Short Drive - 2014 Range Rover Sport Autobiography
A luxury speedboat with wheels.
By: Anthony Fongaro | February 2016
When the first Range Rover Sport debuted back in 2005, it had two huge flaws. It wasn’t as luxurious as a regular Range Rover and… it wasn’t sporty. At all. Range Rover figured this out after many people complained about how un-sporty their Sport model was and fully redesigned it inside and out. The vehicle I did a Short Drive was a top-of-the-line 2014 Range Rover Sport Autobiography model featuring a supercharged 5.0-litre V8. So is this latest model worthy of being a sporty Range Rover? Let’s find out, starting out with Sport.
Take a peek under the hood and you’ll find a supercharged 5.0-litre engine producing 510 horsepower. Combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Sport will go from zero to sixty in 4.6 seconds. That’s all good, but there’s more to the Range Rover Sport than just straight line speed. The steering feels sharp and quite precise. Turning the wheel, you get a sense that you are connected directly to the road. Is it sporty? Yes. But how about being a go-anywhere Range Rover?
Well, I wasn’t able to test that. What I can tell you is that the Range Rover Sport has Range Rover’s Terrain Response System that adjusts the vehicle’s suspension, throttle, and chassis settings depending on various terrain and ground. The regular mode it was set felt like I was driving on regular tarmac. The Range Rover Sport also has hill-descent which future owners will probably never use. In fact, most owners will probably never use more than the snow/ice and automatic setting. Just have peace of mind that if you do happen to be driving on mud or wading in a stream, you should be fine.
Finally, we get to what a Range Rover is now: a super-luxurious go-anywhere SUV. In this aspect, the Sport hits a homerun. Cameras pointing in every direction will help you to see everything you want and some things you don’t. Along with the standard array of tech like navigation and back-up camera, the Sport has a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled rear and front seats and quite comfortable front seats. The brown and black interior isn’t the color combination I would choose. For something this opulent, I would choose a lighter color interior.
For the money, the Range Rover Sport is great value for the amount of luxury, style, and off-road capabilities. I would recommend anyone with the money to take a look.
Midwest Motors is located at 540 Cortland Drive, Lake Zurich, IL 60047.
Images courtesy of Midwest Motors.