Elegant but muscular, dynamic but gentle, the new Range Rover Sport is the best of British and you’ll definitely want one, writes Kate Ginn
They say: ‘Created without compromise.’ We say: ‘British class.’
I bet you can count the number of times on one hand when a GMC Yukon got out of your way. Yes, I mean one of those full-size SUVs, which can seat nine passengers and seems to be under the impression that they are the undisputed kings of the road.
Not any more buddy.
Move over America, the British are coming. This automotive invasion to these shores comes in the shape of the new 2014 Range Rover Sport, designed, engineered and built in the UK, and proud to fly the flag around the world. And what an ambassador this new model is.
I had never had a big, fat Yukon yield the road to me before. But it happened to me not once, but twice, as I drove down the Sultan Qaboos Highway. The path in front of me cleared miraculously as I swept majestically along. The Yukon moved into the middle lane. Not a single car tailgated me or showed an iota of disrespect the whole day that I spent with the sensational Sport.
There’s something to be said about driving a car that commands such deference.
It’s funny how soon you can get used to driving a RO52,000 motor instead of your ordinary, nondescript saloon car. It didn’t take me long to feel right at home with the opulent interior, superb handling and breathtaking acceleration.
I’m a bit of a car snob at heart, it turns out. I rather liked knowing that I had the most expensive car in the parking lot.
Everything is high end, from the softest of leather on the seats and warm wood veneers, to the stunning premium audio system with 19 speakers and top-notch touch screen central system.
Range Rover says its new Sport is the fastest, most responsive ever. Reviews say it is the best Sport ever made. I concur.
You have to drive the car to appreciate just how truly wonderful it is. It is a big car to look at yet it’s lightweight, slimmed down by up to 420kg with an all-aluminium body to make it lean and fighting fit.
Thanks to excellent safety features, such as curtain airbags front and side, and stability control, it feels as safe as a tank. The full surround camera ensures you’re always one-step ahead of the game.
What makes the Sport really desirable is that this beast can handle just about any terrain that you care to throw at it. With a flick of a switch, it can deal with steep hills, snow and ice, rock-strewn wadis, sandy deserts and muddy tracks. If you could transport this car to the moon, I’m sure that it would have no problem dealing with a lunar landscape of craters and ridges.
My test drive was in the V8 5L model. Could this accelerate? Faster than a shooting star (don’t panic Mr Range Rover, I kept to the speed limit).
My little saloon car and I don’t usually attract much attention on the roads, to be fair. In the Sport, we were like an imperious king and queen, acquiescing to share the road with lesser machines like we were bequeathing favours. Looks of unconcealed admiration and envy followed us everywhere.
The Sport is loaded with the sort of equipment you would expect in a car of this price. Such as Bluetooth telephone integration and a voice recognition system, all of which can be controlled from the steering wheel.
For all the meaty, throaty roar, there’s something slinky and almost seductive about the new Sport. It’s curvy and alluring without losing that unmistakable Range Rover look.
It’s the sort of car that is created to fit around the driver. It all works so beautifully and effortlessly.
I wanted to keep that car so badly. We had fitted together so well, Mr Range Rover Sport and I, that it seemed a wrench to split us up. I hung on to it until the very last moment possible.
You’ll want to do the same if you ever get the chance to drive it, I promise you.