The 2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a luxurious vehicle, with a standard power sunroof, automatic headlamps with power washers, front and rear fog lamps, leather seats, heated exterior mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a harman/kardon six-disc CD changer, and memory settings for the driver's seat, the steering column, and the exterior mirrors. Also included on the list are dual-zone automatic climate control and a DVD-based navigation system.
The base HSE model comes with a 300-horsepower 4.4L V8 engine, while the SC trim comes with a supercharged 4.2L V8 that produces 390 horsepower. Both engines are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with Commandshift. Standard handling features on both models include dynamic stability control, active roll mitigation, hill descent control, cornering brake control, and an enhanced electronic air suspension with automatic load leveling.
While the Range Rover Sport HSE is well equipped, the SC trim adds even more items, including 20-inch aluminum wheels, chrome exhaust extensions, heated washer jets, and wood interior trim.
Much of the SC's standard equipment can be ordered on the HSE, including the Luxury Interior Package, which adds the heated windshield, heated premium leather seats, adaptive lighting, and wood trim. There is also a Cold Climate Package, a Rear Seat Entertainment Package, Sirius satellite radio, a rear differential lock, and 20-inch alloy wheels. The SC can add the rear differential lock and the Rear Seat Entertainment Package as well, in addition to adaptive cruise control, 20-inch Stormer alloy wheels.
There's a fancy new engine under the hood of Land Rover's base Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models. Part of the company's Ingenium engine family, this 3.0-liter inline-six combines a turbocharger, supercharger and 48-volt mild-hybrid system to improve overall efficiency and refinement. In theory, anyway.
This new I6 engine is available with two output levels. The base P360 configuration offers 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, while the P400 variant ups those numbers to 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. Both are mated to a smooth-shifting, eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, with Land Rover's legendary, go-anywhere capability.
In the case of my Range Rover Sport HST tester, only the more powerful P400 tune is available. HST is a new trim level for the Range Rover Sport; slotting above the HSE, it comes standard with unique 21-inch wheels, LED headlights, red brake calipers and a black exterior visual package, along with a number of interior upgrades including Windsor leather seats, a Meridian sound system and Land Rover's Touch Pro Duo infotainment system -- more on that in a minute.
The Good The 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a new, 3.0-liter, mild-hybrid I6 engine, which offers better stop-start operation. Dynamically, the Range Rover Sport is still a great-handling SUV.
The Bad The engine's power delivery is often hard to modulate. The Touch Pro Duo infotainment tech could use some refinement.
The Bottom Line A mild-hybrid powertrain doesn't spoil what I love about the Range Rover Sport. But it doesn't really add to its appeal, either.
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