Only a few years ago, the idea of a high-performance SUV was something to disparage. Today, however, there’s a veritable smorgasbord of hot SUVs aimed at wealthy driving enthusiasts with a kid or three. The 2019 Range Rover Sport Supercharged brings an intriguing combination of luxury and British class to the mix. A sonorous supercharged V-8 engine—offered in either standard 518-hp or 575-hp SVR trim—provides substantial forward thrust and brawny towing capacity, while a sport suspension helps this Land Rover maintain its composure through the twisties. The exterior styling mixes elegance with high-performance flourishes, and the cabin is comfortable and upscale with room for the whole family.
What’s New for 2019?
Land Rover has made few changes to its performance SUV this year: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available as part of a no-cost option package, a new wade-sensing system relays information to the driver when fording water, and driver-assistance features are now bundled together in the new Driver Assist package.
The most appealing 2019 Range Rover Sport Supercharged version continues to be the Dynamic trim. Land Rover throws in a lot of equipment for your sizable investment, including a 518-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, gloss-black exterior trim, Brembo brake calipers, perforated-leather seats, and a panoramic sunroof.
Engine, Transmission, Performance, and Towing
Likes: Chill-inducing exhaust note, physics-defying acceleration, burly towing capacity.
Dislikes: Other performance SUVs are even quicker, low fuel consumption.
The supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine under the hood is what separates Supercharged and SVR models from more run-of-the-mill Land Rover Range Rover Sports. Simply put: It’s a beast. Making 518 horsepower in “regular” Supercharged models and 575 in the tuned-up SVR trim, the supercharged V-8 that powers these models is smooth, guttural, and astoundingly quick. Paired exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, this setup readily and easily blasts past legal speed limits. True to its off-road heritage, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged features a selectable all-wheel-drive system with six modes. Auto mode will suffice most of the time, while Dynamic mode dials in sportier settings for the engine and transmission. If the mood strikes you to take this nearly $100,000 SUV off the beaten path, there are modes for snow, mud, sand, and rock crawling.
The Sport Supercharged grips the road tightly when cornering. The steering in our test car was well weighted (perhaps a little too heavy for soccer-drop-off duty, but perfect for back roads) and accurate. The Sport’s tall body leans perceptibly in tight corners and sweeping curves—as you might expect in a top-heavy SUV—but it never loses its composure. The Range Rover Sport Supercharged’s maximum towing capacity is a stout 7716 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
It’s difficult to enjoy the visceral pleasures of a supercharged V-8 without suffering at the pump, but the Sport Supercharged is about as efficient as rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG GLE63, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and the BMW X5 M. In our real-world highway fuel-economy testing, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged delivered just 18 mpg. Drivers who are more interested in the Range Rover Sport’s cachet than in the Supercharged models’ performance may be just as happy with the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6–engined version with its EPA rating of 23 mpg highway or the turbo-diesel model with its 28 mpg highway.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Posh interior trimmings, spacious first and second rows, slick dual-screen infotainment system.
Dislikes: Cramped optional third row, less cargo space than rivals, buggy infotainment software.
The Range Rover Sport Supercharged comes standard with sumptuous leather interior trimmings and can have 20-way adjustable, massaging front seats and four-zone automatic climate control. The Autobiography model we tested, billed as a top-of-the-line, super-luxe interior treatment, had attractive aluminum trim and plenty of baubles. However, it failed to feel significantly more expensive or comfortable than the interior of any other Land Rover we’ve driven. Driver and front passenger have acres of space to spread out in the Range Rover Sport, and second-row passengers will be comfortable even if they have slightly less space than those in the second row of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. The optional third row should not be considered a realistic solution for families who frequently need to seat more than five.
The Range Rover Sport Supercharged and the SVR both come standard with Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system. The dual-screen setup looks great, impresses with its crisp graphics, and comes standard with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The lower screen handles vehicle functions such as climate control and driving-mode settings while the upper one provides access to music, navigation, and communication. But, as much as we like the way it looks, it has proved problematic both from a stability and usability standpoint in our long-term Range Rover Velar.
The Range Rover Sport Supercharged has less cargo space than many competitors, but it still offers enough storage for most every-day usage. Cabin cubbies are ample, especially in the front row. In our testing, the Range Rover Sport held fewer carry-ons than its key rivals, but the nine boxes we fit behind the second row of seating (our test vehicle was not equipped with the optional third row) should be enough for most families.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Range Rover Sport hasn’t been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Sport Supercharged models do offer a useful array of driver-assistance technologies, but lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control are all optional. For drivers who prioritize those features, the cost is reasonable (at least in comparison with the already hefty base price). Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Land Rover’s warranty coverage very closely matches that of the competition, but it’s outdone in a few spots by the offerings from BMW, Jeep, and Volvo.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance