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  • 2016 Range Rover Sport SVR Long-Term Report 1 of 4

2016 Range Rover Sport SVR Long-Term Report 1 of 4

Scary Performance, Scary Capability, Scary Price Tag

Christian Hazel
Nov 14, 2017
Photographers: Christian Hazel
The Land Rover brand was founded on off-road utility and capability. And to this day, those traits are first and foremost when it comes to the engineering, mechanicals, and design of its vehicles. Everything else is secondary. If it impedes off-road capability, it gets reengineered or eliminated. Period. The result is a dynamic driving experience on-road that can take you anywhere within the limits of tire sidewall and body damage off-road. But all that upper-level engineering does come at a steep price. We’ve entered the days where ability off-road is becoming a luxury item. Brace for impact, but it’s true.
For us, the heart of the SVR isn’t the 550hp supercharged and intercooled 5.0L V-8. Nor is it the superbly calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission or the Terrain Response 2 system with rear locker and specially tuned vehicle dynamics for snow, mud, sand, or rock. No, for us the best part of driving the SVR is the way the chassis is tuned. The suspension, steering, and braking control are reactive. The best way to describe it is how your body moves to counter bumps and turns when you’re riding a motorcycle or a horse. The Range Rover does this above its tires. You feel like the vehicle is a living, breathing thing endeavoring to keep you centered above the line. But all that said, the 550hp tune of the SVR’s growling V-8 is a nice party piece. Acceleration is liquid-smooth with no lag at any rpm. The supercharger just gets it. And the 502 lb-ft of torque keeps you moving without downshifting on any grade.
Photo 2/3   |   With roughly 10 inches of front- and rear-wheel travel, even a track-burning on-road killer like the SVR is totally at home hauling ass down a deserted desert road. And with a real rear locker and tons of independent suspension articulation, it can rockcrawl well beyond the limits of its low-profile tires.
Inside, the seats are not the most comfortable we’ve ever been in, not by a long shot. Designed for keeping you laterally positioned on the track, the meaty bolsters in the seat bottom dig into even this editor’s skinny arse. And the four-point harness provisions in the headrests negate the ability to have in-cabin DVD screens. So if you’re using this as a family-hauler, the kids had better have a book or tablet. Another gripe centers on build quality, which if we’re honest, isn’t a hallmark of the Land Rover brand. The lower door cladding on the passenger-side front and rear doors started coming off. Turns out it’s merely held on with double-sided tape. The dealership stuck it back on with some glue or bubble gum or whatever they use, but as of this writing, the new replacement panels haven’t made their way across the pond from England.
Inside, the 1,700-watt Meridian Signature Audio is a fantastic accompaniment for long trips, and the adaptive xenon headlights more than make up for the lack of foglamps, which would go where the oversized intercooler ducts in the fascia reside. Otherwise, we’ve found all the buttons, knobs, touchscreen gizmos, Bluetooth, and other niceties to be right where you expect them to be and easy to access or engage. No shift buttons that look like HVAC controls or goofy design flaws. It’s a well-thought-out vehicle.
Given how many low-profile 295/40R22 tires our sister brand, Four Wheeler, shredded during testing, we’ve been rather timid with this SVR off-road, but we’ll keep racking up the miles and burning the recommended 91-octane fuel, and before you know it, the new-vehicle-jitters will abate enough to put some sidewall gashes and fascia scratches into this über-expensive off-roader. Until then.
Photo 3/3   |   The two-tone tan/ebony interior color scheme is flat-out awesome. It’s like rich candy. The Estoril Blue paintjob? That’s a $1,800 option!

Report: 1 of 4

Previous Reports: None
Base Price: $111,350
Price as Tested: $128,332
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 6,369
Miles since last report: NA
Average mpg (this report): 13.57
Test best tank (mpg): 17.06 (highway between 70-75 mph)
Test worst tank (mpg): 12.06 (in-town driving)
Maintenance
This period: Passenger-side door cladding fell off and required reattachment
Problem areas: Fuel fill extremely slow because vapor reclamation nozzles always click off
Logbook Quotes
“Hey, there’s no air conditioning in these seats.”
“I should be able to scroll through more than one of the three satellite preset menus with steering wheel controls.”
“Hey, there’s Wi-Fi now!”
“The speedo works in reverse!”
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