2012 Range Rover Sport HSE 4WD

2012 Range Rover Sport HSE is now even more stylish, purposeful and smart with a new Premium Dark Finish grille finish, a new gloss black fender vent surround and new body-colored door handles. For even greater levels of comfort and technology, the Range Rover Sport HSE specification includes seats in luxury leather and the driver’s seat features Electric Lumbar Support and three memory settings; also included are electrically adjustable, heated powerfold exterior mirrors. The Parking Aid has been extended to include the front of the vehicle, while a Rear View Camera helps reversing by displaying a wide-angled image on the Touch-screen. For extra style, there are striking 19 inch 15-spoke alloy wheels.

Both the BMW-sourced engines in the new Range Rover Sport HSE have brought new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to the marque. The 4.4 litre quad overhead camshaft V8 engine develops 53 kW more power and 82 Nm more torque than the old 4.6 litre OHV unit. In our tests, the new model shaved 2.4 seconds off the 0-100 km/h acceleration time and also showed substantial improvements in in-gear acceleration. Average fuel consumption during testing was 17.4 litres/100 km for the new model, compared with 19.3 litres/100 km for the old model. The 3.0 litre DOHC diesel engine is also very impressive. It puts out a healthy 130 kW and importantly, produces its maximum torque from just 2,000 rpm. That translates into excellent pulling power from low revs and is ideal for towing, or for four-wheel drive conditions.

As expected, the diesel also does pretty well on fuel consumption. Average for our testing was 12.7 litres/100 km. That provides worthwhile savings on fuel bills, even though diesel typically costs a few cents more than PULP. Naturally enough, the diesel is noisier than the V8, but effective cabin insulation means that you hear little diesel clatter within the cabin. Handling qualities are pretty much as they have always been with Range Rovers. The combination of considerable mass, a high ride height and soft, long travel suspension, means that the ‘Rangie’ isn’t too happy about making sudden changes of direction, or being thrown into tight manoeuvres. In these conditions, it lurches and rolls a bit uncomfortably, despite all the suspension control systems fitted. But out on the highway in relatively open conditions, the Range Rover lopes along capably in superb comfort and once you get used to the initially soft feel, it actually handles quite well.

For a long time, one of the more impressive aspects of the Range Rover Sport has been its excellent off-road ability, particularly given the bias towards providing superior ride comfort. The combination of ample engine power, good clearance and wheel articulation, and excellent traction due to the permanent four-wheel drive, and all the various traction control systems, allows the Range Rover to effortlessly handle most conditions that even the most rugged of 4WDs might have a bit of a struggle in. Probably the only 4WD condition in which the Range Rover Sport is not so capable is soft sand. Put this down to the vehicle’s considerable mass, which can result in the vehicle digging in.

The new Range Rover Sport is expensive to buy, big and a bit unwieldy around town, and it’s heavy on fuel if you opt for the petrol V8 version, but as far as providing a top-class luxury, comfort combination of comfort, luxury and fourwheel drive ability is concerned, it has few peers. The input from previous company owner BMW has brought considerable gains in terms of engine performance and efficiency, advanced design, extra features and enhanced build quality, and together, undoubtedly makes this new model by far the best Range Rover yet.


Post a Comment