In-depth reviews

Range Rover Sport PHEV review

The Range Rover Sport PHEV has many of the strengths of the larger Range Rover PHEV, but is a fair bit cheaper to buy, if a little less practical

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • 25-mile electric range
  • Works well in town
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Not as economical as some rivals
  • Batteries reduce practicality
  • No seven-seat version
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid25 miles73-88mpg72-87g/km

The Range Rover Sport P400e is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the popular luxury SUV. It's an upmarket seven-seater full of the latest technology and thanks to the electrification, it's also the most efficient model in the range. It takes the drivetrain from the Range Rover PHEV and puts it into a more affordable package – although it's all relative, as the Range Rover Sport is still very much a premium SUV.

Its rivals include the BMW X5 xDrive45eLexus RX and Volvo XC90 T8, with a similar formula under the skin: a petrol engine combined with a small electric motor. The Range Rover Sport P400e has an electric range of 25 miles, potential to reach fuel economy of over 70mpg (as long as you plug in regularly) and CO2 emissions of 72-87g/km.

The plug-in hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport makes the most sense for either company-car users, who benefit from the tax incentives for this kind of car, or private buyers who do short trips regularly and can plug in at home every night. It's also great for use in town, as it runs on electric power alone, with very quiet running for an extra-luxurious feel.

Yet if you're doing longer trips, the PHEV model doesn't really make sense. Once the battery is empty, you can expect less than 30mpg from the 2.0-litre petrol engine, as it's pulling a lot of weight. It's good to have the engine there when you need it, but don't buy the Range Rover Sport PHEV unless you plan to use the electric motor a lot.

You can charge the battery completely in seven-and-a-half hours from a standard domestic socket using the cable supplied. However, if you buy a home wallbox or use a public rapid charger, you can cut charge time down to just under three hours – as long as you buy the optional Type 2 charging cable.

When the 114bhp electric motor and 297bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine work together, the car will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds – remarkably quick for such a big, heavy SUV. Admittedly, the car isn’t quite as sporty to drive as, say, a Porsche Cayenne, but it’s more engaging and nimble than many of its more comfort-focused rivals.

On top of that, as you'd only expect of a Range Rover, the Sport is also very adept away from tarmac. In fact, the instant torque and keen responses of its electric motors are a distinct help when you’re trying to negotiate tricky obstacles at low speeds off-road.

It’s true that the PHEV looks a little more expensive than some of its most direct rivals, but it does come very well equipped. So well equipped, in fact, that there’s no real need to buy anything more expensive than the 'basic' HSE version, which comes with xenon headlamps, automatic lights and wipers, alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and sat nav.

Beyond that, should you fancy it, HSE Dynamic trim gives you larger alloy wheels and extra driving aids. And, on top of that, the range-topping Autobiography adds three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and an upgraded Meridian stereo system.

Whichever trim you go for, the Range Rover Sport PHEV has a wonderfully plush interior. This was much improved by a 2018 facelift, when Land Rover introduced a new twin-screen infotainment system inspired by the unit in the smaller Range Rover Velar. True, it’s not the easiest system to use, but give it time and you can master it.

What you'll certainly appreciate is that there’s room for four – and five at a pinch – in luxurious comfort inside, so this makes a fine family car. However, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of. For a start, the PHEV's boot is smaller than the regular Sport's, and there’s no seven-seat option. In both cases, that’s because the batteries have to be housed under the boot floor, which is higher as a result.

Overall, though, there’s a lot to like about the plug-in Range Rover Sport. It has a fine balance of abilities on and off-road, as well as all the class and quality you'd expect of a Range Rover. Throw in the good standard equipment, spacious interior, strong safety credentials and improving reliability, and this is a car that’s certainly worth a look if you want a premium hybrid SUV. For a more detailed look at the Range Rover Sport PHEV, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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