23 June 2010

Range Rover Sport

This is the first of a five part series about the Land Rover Range.

The latest vehicle to enter the Land Rover range is the Range Rover Sport. It was an unusual execution, names and designed as Range Rover but using a Discovery platform. Yet it was a masterstroke. Production soared to 60,000 units in 2007 and despite the financial downturn and some countries trying to legislate SUVs off the road, it continues to sell strongly. By my reckoning, 250,000 have been made in the five years of the cars existence.

Unlike other Land Rover products that tended to be leaders, the Sport definitely followed. The X5, Cayenne and Merc ML were all there before the LR product. Despite this, it has taken a real chunk of sales off the mentioned models and deservedly so. While it may not quite match them on the road, its vastly superior offroad abilities give it much broader capabilities. Plus let's face it, for 98% of motorists, the road abilities of the Sport are quite sufficient. The premium German brands are not used to others taking their sales so easily, but such is the appeal of the RR Sport over the somewhat dull Germanic offerings, it's hardly surprising to see why. Only the fact that Land Rover has fewer dealers than the competition has stopped more sales being taken.

The Range Rover Sport is a smash hit anyway you evaluate it. It looks stylish, drives well on or offroad, and is a real quality product. Compared to the opposition it is priced well too. Land Rover has a winner on its hands. To those who conceived it, well done.

The bottom line: If you want a SUV that can take you anywhere in style, your search stops with the Range Rover Sport.

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