Before we get into this new variant of the Range Rover Sport, let’s dive a little into when and where the Range Rover brand saw its origin. The first-ever Range Rover was launched back in 1970. It was introduced by British Leyland; a brand which owned the Jaguar Land Rover marque. Fast forward to 2004 and the world saw the introduction of the Range Rover Sport.
Since the beginning, the Range Rover Sport always had a little more sex appeal than the other it siblings. Even with the major update in 2013, it retained its good looks. Another thing the Range Rover Sport always had was the large and powerful engines. Currently, it has six different engine options to choose from. There’s the top of the line 5.0-litre supercharged V8 (SVR), a slightly detuned version of the same engine, a 3.0-litre, supercharged, V6 petrol engine, a 3.0-litre, turbocharged, V6 diesel engine and a 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged, diesel engine.
However, JLR recently added the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 221 kW of peak power and 400 Nm of peak torque, to the mix. This particular engine also comes in other JLR cars like the Jaguar XF and the Jaguar XE. But the question we’ll be exploring in this particular review is whether this engine makes sense in a big SUV like the Range Rover Sport. Especially when there’s the extra ‘Sport’ at the end.
Since we will be talking predominately about the engine itself, let’s first talk about the performance. The 2.0-litre unit is a little slow to respond right off the bat, this does take a little getting used to at first. After the initial bit of lag though, there’s a nice spread of power right across the rev band. If you want to get a move, mashing the throttle isn’t probably the best way to do it. However, if one does press down on the accelerator hard, the Sport responds with quite an exhaust note along with steady progress. Although the exhaust note does tend to exaggerate the progress a tad bit.
So, it’s not the kind of power you come to expect from a Range Rover Sport but it doesn’t at any point seem inadequate. In fact, those looking to purchase a brand like Range Rover without the hassles of owning a bigger capacity powertrain will come to appreciate the smaller capacity Range Rover Sport. The eight-speed gearbox is also smooth and provides a seamless shifting experience. This particular version also works for customers who’d be using the SUV mostly in the city and on the highway, although it does get terrain-select options as well. It also gets three different modes – Eco, Normal and Dynamic.
Both on the inside and outside, things remain the same in comparison to the other variants on offer. The Range Rover Sport is a definite looker and its slightly roundish body shape gives it an imposing stance. There’s still that sense of occasion to the interiors, which feel solid and classy. The two touchscreen systems on the dashboard provide an array of customization options. Both the front and rear seats are well-bolstered and are extremely comfortable to sit in. The steering feels light in traffic conditions and weights up well as the pace begins to increase. In terms of styling, comfort and drivability, the big-little Range Rover Sport scores very well indeed.
The Si4 engine gets a claimed top speed of 201 kmph and the 0-100 sprint will take just 7.3 seconds. Apart from this, it’s available in all three (S, SE and HSE) trim levels. Prices for the 2.0-litre Range Rover Sport start at Rs 86.71 lakh (ex-showroom) and go up to Rs 1.05 crore (ex-showroom). Keeping that in mind, it’s hard to argue that smaller capacity Range Rover Sport doesn’t really make sense. In fact, for a buyer who’s looking to make a statement without really burning a huge hole in his/her pocket, this very well could be the Range Rover Sport they’ve always wanted.