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The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is, as the name suggests, the more athletic variant of the standard Range Rover. But what exactly makes it sportier? Is it really better than the Range Rover? Those are probably just a few of the questions you might be asking yourself now that you are looking into buying one.
Truth be told, the Range Rover Sport has a fair amount of pros and cons. For starters, a vehicle in this segment should have a better cargo capacity than the Range Rover Sport's maximum of 56.8 cubic feet. Trying to fit your camping gear in there is going to require a lot of maneuvering. Also, the Range Rover Sport has a history of negative customer reviews. If this model year is anything like the last few, its build quality could be below that of even your average economy vehicle.
On the positive side, the Range Rover Sport has a seriously cozy cabin that feels pretty spacious. Also, the handling feels secure, and the engines put forth some strong acceleration rates.
Could the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport be the vehicle for you, or should you pass it over? Read through this review to see what we like, what we would like to see get improved upon, and how this vehicle stacks up against the competition before we hand out our final verdict.
What's New for 2021?
Land Rover has not made too many changes to the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport line-up. There is a new air ionizer inside of the cabin, and there is a new HSE Silver Edition that joins the line. The HSE Dynamic can now be equipped with the Premium Black Pack appearance package that equips 21- or 22-inch wheels and black finishes on the exterior. The HSE Silver Edition gets standard diamond-turned finish on its 21-inch wheels and new silver exterior trim.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport – The Pros
1. A Comfortable Ride Quality
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a remarkably calm demeanor. The ride quality is designed for the utmost in comfort, which you should absolutely expect from a luxury vehicle like this. The suspension smooths out a lot of bumps. Also, when you flip Terrain Response into Auto mode, the system will smooth out a lot of bumps in the road. It dispatches bigger bumps pretty quickly, and smaller ones are hardly felt.
2. An Excellent Off-roader
The Range Rover Sport is known for being a workhorse in the luxury SUV segment. In fact, it is probably one of the most capable off-roaders in this class. The Terrain Response system is superb at helping this vehicle virtually glide over broken, rocky, mountainous terrain. The two transfer case also helps boost off-roading capabilities. The only thing that could be improved upon is the articulation of the wheels.
3. Swift Acceleration
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a quick acceleration, especially when you get the supercharged engine. The V8 that comes on the Autobiography and Supercharged Dynamic trim levels (a 5.0-L V8) gets 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. This helps the vehicle go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The line-topping SVR trim, which gets a power boost, lowers that number down to 4.5 seconds. Not too many SUVs can accomplish this feat.
4. Responsive Steering
Another big highlight of the Range Rover Sport is its highly responsive steering. This steering system feels incredibly accurate, allowing the Range Rover Sport to navigate winding mountain roads or to just back out of a tightly packed parking spot. The driver will get enough feedback, and their inputs are always adhered to in rapid fashion.
5. Secure Handling
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has some of the most secure handling you will find on a luxury SUV. While some of its competitors are lighter in weight and therefore a little bit more aerodynamic, the big, bulky Range Rover Sport can handle with ease. Most vehicles of its size have trouble doing so and can make drivers feel like they are piloting a boat instead of a SUV. The Range Rover Sport feels lighter than it really is, which is something drivers might appreciate.
6. A Quiet Cabin
The Range Rover Sport's cabin is quiet, even when you take it up to speed on the highway. The cabin is extremely well insulated from wind and road noise, and the engine barely makes a peep until you take it up to full throttle, which produces a pleasing growl. A luxury SUV's cabin should be just this quiet, but not all of the competition manages to get their cabins this thoroughly insulated.
7. The Touch Pro Duo System
The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system has a bit of a learning curve, but once you have it down, you will likely enjoy using this high-tech gadget. It comes off as being rather next-gen next to what you see in a lot of its rivals. It gives the cabin a completely modern look, and the interface has some sharp, high-quality graphics on it that are easy enough to see while driving.
8. Plenty of Interior Storage Areas
Storage compartments abound inside of the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport's spacious cabin. There is even a cooler box that you can opt for, and it works exceedingly well. Up front, you get plenty of compartments for storage smaller items, such as cell phones and sunglasses. The glove box has plenty of room inside of it, as does the bin under the center armrest.
9. A High Max Towing Capacity
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a max towing capacity of 7,716 pounds on most of its trim levels, which is one of the best ratings in its class. The SVR trim level's number drops to 6,613 pounds, which is still good. And the hybrids? They can tow up to 5,511 pounds without a problem. The Range Rover Sport's rivals will have trouble besting its capabilities when it comes to towing.
10. The Driver Aids Work Well
The Range Rover Sport is given several key standard driver aids. Automatic emergency braking comes with the forward collision warning, and lane departure warning comes standard as well. You can opt to add adaptive cruise control on if you want it. The only downfall is that many features are left as options. Still, they all work as they should and help keep you safe on the road.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport – The Cons
1. Limited Cargo Space
Cargo space is traded for interior space inside of the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Its 24.8 cubic feet of cargo space that comes behind the rear seat can be maxed out to 56.8 cubic feet when you fold the rear seats down. This number trails behind the competition, so you will be able to easily find more spacious cargo areas in other vehicles in this segment.
2. Staggering Price Jumps
The price tag on the Range Rover Sport dramatically leaps up between the trim levels. This luxury SUV is already expensive as a base trim, so be prepared to spend a ton of money on the higher trims. The downside to this is that the actual value does not match the cost at all. You do not get many standard features for the price, and the build quality is questionable. You can find better-equipped (and possibly even better-built) economy vehicles.
3. It is Known for Having Electrical Issues
One of the things past Range Rover Sports are notorious for are electrical issues. Drivers have reported a wide array of problems, from the vehicle stopping dead in its tracks on a busy highway to complex electrical issues that even corporate engineering has trouble figuring out. If the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is anything like its predecessors, this could spell 'trouble' for buyers.
4. Repairs are Expensive
Repairs to Range Rover Sport vehicles can be downright expensive - and frequent. The 2021 line-up could follow suit with previous iterations, so if repairs are needed, they could make the vehicle more expensive to own than you might like.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport vs. 2021 BMW X5
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport sees some stiff competition from the 2021 BMW X5. More modestly priced and loaded with a ridiculously awesome amount of standard features, the X5 is incredibly spacious and comfortably - not to mention luxurious in its details. The performance you get from it is strong on either model. The downsides are that you get some pretty big blind spots due to the way that the thick roof pillars and bulky side mirrors are situated. Also, the door sills are wide, making for difficult entry and exit. The limited amount of interior storage compartments is also a bit disappointing. But the X5 has a good track record with owners of previous iterations and won't cost a small fortune to repair.
2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport vs. 2021 Lexus LX 570
The 2021 Lexus LX 570 is another tough competitor for the model year. It can become a pricier option than the Range Rover Sport, and the second and third rows do not have as much space or versatility of design. Additionally, the tech interface is not at all user-friendly and has a long learning curve that will prove frustrating for many drivers. However, you do get a solid performance and amazing off-road capabilities from this beautifully designed luxury SUV.
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a hit-or-miss type of luxury SUV. What it gets right, it totally nails. What it gets wrong, it totally fails. There is little in-between. If the power it gives off is what you want, then you might enjoy driving this vehicle... until it breaks down.
• Why buy a 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport? w/ pros vs cons