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Photos: 2009 Range Rover Sport HSE
Although in serious need of a cabin tech update, the 2009 Range Rover Sport maintains its off-road prowess and general drivability.
CNET Reviews staff
The Sport HSE is positioned as a more road-friendly version of the standard Range Rover. Both models are powered by 4.4-liter engines, and Land Rover offers pricier supercharged versions of each. Lesser models in the Land Rover line are the LR3 and LR2.
The Range Rover Sport uses a 4.4-liter aluminum block V-8 engine, making 300 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 315 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Although we found this engine to be more than adequate for the Sport, Land Rover also offers a supercharged 4.2-liter V-8 that makes 390 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.
The Range Rover Sport exhibits plenty of understeer in the corners, but the steering is responsive. Steering wheel buttons include voice command access for the navigation system and cell phone integration.
The Range Rover Sport is in serious need of a cabin tech update. The navigation system, although standard, isn't integrated with the audio or cell phone systems, relegating audio information to the little monochrome radio display on the instrument panel.
This DVD-based navigation system gets the job done, but with no advanced features. We do like its off-road mode, which leaves a breadcrumb trail on uncharted terrain, helping the car get back to the civilization.