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2016 Range Rover Sport SDV8 Review


Good points

  • Smooth, powerful diesel V8
  • Great mix of capability
  • Good to look at, outside and in

Needs work

  • Pricier than the competition, especially the options
  • Road noise is too intrusive
  • Standard safety kit is a little lean

We’re big fans of specialised cars. Sports cars go fast, whether that’s in a straight line or through corners. Family wagons are designed to be comfortable and durable. Hardcore off-roaders might not be the last word in sophistication, but they reach terrain where no conventional SUV will take us.

But not everybody has the interest—or the garage space—to buy three cars for three different lifestyles. There must be one car to do it all, right? There must be one model that can confidently offer driving pleasure, handle family duties with ease, and be capable enough to off-road properly.

It turns out that such a compromise is difficult to achieve. There are a quite a few good performance SUVs, like the BMW X5 M50d with its mammoth triple-turbocharging, or the Porsche Cayenne S Diesel—but neither German will take you very far off-road. Then, there are luxurious four-by-fours that are capable off the beaten track, like the Toyota LandCruiser Sahara. But the LandCruiser drives more like a truck than a car once you’re back in civilisation.

Making a car dynamic on the road and highly capable off it is tough: these are two goals that pull engineers in opposite directions. Despite this, Land Rover have managed to strike that balance rather convincingly across their range.

The 2016 Range Rover Sport SDV8 stands out as particularly compelling. Provided you’ve got $170,000 or so, the Sport is the car we’d buy when you need a sophisticated tool to fit many of the aspects of modern life: whether that’s traversing deep snow on the way to the ski fields, or just dropping the kids at school, the Sport is equally at home.

Plenty of the Range Rover’s competitors do go-fast dynamics or luxurious interiors. It’s the Range Rover, though, that is unique in offering actual off-road ability, a higher level of durability—plus the unspoken sophistication that is intertwined with the British brand.

2016 Range Rover Sport

Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)
Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)

Key specs (as tested)

Twin turbochargers
250kW @ 3500rpm
740Nm @ 1750–2000rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
Average Range
Four wheel drive
Engine configuration
Unoccupied weight
Cargo space seats up
Cargo seats down

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Terms and conditions

The estimate provided does not take into account your personal circumstances but is intended to give a general indication of the cost of insurance, in order to obtain a complete quote, please visit www.budgetdirect.com.au. Estimate includes 15%^ online discount.
^Conditions Apply

Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.

Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.

^Online Discounts Terms & Conditions
1. Discounts apply to the premium paid for a new Budget Direct Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance, Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire & Theft Insurance policy initiated online on or after 29 March 2017. Discounts do not apply to optional Roadside Assistance.
2. Discounts do not apply to any renewal offer of insurance.
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