I’ve heard and read it so many times from both Pinoy men & women. The Range Rover, given its iconic status as a very dependable luxury SUV, is often mentioned as “the dream car or SUV” of choice and rightfully so because these British SUV’s are some of the most luxurious and beautifully designed vehicles. The Range Rover brand of vehicles are used by Royalty, Heads of State and over the years has achieved premier status thus driving up the price of all of the Land Rover models. This brand is akin to status symbols such as Patek Philippe watches, a 62-year old bottle of Dalmore Whiskey or a Hermes Birkin bag. When you buy a Range Rover, you expect all the luxury a car maker can pack into a car.
For this review, we spent some time with the 2020 Range Rover Sport HSE V6 Diesel variant. It’s worthy to note that this generation of the Range Rover Sport is now 7 years into its current look (the new variant of the sport was launched in 2013). Since then, it has been one upgrade and facelift after another to keep the look sharp, the performance even better.
The demo unit for test drive was Firenze red and was stunning to say the least. Everywhere I drove it, people stared – 22 inch rims, Big and powerful frontage with a low-hanging front skirt, Matrix LED lights, those famous rear lights all put together to form a masterpiece of an SUV. The interior was a combination of beige, brown and gray and had two 10-inch infotainment screens. It flaunts the usual capabilities such as navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, car and driver detailed information. It did however feel rather complicated to touch screen your way through the various commands beyond the connectivity for audio & media and basic details. There are numerous power outlets and USB plug-ins throughout the vehicle, front and back. Likewise there are numerous pockets, bins and cubbies to store gear and personal items. The interior is capped off by hand gesture capabilities to open & close the panoramic sunroof/moonroof. Yes, I’ll say that again – hand gesture capabilities where you just flick your hand backward near the sensor of the sunroof for it to open and back. Sold yet?
Off road capabilities of this model weren’t tested in this particular test drive but it is rated to be able to wade in waters up to 33inches deep. It has 6 settings for snow, mud, rocks and of course a regular highway. This Sport has a 3.0 liter, 6-cylinder turbocharged engine that churns out 355 HP and 365lbs-ft of torque which means the 8-speed automatic gears move very quickly to take you to highway speeds in no time. However, the diesel engine has a very quiet hum to it when idling that sometimes while inside the cabin you can barely detect the running engine.
Handling of the RR Sport is very good. As they say you can directly feel the wheel when quick turns are made and the vehicle responds right away. The ride itself was superb. I drove the Sport alone and with 4 other passengers and it had no effect on how comfortable this vehicle was (air suspension) and most notably how powerful it was. I did notice a lag once you floor the gas pedal as the RR Sport did not immediately burn rubber but took a second or two to respond to the speed command. Whether that’s on purpose as a safety feature or just happened to be a function of the engine, it really has no weight on your decision to purchase the car, unless you intend to race it. Fuels consumption was measured at about 8kms per liter of diesel in city driving.
Verdict: At Php 9.890 Million, this vehicle feels every inch a luxury vehicle that has power. They currently have what I call “Covid19 promos” where a million or more pesos may be taken off the price if you’re a nice buyer. Go check out their showroom (cars.sulit.ph/land-rover) and call Roger Estella at 09164203875. It’s a hefty price for a vehicle for sure but hey, you know what you’re getting right?