Range Rover Range Rover Sport 5.0 Supercharged Review: Charging Ahead

Range Rover Range Rover Sport 5.0 Supercharged Review: Charging Ahead

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
06 Oct 2011
What we like:
pros
BMW: Superb mid-range and top end performance
pros
superb dynamics for something so tall and heavy
pros
communicative steering
pros
aggressive looks
pros
purposeful exhaust note. Range Rover: On (and off) road presence
pros
low end urge
pros
off road capability
pros
superb ride
pros
well-equipped
pros
English charm
What we dislike:
cons
BMW: Limited practicality in such a big vehicle
cons
thirsty
cons
firm ride. Range Rover: The guilt of driving one
cons
footballer’s car image
cons
steering can be improved
cons
thirsty nature

Inside, the X6 M not only lacks the added versatility of its X5 M stablemate’s cabin but also the practicality of the Range Rover Sport’s. The X6’s boot isn’t as accommodating as the Rangie while the former can only seat two at the rear rather than three and has limited headroom as well, making the rear a tad claustrophobic and harder for ingress for taller occupants. BMW M dealer Munch Automobiles though, have confirmed that newly imported X6 M models will be able to accommodate three passengers at the rear thanks to the deletion of the storage compartment on the rear seat base. Up front, the X6 M features comfy and ultra supportive armchairs while the matte carbon fibre trim on the dash and centre console adds an air of sportiness to the driving environment. Also unique to the X6 M is the standard head up display – interestingly, it displays an electronic rev counter and gear indicator when M Drive mode is selected.

Climb onboard the Range Rover (yes, you literally climb onboard this one) and you’ll be greeted by luxury and opulence that only a British marque can offer and the BMW here can’t match. The interior is lined with the finest wood and leather throughout. This is yet another reason why the Range Rover is so popular among the rich and famous. The Sport’s cabin features the same sloping centre console design of the Vogue’s. In traditional Land Rover/Range Rover fashion, the myriad of switches and knobs are logically placed and are big and chunky for ease of use.The view out from the driver’s seat is a highly commanding one that no other 4x4s in the Range Rover Sport’s class can match, X6 M included.

At the rear, the Sport features the traditional Range Rover split tailgate design for accessing the reasonably sized boot but there’s no electrical operation like the BMW’s. The Sport’s load area is not as accommodating as the Vogue’s but there’s still 958 litres of load volume with the seats up. Rear leg and knee room for rear passengers are also not as generous as in the Vogue but headroom is significantly better than in the X6 M thanks to its more upright rear.

All in all, the Range Rover Sport cabin not only offers more space and utility than the X6 M’s but it also feels more special to be in thanks to its more luxurious fittings and ambience.

With the X6 M, BMW has basically created a tall off roader that feels dynamic enough to embarrass thoroughbred performance and sports models on a race track. It is certainly one of the most dynamic SUVs out there, Range Rover Sport included. The X6 M might ultimately be the quicker and more dynamic of the two but the Range Rover Sport is more practical, offers an intimidating presence, rides better and can tackle unfavourable terrain if required to. Moreover, typical owners of these off-roaders will probably have a proper sports car like a Porsche or a Ferrari in their garages to satisfy their driving thrills so handling and speed won’t be as critical to them. But if you do not have that extra sports car in the garage, the X6 M is quite possibly the only school run SUV that you can also have some fun in on the track or on a country road blast.

Credits: Story by Raymond Lai Photos by Mark Yeo

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