The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is becoming the Porsche 911 of SUVs.
Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8, 510 hp, 461 lb-ft
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
US Pricing: Starts at $93,490 after destination charges, $109,405 as tested
Canadian Pricing: Starts at $106,565 after destination charges, $120,215 as tested.
EPA Fuel Economy: 14 MPG city, 19 MPG highway
CDN Fuel Economy: 16.6 L/100 km city, 12.3 L/100 km highway
Not necessarily because of its performance, although the SVR model is plenty capable, but more so due to the sheer number of variants the Range Rover Sport can come in. With the addition of the hot-rod SVR model this year, the Sport is now available in seven different trims that cover a massive price spread.
This Range Rover Sport onslaught hopes to ensure there is an SUV for all tastes. Those with the need for speed can opt for the SVR. If an elegant ride is your thing, there is the Range Rover Sport Autobiography.
Autobiography – It’s All About You
The Autobiography package turns an already posh SUV into a proper gentleman, complete with monocle and Henry Poole suit. Some of the upgrades include 16-way power front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, center console cooler, tri-zone climate control, surround view camera, 19-speaker Meridian sound system and 21-inch wheels.
And if that’s not enough, there are two-tone and three-tone interior color schemes available. My test vehicle came with the red and black two-tone interior that is loud, to say the least. But if red isn’t your thing, especially on the center of the steering wheel, there are plenty of other color combinations to choose from.
SEE ALSO: Range Rover Sport Supercharged Review
Every detail inside the Autobiography is finished in the best of materials. Even the inside of the door pockets are trimmed in a soft, fake suede-like material. Not being happy enough with the chic interior, a few more high-end options were tacked on including an upgrade from the piddling 825-watt Meridian sound system to the ear-bleeding 1,400-watt system.
But not everything is perfect inside. I couldn’t find a comfortable seating position in the 16-way adjustable front seats. I usually like Land Rover seats, but for some reason, these didn’t fit me properly. I found the upper portion of the seat was too stiff and the bottom cushion merely acceptable. As well, I wish the gauge cluster was more customizable so I could better set what information I wanted to see. The infotainment system is also very laggy. It takes long pauses between my touch commands and actually responding to them.
Rear seat passengers won’t have any of these issues, as the seats back there are comfortable and offer 37-inches of legroom. Behind them resides 27.7 cubic feet storage of storage space inside the powered lift gate.
As luxurious as the Sport Autobiography is, it’s also fast. Zero to 6p mph happens in just five seconds flat – impressive for a 5,093-pound SUV. Enabling such a feat is a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that makes 510 hp and 461 lb-ft. of torque. It’s connected to an eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels.
Land Rover claims the Sport Autobiography can hit a governed top speed of 140 mph; an important ability when late for a state’s dinner. It feels every bit as quick as the numbers suggest, but big power does come with a drawback: big thirst. Officially, the Range Rover Sport Autobiography is rated at 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.
The supercharged V8 does sound fantastic, though. I wish it was actually a little louder or had the option to open up the exhaust more, but I guess for those who love V8 soundtracks above all else, there’s the Sport SVR.
What Can It Do and What Does It Cost?
When stepping up to the V8 in the Range Rover Sport, the entry level model’s Torsen center differential is dumped for an electronically controlled one. It’s infinitely variable and includes a two-speed electronic transfer gearbox. This allows the Range Rover to have decent levels of off-road prowess, further endowed thanks to the air suspension’s adjustable 10.9-inches of ground clearance.
SEE ALSO: 2016 Range Rover Sport SVR Review
But with the upgraded 21-inch wheels wearing 275/45R21 tires, the Sport Autobiography isn’t exactly going to be tearing up backwoods trails. It’s more of an on-road Range Rover and it handles well for a big SUV. It’s not the most agile vehicle in its class, but again, there is the SVR for more performance. As it stands, the Autobiography is a well-proportioned SUV when it comes to comfort, handling and off-road abilities. And if you have a big boat to tow around, it can also pull 7,716 lbs.
Starting at $93,490 after destination charges, the Range Rover Sport Autobiography isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s priced in line with the other high-end luxury SUVs. Coming in at $109,405 as tested, it still under cuts the similarly powerful Porsche Cayenne Turbo by a few thousand dollars.
The Verdict: 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Autobiography Review
The Range Rover Sport is a more traditional looking SUV than most of its curvy competitors. It has a certain regal appeal that many other high-end sport utilities can’t match. The Autobiography in particular is more about luxury and power than handling and off-road. It’s an SUV full of swank and pedigree, perfect for family days at the country club.