This is the essence of luxury.
The thing about luxury is this: it’s defined by timeless design and updated with and subtle changes. Details are intuitive and light years ahead of the competition. It knows what you want before you want it, and delivers with delight.
That’s the idea behind the 2023 Range Rover Sport. The approach is “Sartorial Restraint,” according to Range Rover chief of design Gerry McGovern. On the outside there are slim lights, flat door handles, and a new rear end signature of slim tail lights; the Range Rover name is spelled out demurely in black on black across the tailgate. The interior is even more elegant and functional, with either sustainable leather-like materials or semi-aniline leather, a new media screen and a refined, less busy cockpit.
This upgraded sibling to the recently introduced 2023 Range Rover maintains its 5 passenger size for a still sporty look and feel. The third generation of the Sport edition—the last redesign was in 2013—is more modern and elegant. It’s easy to see why it’s the brand’s most popular model and a hit with their youngest buyers.
The Cloud Sofa on Wheels?
Restoration Hardware had a huge hit with the Cloud Sofa, a fluffy, floating nest of loveliness, and now, you can get that experience in the Range Rover Sport. Climb into the cabin and pull the door closed with a soft click and suddenly you’re in a haven. The white interior in the model we toured (though there’s a less interesting dark interior) is plush and comfortable, with soft gray microsuede lining the ceiling and pillars. There are soft dark carpets hiding any dirt on the floor and fabric covers on the Meridian speakers to both quiet the cabin and enhance the acoustics of the sound system. Inside the rest of the world melts away to a lush silence. It’s sublime.
To make the interior still feel crisp and modern, Range Rover used the two-tone approach with the seats; the rear outboard seats are white while the center seat is black, giving the feel of individual space even while providing seats for 5 passengers.
This Refined Front Cabin Has a More Elegant Look and Feel
The dashboard and front cabin have been refined even more, with fewer dials and controls that add up to a less cluttered look. There’s a new 13” curved glass screen at the center that controls the Pivi Pro multimedia system, a customizable system that allows you to organize the apps however you’d like and set your own wake word to access the voice assistant (“Hey, Gracie” would be my choice). You can also log into your Alexa account, rather than port it from your phone, for music, shopping and more.
Range Rover added wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a wireless phone charge pad that sits right under the touch screen. And there is a customizable cup holder, deep-welled center console and a gear selector that feels really nice in your hand.
But probably the thing that is most novel are the climate and function dials that light up when you touch them, both on the front dash and on the rear console for back seat passengers. When in use they light up so you can see them; when you don’t need them they fade in to the console to be barely noticed.
Novel Ways to Enhance Luxury: By Listening
Quiet is one of the central tenets of luxury, and the Range Rover Sport takes that idea to new heights. There is a plug-in hybrid electric option with 48 miles of all electric, mostly silent driving. There are microphones in the wheel wells to measure and cancel out noise from the road, the wheels and other sources.
Then, there are air vents in the tail gate area that whisk air out of the cabin as passengers close the doors; this makes the process quieter and reduces any ear-plugging wind rush or air pressure. A cabin air purifier keeps the airflow crisp and clean.
What This Car Costs
A luxury car at heart, the Range Rover sport is more than just a pretty face. There are two models with a mild hybrid motor, which both increases power and uses less fuel; MPG is estimated at about 22MPG. There are standard or enhanced 4 wheel drive systems; owners will be able to ford up to 35” of water and climb a grade of up to 45%, or both at the same time if you’re so inclined (though, seriously, never drive through moving water).
- The entry model is the P360 SE with a mild hybrid 6 cylinder turbo engine, has 355 horsepower and a starting price of $83,000.
- The upgraded P400 Dynamic SE model also has a mild hybrid 6 cylinder turbo and 395 horsepower and starts at $90,000.
- The P440e plug-in hybrid $104,200 has 48 miles of range on a single charge and generates 434 HP; it can charge to 80% in 30 minutes at a level 2 charger or overnight at a standard household charger.
- The P 530 First Edition starts at $121,500 and comes with a unique dynamic air suspension system that delivers an an even more powerful off road capability, delivering up to 1,000 lb.-ft of torque to each axle
All that capability is a luxury, too. Just imagine driving past the fray of the city, through the woods and across a creek and plugging in your Range Rover Sport each night, never needing to worry about gas. It’s like Range Rover read our minds. But isn’t that the true essence of luxury?
Disclosure: I was Range Rover’s guest for this product presentation; travel and accommodations were provided. However, I hope to drive the Range Rover Sport soon to truly test it out.