If you share the opinion that the full-sized and extremely regal Range Rover has become a little too imposing, consider its slightly smaller sibling, the Range Rover Sport. It shares much of the larger model’s technology plus its smoothed and postmodern style—blacked-out glass and window frames that give it a floating roof look—but is scaled so its ultra-capable off-road systems might actually be used on a rocky summertime trail. Perhaps.
In reality, the Range Rover Sport is primarily a very serious urban statement, with optional 23-inch wheels and a sold-out, $180,000 high-performance SV variant with 626 horsepower. Its leathery cabin and dash provide all the ultra-glossy but driver-focused features of bigger models, with most functions now simplified into a single 13.1-inch touchscreen and a few multipurpose terrain-control knobs on a piano-black console.
And as a precursor of the British brand’s largely electrified future, Range Rover Sport’s lineup is already given a light hybrid boost, with a full plug-in hybrid model also offering more than 50 miles of gas-free range. The mid-level SE Dynamic model ($90,700) generates 395 horsepower from a turbocharged and supercharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder and is no slouch, though Sport is much easier to navigate and park than its full-sized brother. A cold climate package with heated windshield, washer jets, and steering wheel add to its winter capabilities and comfort; a pop-up wine rack in the rear cargo area is as Range Rover as it gets.
31.9 cubic feet of cargo space
35.4 inches of wading capability
$83,600 base price