2023 Range Rover Sport Review: All-Weather Road Warrior

Madrid, Spain / Park City, Utah — You know everything about the Range Rover Sport. It’s the proven high performer on tarmac from a brand that’s become famous for its off-road street cred. When the first Range Rover Sport hit the tarmac almost 20 years ago, it was more of an anomaly. There haven’t been that many ultra-fast SUVs on the planet because, to face the facts, they don’t really make sense from a mobility perspective.

Yet here we are looking at the third generation Range Rover Sport in 2023, trying to balance high performance with a semblance of environmental awareness. Unconvinced? Well, the model range now includes a number of (pun intended) electrified options, with an all-electric version being added in 2024.

Here’s a closer look at the 2023 Range Rover Sport redesign.

Range Rover Sport trims available for 2023

2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover
2023 Range Rover Sport
2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover

Up to this point, there are four different Range Rover Sports: two mild hybrids, one plug-in hybrid and a classic twin-turbo petrol V8 V8. (There’s no word yet on which version will be replaced by the EV, or if the fleet will offer five different models.)

They really had two chances to ride the third generation RR Sport and were surprised at how different one model is from the other.

In and around Madrid last September we had the opportunity to drive the biturbo V8 and a Euro version of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) on bone-dry roads. Then, this past February, we made our way to Utah to get behind the wheel of the Range Rover Sport P400 MHEV (mild hybrid) in the mother of all snowstorms. As expected, the Range Rover Sport is extremely capable in all weather conditions.

In fact, it made our list of the 7 best SUVs built to conquer snow.

Performance: A true all-weather road warrior

2023 Range Rover Sport
2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover

In Spain we tackled some mild off-road routes; These were not a challenge for the vehicle’s terrain response system.

This technology enhances the inherent capabilities of Land Rover’s legendary four-wheel drive system with a range of driver-selectable modes. You can blow yourself away by choosing settings for sand, snow and the like – but the automatic mode is smart enough that you can just leave it there, shut up and drive.

As we accelerated into the heart of a Category 5 snowstorm outside of Park City, the only challenge was visibility. There were no concerns about lack of grip as we drove over a series of mountain passes on the freeway.

2023 RANGE ROVER SPORT off-road
2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover

Range Rover Sport P530 (V8) vs. Range Rover Sport P440e (PHEV)

In terms of on-road performance, the P530 is the Range Rover Sport that lives up to its name. The new twin-turbo V8 produces five more horsepower than the previous engine (it’s now tuned to 523 horsepower), but also has 70 additional lb-ft of torque, for a total of 533 horsepower.

For a little more power and panache, there’s also the 2022 Sport SVR Ultimate Edition – a special 575hp model that gets a retuned V8, 22-inch gloss black wheels and new solid glass flake paints.

To be honest, the plug-in hybrid felt just as appealing as the P530 on tighter roads.

With the launch control system activated, this version of the RR Sport reaches 100 km/h in just under 4.5 seconds – undoubtedly fast for a large SUV. (Sidebar: The P530 has proved so popular in Canada that it sold out this year and is no longer listed on the Jaguar Land Rover Canada website.)

The PHEV, on the other hand, brings less horsepower to the table, but more torque. In North America, the PHEV is called the P440e Electric Hybrid. The powertrain consists of a turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder, a 105 kW electric motor and a 31.8 kWh battery pack. All told, this version delivers 434 hp and a whopping 619 lb-ft of torque.

2023 RANGE ROVER SPORT off-road in the water
2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover

The P440e is about a second slower to the mythical 0-60 or 100km/h mark than the P530, and also a shade slower than the two mild hybrid versions. But when cruising the extra-urban roads of Spain it proved responsive from anywhere in the rev range.

To be honest, the plug-in hybrid felt just as appealing as the P530 on tighter roads. Both versions have four-wheel steering to make handling easier and an air suspension system to smooth out bumps in the road.

2023 Range Rover Sport interior

All Range Rover Sports are authentic luxury vehicles, equipped with all the expected features of comfort, convenience and technology. Highlights include active noise cancellation, 22-way adjustable heated/cooled/massaged front seats, and an air purification system that monitors and compensates for CO2 in the hut.

2023 RANGE ROVER SPORT Interior driver's seat
2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover
2023 Range Rover Sport.  Photo: Land Rover
2023 Range Rover Sport. Photo: Land Rover

The curved central touchscreen, center console and digital instrument panel combine to create a sleek look. The controls for various functions aren’t very intuitive, but once you get used to them, they start to make more sense.

Bring away

All in all, the 2023 Range Rover Sport is a sweet upgrade from the outgoing second-gen model. The PHEV is a brilliant addition to the range and the P530 is a hit, but the high-performance SUV segment is more competitive than ever. The most interesting model, however, is the upcoming all-electric RR Sport – it will be fascinating to see the mcc brand push the limits of performance with this model.

The 2023 Range Rover Sport is priced at US$83,000 and CAD$101,750. Looking for a 2023 model? Check out our other 2023 SUVs worth waiting for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *