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2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Overview
Land Rover offers three SUVs as part of its lineup for 2012: the Evoque, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover. The Range Rover Sport is the middle of the range and targeted at customers looking to combine drivability, off-road capability and luxury in their daily driver without totally breaking the bank.
For 2012, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport is available in three 4-wheel-drive trims: HSE, HSE Lux and SuperCharged (SC). The standard engine—available in the HSE and HSE Lux—is a 5.0-liter 32-valve DOHC naturally aspirated V8 engine that makes 375 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. Those seeking a little extra oomph should check out the SC trim, which has the same engine—albeit supercharged—but reaches 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. All powertrains are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Range Rover Sport runs on regular gasoline, and the HSE trims are rated to achieve 13 mpg city/18 highway, while the SC trim is rated at 12/17.
Standard features found on all 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport trims include push-button start, keyless entry, an electric sunroof, automatic climate control, premium leather steering wheel and gear knob, electric heated and power folding exterior mirrors, electric 8-way driver's and front passenger seats with power lumbar, leather seating surfaces, an 11-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with a 380-watt amplifier, AM/FM radio with in-dash CD player, touchscreen display with hard-disk-based navigation, rear-view camera, power tailgate, front and rear park-distance control, xenon headlights with headlight power wash, LED taillights, front and rear fog lights, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The memory pack, which allows for the driver to preset seat position (including lumbar adjustment), mirrors and steering column height and reach, is also standard.
Choosing the HSE Lux or SC trim adds a center console cooler box, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, premium leather seating surfaces, electrically adjustable front seat bolsters and a climate comfort package, which includes three-stage heated front seats, two-stage heated rear seats and heated windshield-washer jets.
All Range Rovers, including the 2012 Range Rover Sport, are known for their highly rigid bodies and low center of gravity, making them safer than some of the other SUVs on the market. Other standard safety features for the Range Rover Sport include 6 airbags—including side-curtain airbags—all-terrain antilock brakes, energy-absorbing crumple zones, hill descent control and dynamic stability and roll stability controls.
Current owners of the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport are impressed with its handling, especially during city and highway driving. Some remark about how the Range Rover Sport drives more like a sedan than a sport utility vehicle. The Range Rover Sport also gets high marks for its off-road maneuverability, especially on rocky terrain. This is due, in part, to the four-corner air suspension with terrain response, which is standard on all trims. Its ability to handle snowy terrain is questioned by some reviewers, however.
The 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a lot of competition in the luxury midsize SUV market, including the Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Porsche Cayenne. Although the Range Rover Sport may trail slightly behind some of the competition in the number of standard amenities and luxury appointments, it more than makes up for its shortcomings through excellent on-road handling and off-road maneuverability.
by Mark S. Baker
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