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Reviews2023 Range Rover Sport review: Short on surprises

2023 Range Rover Sport review: Short on surprises

We review the new 2023 Range Rover Sport in the heart of winter.


2023 Range Rover Sport Pros

 

  • Exceptional comfort

  • Strong performance with entry-level six-cylinder

  • Terrific winter capability

  • Beautiful design

 

2023 Range Rover Sport Cons

 

  • Below-average interior space

  • Simple interior

  • Precarious PHEV availability

 


 

The 2023 Range Rover Sport is a brand-new generation of what is arguably Land Rover’s most important model. The Range Rover Sport is the most popular Land Rover model despite its above-average price in its segment, and the British automaker’s engineers had no room for error when they redesigned the Sport. That likely explains why this is a fine premium midsize SUV, but there is nothing necessarily surprising or unexpected about how it behaves on the road.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

If you own a previous-generation Range Rover Sport, you can easily get accustomed to the new generation. Even the interior, although featuring clear improvements over the outgoing model, is a small departure from what we’ve seen before in the Range Rover Sport. Performance is better, and the comfort is improved, but the Range Rover Sport’s feeling and personality are pretty much the same. It does just enough to make current model owners want to switch, but with a host of new competitors arriving on the market, one wonders if the Range Rover Sport does enough to differentiate itself.

 

2023 Range Rover Review: Pretty much the same

 

One of the most comfortable midsize luxury SUVs you can buy

 

I’ll start with what the 2023 Range Rover Sport does best: comfort. Previous iterations were about average in the segment regarding on-road refinement, but this new generation sets the benchmark for comfort.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Equipped with a new dynamic air suspension system that reads the road ahead using navigation data and a range of other variables, the new Range Rover Sport can adjust suspension damping and firmness based on upcoming road conditions. In other words, it adapts with the result being a very smooth, undisturbed experience behind the wheel. Whether you’re driving in the city or on the highway, the new Range Rover Sport rivals its larger Range Rover brother in terms of comfort. No other generation of the Range Rover Sport even came close.

 

It is also quieter, and the seats provide more cushioning, perhaps at the expense of a little bit of lateral support. Still, in most daily driving situations, the seats ensure you arrive energized and ready to go at your destination. Even my tester’s 22-inch wheels didn’t do anything to compromise comfort on the road.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

On the other hand, interior space is okay, but the Range Rover Sport doesn’t necessarily differentiate itself in this area. The Mercedes-Benz GLE, for example, or an Audi Q7 give you more space, particularly in the back and cargo area. There’s no longer a third-row option which is fine, given how useless this additional row was in previous models.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Improvements inside

 

The 2023 Range Rover Sport’s interior is refined and luxurious but also simple. The centre display measures 13.1 inches and replaces the dual-screen setup of the previous model. Despite having every function in one spot, it’s fairly intuitive and quick to react. You will need a bit of time to get used to the different menus, but overall, the Sport’s infotainment system is one of the most user-friendly in the segment. The ambient lighting is composed of a single LED bar on the lower portion of the dashboard and creates an upscale look, but the new X5’s interior or even the GLE’s have the upper hand regarding the wow factor.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

The dual rotary dials below the screen control the heated and ventilated seats, the temperature, and the airflow. Like in the larger Range Rover, you push or pull the dials to access the different functions. Unfortunately, they can be frustrating to manipulate when you have gloves on. Moreover, the interior is lacking in the storage department. Aside from a slim slot for wireless charging that hides your phone completely and a generous centre console, there are few areas to empty your pockets inside the Sport.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Overall the interior stands out with the quality of its materials and its clean design, but a bit more functionality would have been nice.

 

Terrific performance out of the gate

 

The 2023 Range Rover Sport is powered out of the gate by an Ingenium 3.0-litre turbo six-cylinder that delivers a powerful 395 hp and 406 pound-feet torque. This engine is one of the most refined in the segment, delivering linear celebrations with a fair amount of punchiness when needed. It reacts with little hesitation when solicited and has a nice exhaust note to go along with it as a bonus.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Straight-line accelerations won’t blow you away with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds, but the mid-range torque is what stands out the most about this proven powertrain. There’s always ample power to go around, and the kick generated when passing on the highway gives the driver great satisfaction and confidence.

 

This engine is one of the reasons why the Range Rover Sport can justify charging nearly $20,000 more for its base model than Mercedes-Benz for the GLE or BMW for the X5. The base Sport is also more powerful than a base Cayenne.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Range Rover also offers a brand-new plug-in hybrid that delivers 434 horsepower and an even more impressive 77 kilometres of all-electric range on the Sport. No other PHEV on the market gives you this much all-electric freedom, although availability is an issue.

 

Driving the new Range Rover Sport in the middle of February confirmed its all-weather competence. Even on larger 22-inch winter tires, the traction and stability displayed by the Sport on icy and snowy roads are quite impressive. Unlike some of its rivals, the Sport feels connected to the road even when you can’t see it, and there’s no hesitation when taking off on ice or going through the wall of snow the plow left at your entrance. As far as luxury SUVs go in winter, the Range Rover Sport continues to be one of the best options.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Conclusion

 

I rarely mention design in a review because it’s not my place to say if a vehicle looks good or not, but this new generation of the 2023 Range Rover Sport is a beauty. Models with larger wheels are particularly stunning, and as mentioned previously, the larger wheels don’t compromise comfort, so you get the best of both worlds.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

Overall, the 2023 Range Rover Sport does enough to justify its price tag, specifically with its comfort, where it is now one of the most refined midsize luxury SUVs in its class. It also continues to lead the way in its segment in terms of off-road capability, and the performance of the entry-level six-cylinder is impressive. It may not be spacious enough for the needs of an active family, and the dashboard can’t match some of its snazzier competitors, but that’s really where the new Sport’s faults end.

 

2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2023 Range Rover Sport | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

 

 

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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