Rover Sports that run up to about $120K. Our well-equipped Range Rover Sport HSE was priced at “just” $71K.

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Even at this modest trim level, the Range Rover Sport HSE has nearly everything one would want in a luxury SUV; A neatly integrated trailer hitch capable of towing up to 7,170 pounds, nearly 50% more than a Ford Explorer, an elegant interior with heated and cooled seats and heated steering wheel, a roomy cargo area, a dual-panel shaded moonroof, and a plethora of drive modes and off-road specialty capabilities such as hill descent control.

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We were pleased to see that our Range Rover Sport HSE came with active safety systems and automatic emergency braking. We loved the haptic feedback for the lane departure warning. It feels like you are driving over cobblestones if it senses you pass over a lane marker. The only thing missing was adaptive cruise control, which is reserved for higher trims.

 

Our HSE trim came complete with a simple to use, and modern infotainment setup. The audio was outstanding. Our only quibble was that the infotainment and rear camera system sometimes took up to a minute to load when we would start off, something we have noticed on the last few Jaguar / Land Rovers we have tested.

The ride in the Range Rover Sport HSE is what really sets it apart from the mainstream. Firm when maneuvering, yet compliant over broken roads, it is the perfect combination. The base, 340 hp supercharged V6 engine and eight-speed automatic are perfectly suited to sporty driving or relaxed cruising. With a sub-seven-second time from 0-60 MPH, this large vehicle always feels quick. With our 20 MPG average over about 200 miles of driving, the Range Rover Sport demonstrated acceptable fuel economy given its capabilities and beat is EPA Combined estimate by 1 MPG.

The Range Rover Sport HSE is a first-rate vehicle for those who only need two rows of seating and want a slightly more compact full-size SUV that is more practical for parking and maneuvering. The Sport HSE brings the classic Range Rover good looks and luxurious interior down to a price point that many luxury buyers might find surprising.

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John Goreham

John Goreham