If you’re after a luxurious, over the top SUV with a bespoke British feel, we recommend looking at the 2011 Land Rover Range Rover
. However, if you also want your upmarket SUV to be as quick as a sports car, then the 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is the way to go.
The Range Rover Sport is smaller and sleeker than the regular Range Rover as designers have targeted on-road performance during its development rather than strictly hard-core off-road capability. This led them to choosing the smaller and cheaper platform used for the Land Rover LR3 and this translates directly into a cheaper starting price for the Range Rover Sport compared to the Range Rover.
The 2011 Range Rover Sport starts at a very reasonable $59,645, nearly $20k less than the Range Rover.
The vehicle was just updated last year
, receiving a pair of brand new engines, extensive chassis upgrades and more refined styling.
Like the Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport is available in three different trim levels.
The base HSE comes with a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8, the same unit used in the Range Rover and in Jaguar’s complete lineup. It is rated at 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque and is good for a fuel economy of 13/18 mpg city/highway.
Next up the line is the HSE LUX, which gets the same engine as the HSE but more standard equipment.
The range-topper, and the model we most want, is the SC, short for supercharged. It gets a supercharged version of the 5.0-liter V-8 that’s good for 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. Its fuel economy is rated slightly worse than the HSE and HSE LUX, coming in at 12/17 mpg city/highway.
All models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, and the quickest of the bunch, the SC, will go from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Remember, this is a luxury laden SUV weighing some 5,500 pounds. The HSE and HSE LUX will do the same sprint in 7.2 seconds, which is still quite fast for the segment.
But fast acceleration isn’t the only calling card of the 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. For its update last year engineers put the SUV through an extensive program of chassis system modifications to improve on-road dynamics while preserving the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. The changes included a new ‘Adaptive Dynamics’ suspension management system, as well as a road-focused ‘Dynamic’ mode for better agility and ride quality.
For a closer look at the styling, performance, quality and safety of the 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport, check out the full review over at TheCarConnection