A car for all seasons [Western Mail (Wales)]
(Western Mail (Wales) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) IT IS perhaps a sign of the times that luxury brands like Range Rover are striving for greater economy and lower toxic emissions.
Indeed the company takes its green responsibility very seriously.
Since September 2006, carbon dioxide generated by Land Rover manufacturing activities and UK customer vehicle use has been balanced through a carbon offsetting programme run by Climate Care.
The latest power plant in the Range Rover Sport features a cleaner, more efficient three-litre diesel. Added to this is a seamlessly shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox which also features a paddle shift behind the steering wheel.
In conjunction with the new gearbox, the Sport also comes equipped with the Drive Select rotary gear selector.
Power has been increased from 245bhp to 256bhp whilst CO2 emissions have been reduced from 243g/km to 230g/km and all are equipped with a diesel particulate filter making them among the cleanest big diesel engines on the market.
Economy is a claimed 32mpg which seemed pretty near the mark during a varied week of motoring and there is no compromise with performance from the V6 diesel.
It rockets the three-tonne-odd vehicle from 0 to 60mph in just 8.6 seconds.
Despite its height and bulk, it sits well on corners with sharp handling.
Steering is well weighted and direct and the cabin, with its big windows and large glass area is a delight on longer motorway journeys.
The Sport is sometimes seen as the "Flash Harry" model of the Land Rover stable because of its attraction to the young and wealthy, particularly the likes of footballers. But it is a practical tool as well, ideal for towing that horsebox or ferrying the family around.
It swallows plenty of luggage in the large boot area which can be increased even further with the folding split-rear seats.
It does look resplendent but just like its siblings it is a seriously hard-core offroader that can venture where other 4x4s can only dream about.
Exterior revisions include changes to the rear tailgate graphics and a gloss black treatment to the headlight inners and grille surround.
Other features available, some as optional extras, include dual view touchscreen that allows the passenger to watch TV or video while not distracting the driver, WhiteFire wireless technology which enhances rear seat entertainment and a superb, ear blasting 825W audio system.
There is also the "Say What You See" voice command system for audio and satellite navigation as well as USB and Bluetooth connectivity and a hard drive music server.
There is the usual riot of wood veneer, leather and deep pile carpets with just about every electrical and electronic aid you could imagine, while the multi-adjustable leather seats are supportive and comfortable.
Safety equipment is also comprehensive with seemingly nothing overlooked.
Bling or not, the Range Rover Sport is a car for all terrains and seasons. It's a lot of money, but a lot of car.
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