If you’re having a hard time trying to decide between a sports car or an SUV as your next vehicle, the good news is that there are some SUVs that successfully manage to be both. One of the good ones is the 2023 Range Rover Sport.
While we hear the word “Sport” thrown around a lot on several models that aren’t actually that sporty, the Range Rover Sport is the exception. It stays true to its name by providing the best of both worlds as a truly sporty SUV that can easily out maneuver some sports cars.
Since it’s inception some 20 years ago, the Range Rover Sport has been the smaller, more fun version of the larger Range Rover. Initially the Range Rover Sport was also positioned as the cheaper alternative to the larger Range Rover, but now it’s aimed more at buyers that like the Range Rover, but also want to have a bit more fun behind the wheel
Most buyers will probably have a hard time differentiating between the two if you don’t see them side by side. At the front the Range Rover Sport’s face has slim headlights that are similar to the Velar, instead of the more squared off headlights on the larger version. The overall look is clean without too many lines are polarizing shapes that make it look far more classic and less polarizing than some of its rivals.. we’re looking at you BMW. The retractable door handles maintain the sleek look when you’re on the move.
At the rear is where you’ll really be able to tell the difference between the two, since the Sport gets horizontal taillights instead of the slim vertical headlights on the Range Rover. Clean, upscale and classic are words that we’d easily use to describe either version.
Inside the interior is a first class experience. Once you sit in the driver’s seat your body is coddled by the soft leather and comfy seats. The overall layout has a minimalistic look with top notch materials. There aren’t a lot of fussy buttons and the digital gauge cluster has a clean, yet modern look.
In the center of the dashboard, there’s the large Pivi Pro infotainment system, which you use to adjust many of the Sport’s functions and it also has features like Apple CarPlay. The system is pretty easy to use, but at times it was a bit buggy and didn’t want to connect to Apple CarPlay. Using the built in system for options like satellite radio could be a bit quicker.
What we really love about the Range Rover Sport is how it drives. You can get it with a mild-hybrid turbocharged straight-six that generates 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque or 355 hp in the base version. For buyers that want more, there’s the BMW sourced V8 of the P530 version that generates 523 horsepower.
Land Rover dropped off the Range Rover Sport First Edition for us to test out, which means that it was powered by the 4.4-liter V8 with 553 lb-ft. of torque. The engine packs a nice punch to make the Sport a blast to drive around town. The V8 has a great soundtrack and is ultra smooth.
In case you’re wondering, Land Rover is getting ready to enter the fully electric game with an electric Range Rover. In the meantime there is the Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid with 434 hp. The Range Rover Sport PHEV has a 51 mile EV range.
The ride quality is excellent and the steering although it’s a bit light, it’s also very accurate. Even with massive 23-inch wheels the ride was never harsh.
The pricing for the 2023 Range Rover Sport starts at $84,475.
At the end of the day, the 2023 Range Rover Sport is the no compromise SUV if you want a sports car, but also need space for the family. Its elegant styling makes it a stand out, while its powertrain and driving dynamics are hard to beat. The icing on the top is the premium interior that doesn’t give up any luxury to meet the goals of the sportier Range Rover.