Before I delve deeper into the performance of the Range Rover Sport 2.0 Petrol on the track, let me tell you two things first – one, the score sheet doesn’t quite tell the complete story, and, two, it may not have put in a great lap time, but it isn’t by any means a slow car. The somewhat mediocre lap time has more to do with its weight and size than its engine.
And since we’re on the topic of performance, here’s a number – the Range Rover Sport 2.0 can do the 0 to 100km/h dash in just 7.3 seconds, that’s just one-tenth of a second slower than the more powerful, and expensive, 335bhp 4.4-litre V8 diesel.
The Range Rover Sport 2.0 petrol feels supremely tractable. Thanks to the wide torque band, all of its 400Nm kicks in right from 1,500rpm and remains there all the way up to 4,000rpm. Once you get past the initial turbo lag, the power delivery is good, and the progress is swift. For the most part, you won’t ever find yourself wishing it had more power on offer. The engine remains calm and refined throughout its rev range too.
For a car this big, the way the Range Rover Sport drove around the track took us by surprise. Yes, it has body roll – a lot of it – but it doesn’t rob the car of any confidence. The well-weighted steering wheel, torque vectoring system, and firm suspension setup actually come together quite well to ensure that it handles better than its size would suggest.
Although the Range Rover Sport feels solid in terms of build quality, there is some scope for improvement in the fit-and-finish department – especially when you consider new-generation cars like the BMW X5.
Overall, from a refinement and practicality point of view, not to mention the pride of ownership, it has a lot working in its favour. In fact, the 2.0 petrol version is easily the best Range Rover Sport that money can buy.