The Rover Sport is a midsized SUV that’s a bit smaller than the Discovery and a little larger than the Evoque. In its SVR format, it’s also a muscle car inside in a luxury SUV package. This means you are couched in posh surroundings as you scream “OMG” laying rubber down the pavement.
The 2019 Range Rover Sport comes in six main trim levels, all of which are high on lux and have variously-sized supercharged engine options. At the top of the list of six packages, though, is the SVR. The Special Vehicle Racing model of the Sport comes packaged with unique wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, more hardcore transmission programming, sport seating, and some trim and styling cues.
All of that is to accommodate the Range Rover Sport SVR’s growling 5.0-liter V8 powerhouse, which belts out 575 horsepower (429 kW) and 516 pound-feet (700 Nm) of torque. From startup, the SVR sounds like it’s about to shred rubber. Which it will, on command. Were the engine noise not there, in fact, one might forget that fact.
With all of that muscularity, though, the 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR is quite gentle and welcoming on long highway rides. It’s quiet on the highway, cushions well with its adaptive suspension, and offers extras like seat cooling and massage. And there’s no mistaking the Sport SVR’s look.
Unmistakably Range Rover, the Sport carries a look similar to its siblings in the Rover SUV lineup. Its rear quarter, however, is not as angular as is the Discovery’s, and it’s less rounded than is the Evoque. It falls somewhere in between, making for a good look that avoids being boxy. Body lines finish the appeal with strong front-to-back edges and the signature clamshell hood. The SVR somehow looks lower to the ground, even if it’s not, and retains the capability expectation inherent in the Range Rover name. Its street cred is bolstered, though, with large calipers, big wheels, and those rumbling pipes.
The SVR does come at a cost compared to other Sport models. It’s much thirstier, of course, with the big engine being the least fuel efficient of the lineup – in the realm of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” kind of MPG returns. The third row option is also not available for the SVR model. A 22-inch wheel upgrade, head-up display, the aforementioned massaging seats, and several other items are options rather than standard. So is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though those are no-cost upgrades this year.
The 2019 Sport SVR is not exactly a sports car, with handling more commensurate with an SUV, but it certainly does enjoy being treated like one. Acceleration is very good, easily coming in under five seconds in a 0-60 mph (0-92 km/h) sprint. Where things really shine, though, is in steering and terrain response. Handling on the road is very good, considering how heavy this SUV is, but off the road, it gets really good and the faster response of the supercharged engine pays off. Steering is precise and quick without becoming a liability in tight parking and urban situations.
Driving around everyday in an SUV whose price tag sits in the six figures is satisfying, but nerve-racking. A machine like this can’t just be parked anywhere, and the valet had better be very trustworthy. Nobody driving this will feel their cost accounting is in the red, however. The price paid is well worth the goods received.
The 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR is both muscle car and luxurious sport utility in one package. It’s equally capable of oohing with its thunder and aaahing with its comfort; with the occasional bar-grabbing “OMG” when the throttle is shoved to the floor. This, folks, is living.
Product Page: 2019 Range Rover Sport