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February 2006
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2006 Range Rover Sport HSE

The Good :)  Strong Exterior Looks.  Great Off-road Ability and Easy Selection of Vehicle Settings Using a Simple Dial.  Good Entertainment and Sound System.  Lots of Interior Room and Great Use of Current Technologies. 

The Bad :(  Very High Driving Position.  Not as Sporty as the Name Suggests.  Rear Seats too flat for comfort.

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Watch the exterior, interior and a drive through back trails in the Range Rover Sport.  Click Here

Right click and 'save link target as' to Download a full version of this review for iTunes Click Here

 

            Land Rover, quintessentially known for producing the greatest off road machines known to man, drives head first into the sport SUV market taking on the Porsche Cayenne.  For 2006 an all new Range Rover Sport model offers high horsepower, fast driving and loads of speeding tickets. 

            The Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers two engine choices, a supercharged 4.2 liter V8 producing 390 horsepower or the tested here 4.4 liter naturally aspirated V8 producing 300 horsepower.  Highlights include the Terrain Response system offering easy selection of many vehicle settings by simply using a dial in the center console.  A four corner height adjustable electronic air suspension automatically adjusts for the current driving conditions.  A luxurious interior offering supple leather and comforts galore is naturally standard. 

            Exterior design is both sporty and muscular.  The Range Rover Sport looks very good on the initial walk around, muscular and strong in appearance.  It is not just another SUV on the road, dynamic front headlamps, a strong front grille, large side grills and a rear end that reminds you of traditional Range Rovers all give you the wow factor.  Wheels are large, featuring 19-inch rims and wide low profile tires good for snowy or dry roads.  The new Integrated Body-frame platform matches the strength of a ladder-frames with the lightness and rigidity of a monocoque.  Mixed use of steel and aluminum offer a more advanced building process. 

            The interior of the Range Rover Sport is fitted with high quality parts for a solid feeling vehicle.  The premium leather seats are comfortable in long journeys but slippery.  They are not as soft as the Range Rover nor the LR3's perforated variety.  All controls are within easy reach, and the large array of buttons tells you that there are probably many many toys to play with on this SUV.  Rear seats are comfortable but could be less firm and flat for a more relaxed seating position.  The front seats also do not allow you to sit in a cradle position and thus you have the feeling of sliding forward in the seats during aggressive driving. The interior also feels tidy and not as spacious or roomy as we would have liked in such a large vehicle. 

Small touches of wood on the door panels and on the center stack were a nice touch.  We just wish they were used more extensively in the center console as well.  Many silver plastic components should be replaced with real aluminum for a vehicle in this price range.  The lack of these items made the dash and instrument cluster drab and dull. 

            Gadgets that were useful were the refrigerator located in the front armrest, great for keeping soda cans cold, as well as the good navigation system which gives you the option of three different routes for every destination.  Heated seats all around and a great automatic climate control system really worked well.  We liked the Bluetooth integrated telephone in the Range Rover Sport which gave us the option of using voice commands to call friends through our own phone.  Also installed were parking distance warning signals on the front and rear bumper, a must have for a vehicle of this size. Useful in winter was the defroster on the front windshield which can be found on most other Land Rover's.  

            The Logic7 Harman-Kardon stereo system was simply superb.  Thirteen speakers are powered by a 12-channel digital amplifier which delivers 550 watts in total.  Also featured is a built in CD changer, a DVD changer in the truck and rear auxiliary jacks for video game systems or even an Ipod.  It felt as if we were in our own living room with all these Audio/Video controls.  There are so many options for back seat passengers that we were pampered beyond expectations.  Watch a movie, listed to AM, FM, CD or an Ipod, or play a Xbox game on your personal screen.  Plugs for each user's own headphones also available.  This is truly a great option to have if you have kids. 

            The large seven-inch touch screen allows for easy control of many items in the Range Rover Sport.   The navigation system is easy to use in this touch screen format.  We did not like how many of the inputs were not available while driving.  Why cannot the passenger use the system while a driver is driving? Controls for the rear seat entertainment system are also available up front so parents can control such things as how loud kids can listen to music through their headphones.  The Range Rover Terrain Response system is also shown in this screen showing the angle of all tires and height of the vehicle, great for serious off-roading.   

            Tested in extreme conditions all over the world, the Range Rover Sport's engine is an aluminum V8 offering 300 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 315 lb.-ft or torque at 3,500 rpm.  The unit is powerful and feels big although power is delivered quickly without any lurching or jerking or waiting.  It is not as smooth as the BMW engine used in the Range Rover a few years ago when BMW owned Land Rover.  Mechanical systems include an automatic Terrain Response system and electronically controlled locking center differential.  Optional is an electronic locking rear axle differential.  The engine is matched to a six speed automatic transmission with Command-Shift available by moving the shift lever to the left of the D position. 

            Behind the wheel the Range Rover Sport is dynamic yet luxurious.  The air suspension causes some light bounce and roll in normal driving.  Because of this you are reminded that you are behind the wheel of large vehicle rather than a nimble sports car.  The Range Rover Sport is not as sporty and communicative as a Porsche Cayenne, however it is larger offering more interior room and storage capacity.  The ZF servotronic rack and pinion speed sensitive variable ratio steering is good at supplying feedback and not being overly loose.  Perhaps the best feature are the large 19-inch wheels and tires, which offer great "feet" for high speed cornering.  After an initial bit of body lean the Rover Sport is firm and goes through corners with good ability.  Braking ability is also quite good.  In icy and snowy conditions the ABS system stops the car without excessive noise or feedback in the pedal.

The air suspension lowers and raises the vehicle height by touching a button in the center console.  We found it helpful in loading and unloading passengers by selecting the lowest access position.  It would be nice if the system automatically lowers the vehicle when the doors open.  The off-road setting raises the Range Rover Sport dramatically as shown in our photos to the left.  During our record snow storm the Range Rover Sport made it through snow piles thick and thin, ice was not a problem.  The large tires worked well and kept their grip in both snow and ice.  Watch our video and see how well this vehicle makes it through off-road snowy conditions up to 18- inches high.  Drive slow and the Range Rover Sport can handle anything.  Drive fast on ice and initiate a sideways slide and the Range Rover's DSC system attempts to take over but really cannot do a great job with such mass already on the move sideways. 

            The Range Rover Sport comes packed with the latest safety features.  Hydroformed side members offer great side impact protection and buckle points allow for body crumpling in the event of a accident taking energy away from the impact.  In the event of a crash the Range Rover Sport automatically shuts down the engine and fuel system and turns on the hazard lights as well as all interior lights and unlocks all doors.  Under the hood safety systems include Anti Lock brakes using the Bosch four channel system.  A Brembo brake system is used in the supercharged model of the Range Rover Sport.  Electronic brake assist and active roll mitigation help keep the Range Rover Sport in control during violent stops.  Hill descent control allows the Range Rover Sport to slowly move down steep inclines.  Terrain response matches vehicle dynamic systems to terrain on the road.  Electronic traction control and electronic brake force distribution are standard.  Six airbags protect passengers.  Bi-Xenon headlights with turning beams are a great safety feature not to be forgotten.  A vehicle security system is also standard.  

            The Range Rover Sport HSE features a four year 50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty.  Complimentary scheduled maintenance if also included as is 24-hour road side assistance.  It also comes with a six year unlimited mileage corrosion perforation limited warranty. 

            Our test car in Rimini Red with Ebony Premium Leather starts off at a base price of $56,535.  Few options included in our model were the Luxury Interior Package for $3,000 featuring Premium Leather Seats, Heated Front and Rear Seats, Heated Front Wind Screen, Heated Washer Jets, Adaptive Front Lamps, Wood Trim, and a refrigerator cooler box.  Personal telephone Integration using Bluetooth costs $400.  The Rear Seat Entertainment package costs $2,500 featuring a DVD player and Dual headrest displays.  Satellite radio with Sirius tuner is also optional for $400.  This brought the total of our model to $63,550 with a  $715 destination cost.     

            Would we buy this car over a Porsche Cayenne?  If you want a more sports car feel from an SUV than the Cayenne wins.  However, if you need more interior space and storage room than the Range Rover Sport is a better choice.  Of course design plays into the equation as well, some people love the styling of the Range Rover and the new Sport model looks very good in person.  With a lower base price of almost $15K than its big brother the Range Rover, the Sport model should be seen on the roads a bit more often.  

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 51,447 56,535
Destination 715 715
Cold Climate Pkg 1,183 1,300
Luxury Interior Pkg 2,730 3,000
Axle, Electronic Limited Slip Rear 455 500
Entertainment System 2,275 2,500
Radio Equipment, Sirius Feature 364 400
Suspension, Dynamic Response HSE 1,820 2,000
Telephone, Integrated w/Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity 364 400
Wheels, 20" Aluminum Alloy HSE 3,640 4,000
Sun Shades, Manual Rear Side • Wagons 134 150

 

  2006 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
HSE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)
2006 BMW X5
4.4i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)
2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
ML500 4dr SUV AWD (5.0L 8cyl 7A)
2006 Porsche Cayenne
S 4dr SUV AWD (4.5L 8cyl 6A)
2006 Volkswagen Touareg
V8 4dr SUV AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
Manufacturer Info Range Rover Sport X5 M-Class Cayenne Touareg
MSRP $56,085 $53,600 $48,500 $57,200 $44,750
Invoice $51,037 $48,995 $45,105 $49,904 $40,608
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Rust 6 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 10 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V8
Base Engine Displacement 4.4 liters 4.4 liters 5.0 liters 4.5 liters 4.2 liters
Valvetrain 32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
40 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 300 hp @ 5500 rpm 315 hp @ 5400 rpm 302 hp @ 5600 rpm 340 hp @ 6000 rpm 310 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 315 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 324 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm 339 ft-lbs. @ 2700 rpm 310 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm 302 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm
Wheels alloy rims
19 x 9.0 in.
alloy rims
18 x 8.5 in.
alloy rims
18 x 8.0 in.
alloy rims
18 x 8.0 in.
alloy rims
18 x 8.0 in.
Rear Sunroof Not Available power glass - Optional Not Available power glass - Optional Not Available
Rear Air Conditioning Zones Not Available single single - Optional dual - Optional dual - Optional
Beverage Cooler Optional Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Xenon Headlights Standard Standard Optional Optional Optional
Total Number of Speakers 14 10 8 14 10
Watts 550 Not Published 80 350 300 - Optional
Navigation System DVD navigation system w/voice activation DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional
Turning Circle 38.1 ft. 39.7 ft. 37.9 ft. 39 ft. 38.1 ft.
Max. Cargo Capacity 71 cu. ft. 69 cu. ft. 72 cu. ft. 63 cu. ft. 71 cu. ft.
Max. Payload Capacity 1300 lbs. 1081 lbs. Being Researched 1840 lbs. 1250 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 7716 lbs. 6000 lbs. 5000 lbs. 7716 lbs. 7716 lbs.
City MPG 14 mpg. 16 mpg. 14 mpg. 14 mpg. 14 mpg.
Highway MPG 19 mpg. 22 mpg. 19 mpg. 18 mpg. 18 mpg.
Fuel Tank Capacity 23.3 gal. 24.3 gal. 25.1 gal. 26.4 gal. 26.4 gal.
Length 188.5 in. 183.7 in. 188.5 in. 188.3 in. 187.2 in.
Width 75.9 in. 73.7 in. 75.2 in. 75.9 in. 75.9 in.
Height 69.6 in. 67.2 in. 69.8 in. 66.9 in. 68 in.
Weight 5468 lbs. 4927 lbs. 4743 lbs. 4949 lbs. 5300 lbs.
Wheel Base 108 in. 111 in. 114.7 in. 112.4 in. 112.4 in.
Ground Clearance 8.9 in. 8 in. 8.3 in. 8.5 in. 6.3 in.
Front Headroom 39.4 in. 39.9 in. 39.9 in. 39.6 in. 38.7 in.
Rear Headroom 38.4 in. 38.5 in. 39.8 in. 38.5 in. 38.3 in.
Front Shoulder Room 59 in. 58 in. 59.9 in. 58.5 in. 57.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 58.2 in. 57.2 in. 59.8 in. 56.7 in. 57.4 in.
Front Leg Room 39.1 in. 39.3 in. 42.2 in. 40.6 in. 41.3 in.
Rear Leg Room 37.6 in. 35.4 in. 40 in. 36 in. 35.6 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 71 cu. ft. 16.1 cu.ft. 29.4 cu.ft. 19.1 cu.ft. 31 cu.ft.

 

ENGINE

NATURALLY ASPIRATED

Type: Longitudinal 32-valve V8

Displacement: 4.4-liters (268 cu. in./4,394 cc)

Bore: 3.47 in. (88.0 mm)`

Stroke: 3.56 in. (90.3 mm)

Compression Ratio: 10.75:1

Horsepower @ rpm: 300 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

Torque @ rpm: 315 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel management: Sequential multi-port fuel injection

Fuel requirements: Premium unleaded

EPA: 14/19 mpg city/highway

Fuel tank capacity: 23.2 U.S. gallons (88.0 liters)

SUPERCHARGED

Type: Longitudinal 32-valve V8

Displacement: 4.2-liters (256 cu. in./4,197 cc)

Bore: 3.39 in. (86.0 mm)

Stroke: 3.56 in. (90.3 mm)

Compression Ratio: 9.1:1

Horsepower @ rpm: 390 bhp @ 5,750 rpm

Torque @ rpm: 410 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm

Fuel management: Sequential multi-port fuel injection

Fuel requirements: Premium unleaded

EPA: 13/18 mpg city/highway

Fuel tank capacity: 23.2 U.S. gallons (88.0 liters)

PERFORMANCE

NATURALLY ASPIRATED

0-60 mph: 8.2 seconds

0-100 kph: 8.9 seconds

Maximum speed: 130 mph (209 kph)

SUPERCHARGED

0-60 mph: 7.2 seconds

0-100 kph: 7.6 seconds

Maximum speed: 140 mph (225 kph)

AERODYNAMICS

Coefficient of drag .37 Cd

DRIVETRAIN

NATURALLY ASPIRATED

Drive system: Permanent four-wheel drive

Traction control: Four-wheel electronic traction control (4ETC)

Transfer case: Two-speed electronic transfer gearbox

Shift-on-the-move capability

Electronically controlled locking center

differential

Optional rear differential lock

Transmission: Six speed automatic gearbox with

CommandShift and adaptive mapping

Transmission ratios: First-high/low: 4.17:1/12.22:1

Second-high/low: 2.34:1/6.86:1

Third-high/low: 1.52:1/4.46:1

Fourth-high/low: 1.14:1/3.35:1

Fifth-high/low: 0.87:1/2.54:1

Sixth-high/low: 0.69:1/2.03:1

Reverse-high/low: 3.40:1/9.97:1

Final drive ratio: 3.73:1

Transfer ratios: High: 1.00:1

Low: 2.93:1

SUPERCHARGED

Drive System Permanent four-wheel drive

Traction control: Four-wheel electronic traction control

(4ETC)

Transfer case: Two-speed electronic transfer gearbox

Shift-on-the-move capability

Electronically controlled locking center

differential

Optional rear differential lock

Transmission: Six speed automatic gearbox with

CommandShift and adaptive mapping

Transmission ratios: First-high/low: 4.17:1/12.22:1

Second-high/low: 2.34:1/6.86:1

Third-high/low: 1.52:1/4.46:1

Fourth-high/low: 1.14:1/3.35:1

Fifth-high/low: 0.87:1/2.54:1

Sixth-high/low: 0.69:1/2.03:1

Reverse-high/low: 3.40:1/9.97:1

Final drive ratio: 3.54:1

Transfer ratios: High: 1.00:1

Low: 2.93:1

SUSPENSION

Four corner independent air suspension with cross linking

TERRAIN RESPONSE™ SYSTEM

Modifies response of engine, transmission, differentials, dynamic systems (DSC, 4ETC, HDC)

and air suspension

Multi-mode system to maximize traction and control in a variety of driver-selectable settings:

General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, Rock Crawl

DYNAMIC RESPONSE SYSTEM

Computer-controlled active anti-roll control

Engine-driven pump powers hydraulic motors

Standard on supercharged V8

STEERING

Type: Power-assisted ZF Servotronic rack-and

pinion

Turns, lock-to-lock: 3.1

Turning circle: 38.1 ft (11.6 m)

BRAKES

Power-assisted four-wheel ventilated disc brakes

Four-channel Bosch ABS anti-lock brakes

Electronic park brake acts on 8.3 in. (210 mm) drum incorporated into the rear break

discs

NATURALLY ASPIRATED

13.3 x 1.18 in. front / 13.8x .79 in. rear discs (337 x 30 mm / 350 x 20 mm)

Twin-piston sliding calipers on the front brakes and single pot calipers on rear

SUPERCHARGED

14.2 x 1.18 in. front/ 13.8 x .79 in. rear discs (360 x 30 mm / 350 x 20 mm)

Four-piston Brembo front brakes

WHEELS & TIRES

NATURALLY ASPIRATED

19 x 9-inch aluminum alloy wheels

255/50R19 tires

SUPERCHARGED

20 x 9.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels

275/40R20 tires

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Overall length: 188.5 in. (4,798 mm)

Overall width: 85.4 in. (2,170 mm)**

Overall height: 71.5 in. (1,817 mm)***

Wheelbase: 108 in. (2,745 mm)

Track, front/rear 63.2/63.5 in. (1,605/1,612 mm)

**Including side mirrors

***With open sunroof

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Seating capacity: Five

Head room, front/rear: 39.4/38.4 in. (1,000/975mm)

Leg room, front/rear: 39.1/37.6 in. (992/955 mm)

Shoulder room, front/rear: 59/58.2 in. (1,498/1,478 mm)

Maximum loadspace volume: 71 cu. ft. (2,013 L)

Maximum loadspace length: 69.1 in. (1,754 mm)

Loadspace width

Between wheel arches: 44.1 in. (1,120 mm)

Maximum: 48.1 in. (1,221 mm)

OFF-ROAD DIMENSIONS

Ground clearance

Under differential: 6.8 8.9 in. (172 227 mm)

Under front axle: 7.4 9.6 in. (188 243 mm)

Under rear axle: 7.9 10 in. (200 255 mm)

Angle of approach: 30.2 34 degrees

Angle of departure

With spare tire: 26 29 degrees

With tow bar: 13.9 16.9 degrees

Ramp breakover angle: 20 25 degrees

Maximum gradients

Ascent/Descent: 45/45 degrees drive through

35/35 degrees continuous

Maximum wading depth: 27.6 in. (700 mm) with EAS in

Off-Road mode

Figures represent the range with EAS in Standard mode and in Off-Road mode, except for

Wading Depth, where EAS is in Off-Road Mode only

WEIGHTS & TOWING CAPACITY

NATURALLY ASPIRATED

Curb weight: 5,468 lb. 5,702 lb. (2,480 kg 2,586 kg)

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 6,769 lb. (3,070 kg)

Towing Capacity

Braked trailer:

7,718 lb. (3,500 kg)

Unbraked trailer:

1,653 lb. (750 kg)

Maximum roof-rack load: 165 lb. (75 kg)

SUPERCHARGED

Curb weight: 5,671 lb. 5,764 lb. (2,572 kg 2,614 kg)

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 6,890 lb. (3,125 kg)

Towing Capacity

Braked trailer:

7,718 lb. (3,500 kg)

Unbraked trailer:

1,653 lb. (750 kg)

Maximum roof-rack load: 165 lb. (75 kg)

 

 

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