2016 Range Rover Sport SVR: Long Term Report 2 of 4
On- and Off-Road Towing and Going
We’ve been doing what we’re supposed to do with our long-term evaluation vehicle: drive it everywhere, every chance, and in every situation possible. For us, that means a lot of daily trips to pick up kids from school, shuttling baseball equipment to games and practices and boogie boards to the beach, long-range highway driving, off-roading, and even some heavy towing. In short, everything you’d expect an SUV to be able to handle; even if that SUV comes with a steep $128,000 price tag. More to the point, actually, because of that price, we’re less inclined to cut this vehicle any slack. If you get what you pay for, you’d better get a lot with the SVR.
The first you notice living with an SUV like this on a daily basis is becoming more attuned to your surroundings. The Estoril Blue paint job is the thing most people make comment to us about our SVR tester. It is a striking color. And knowing how expensive the paint job on this sucker is, that makes it all the more frustrating when you find the errant door ding or parking-lot blemish from brain-dead motorists. Trail scratches and honest battle scars are one thing, but in town we often park way in the rear of the lot to help alleviate any more marks. And texting drivers who drift into your lane or BMW chuckleheads at stoplights who want to race are another almost-daily consideration. You almost want to line the body with marine-dock bumpers for protection. It’s probably not something we’d worry with a vehicle costing a third the price of this one, but damage from external factors is much more annoying in the SVR than other vehicles we frequently pilot.
Off-roading is largely a point-and-shoot affair. With Rock Crawl mode selected via the Terrain Response knob, the T-case can be shifted into Low range and throttle response is softened to avoid jerking, and power is evenly distributed as needed to all four tires either via front traction control or the rear locker. Sand and Mud modes vary things slightly, limiting traction control to allow wheelspin and some sliding, yanking, and banking. And finally, the Grass-Gravel-Snow mode starts the vehicle more gently in Second gear and works to minimize slippage and maximize traction. Overall, you can take the SVR from the track to a moderate off-road trail with the only worry being your lower valences and tire sidewalls. It’s an absolutely balanced machine.
We also did some towing this time, hauling a trailer and Jeep combo with a combined weight of about 6,400 pounds, which is very close to the SVR’s max towing 6,614 pounds. We towed our Jeep without testing it, but Range Rover vehicles have a Tow Assist feature, in which you fit a tracking target sticker to your trailer that the rear camera picks up. When the electrical connection from vehicle to trailer is detected, Tow Assist engages and the camera and vehicle sensors monitor trailer sway via sensor input and camera-to-sticker interface. If sway is detected, the computer steps in to counter and stabilize. Braking power was superb, but we noticed the SVR getting pushed around a tad by the heavily loaded trailer descending hills and when coming to a stop. Next time, we’ll have to try the Tow Assist in proper fashion.
Report: 2 of 4Previous Reports: March/April 2018
Base Price: $111,350
Price as Tested: $128,332
Miles to date: 14,102
Miles since last report: 7,733
Average mpg (this report): 13.13
Test best tank (mpg): 16.81 (highway between 70-75 mph)
Test worst tank (mpg): 9.21 (towing in headwind)
This period: Flat-tire puncture repair.
Problem areas: Fuel fill still extremely slow because vapor reclamation nozzles always click off; passenger-door cladding beginning to fall off again; sunshade rattles with windows down/cracked.
“Plastic harness inserts in seat backs uncomfortably hit shorter passengers right in the head.”
“That leather smell is good enough to eat.”
“I think it’s actually getting faster as the engine breaks in.”
“Wish this thing had adaptive cruise control.”